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Tackling Home Repairs After Severe Weather

floodThe first quarter of 2019 racked the Southeastern and Midwest regions of the country with severe weather phenomena such as tornadoes and hail, yet according to data shared during a webinar titled "Investigating Tornado & Hail" by CoreLogic's Hazard HQ [1], reports from the first quarter represent only a small quarter of annual reports.

"In the longer-term, so far through March we were above average for tornado reports and slightly lower than average for wind reports," said Daniel Betten Principal Science and Analytics. Despite these reports, Betten said that the year has seen the "second-fewest hail reports in Q1 over the last 10 years."

Breaking down the severe weather trends, Betten said that in 2018 giant hail actually impacted very few populated areas.  This despite eight of 2018's billion-dollar disasters being the result of tornadoes, hail, and straight-line winds according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Looking at some of the most recent severe weather, the experts pointed out that the costliest hail storm so far in 2019 occurred in Frisco, McKinney, and Allen, Texas with early estimated losses in $300-400 million range.

The most recent severe weather was felt on April 13, with over 40 confirmed tornadoes, nine fatalities and dozens of injuries and significant hail in the Southeastern region of the country.

According to Haly Tachovsky, CEO, BuildFax, the cost of home repairs, especially to primary structures such as roofs can go up exponentially after being impacted by severe weather such as tornadoes or hail. Citing a study conducted by Buildfax on the impact of the six most damaging hailstorms in the U.S. between 2016 and 2018 on properties, Tachovsky said, "Roof maintenance spikes following hail events with repairs that help in recovery from hail damages taking an average of 5.4 months."

However, she pointed out that these weather hazards also impact secondary structures, which can result in additional costs for homeowners, or in case of REO properties to the servicers or property preservation specialists.

For servicers, insurance companies, and property preservation firms looking to identify the probable damage areas to properties before a severe weather occurrence, Rose Hancock, Senior Leader, Client Delivery at CoreLogic said that technology such as hail forensics and roof age data can help in identifying properties that had the potential to get damaged during a hailstorm or tornado.

At a recent DS News webinar [2], experts discussed areas where technology is helping property preservation companies to identify cost-effective and timely solutions to protect and preserve homes. They pointed out that the data being used in property preservation at present helped companies understand the story that each house had to tell as well as  "proactively manage anything that can go wrong."