AUSTIN (KXAN) — As severe weather season approaches, insurance companies are warning residents how to prepare for hailstorms.  

According to a recent State Farm report, Texas ranked the highest for hail claims paid last year. The insurance company spent $474 million on 56,000 Texas home and auto hail claims.

As more hail is expected in the upcoming weeks, State Farm warns residents that hail damage is common and costly. The average homeowner hail claim is more than $11,700, and the average auto hail claim is more than $4,400, according to the report.  

State Farm released a hail damage report listing $474 million was spent on Texas hail claims.

Texas had a record number of hail loss claims from 2017 to 2019, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau’s analysis of data from ISO ClaimSearch®, with 638,000 claims.

As for other insurance companies, Allstate reported an estimated $181 million in catastrophe losses last year primarily affecting Texas and two other regions.  

Last month, Central Texas experienced a major hailstorm adding to one of the most damaging weather days in the area. Hailstorms form from thunderstorms, leading to fast-falling hailstones. It’s important to be aware of the damages they can cause.

To prevent hail damages, you should:   

  • Move vehicles to a garage or another safe place. 
  • Have a backup generator for emergencies and electrical outages.  
  • Bring pets and other valuables inside.  
  • Close your blinds to avoid window damage. Be sure to lock your doors and windows. 
  • Trim down dead woods and branches of your trees.  
  • Make sure you have a reliable restraint roof.    

Here’s what you should do after a hailstorm:  

  • Call your insurance company.  
  • If your car was damaged, work with the insurance company and an auto repair shop to get an estimate.  
  • Keep electricity off to avoid further damage.  
  • Keep track of your damaged items and receipts for insurance claims.    
  • Your insurance company will send claim forms that must be filled out within a certain time. 

Texas hail season typically lasts from March until the end of May. To stay up to date with the latest weather, follow KXAN Weather Alerts.