Hail is an unfortunate side effect of winter weather and sometimes even summer thunderstorms. While modern advances in technology are getting more and more accurate at predicting weather patterns, sometimes you can be caught surprised by a random hail occurrence.
Hail causes an estimated 1 BILLION dollars in damage to crops and property each year. Unlike natural disasters like hurricanes, hail can be more difficult to predict and protect yourself from. Despite the fact that hail can sneak up on you, there are things that you can do to prevent hail damage to your vehicle!
- Have a covered parking spot or garage
- Hide your car from storms you know are coming
- Use a weather proof car cover
- Utilize other protective materials like thick pads or blankets
- Get comprehensive insurance
Park In A Covered Location
The best way to protect your car from a slew of environmental damage from hail to sun exposure is to park your car in a covered location whether that is a garage or just a covered outdoor spot. Hail can cause tons of damage, but so can falling tree limbs in a storm.
Hide Your Car From Storms
Checking the day’s weather is the first thing that I do in the morning and here is why: first of all I need to know how to dress, but also I want to protect myself, family and possessions from potential dangerous weather. If you live in an area where you have frequent thunderstorms, you can expect hail every once in a while.
When you check the daily weather and there is a storm coming, prepare for it! If you don’t have a covered parking spot, consider protecting your car with a weatherproof car cover or even use things you have around the house from thick blankets to yoga mats. We’ll get into these options in further detail.
You can also seek out a covered area. Airports, malls and universities will usually have covered parking garages that you can utilize if you don’t have a covered spot of your own. This can also be useful during other inclimate weather patterns like tornados or tropical storms.
Use A Weather Proof Car Cover
A car cover is a great investment for anyone who doesn’t frequently park their vehicle in a covered spot. There are tons of different types of car covers though. A standard car cover is going to lessen the impact of hail hitting your vehicle but it will not eliminate damage completely.
Weatherproof car covers come in many different forms. Some will use a thick padding to prevent damage from falling ice and hail. Others will utilize compressed air pockets to cushion the blows from hail. Typically the car covers that used compressed air similarly to an air mattress do the best job of preventing damage.
Get Creative With Padding You Can Find Around The House
If you know there is a hail storm coming and you don’t have a weather proof car cover ready to go, you can also use items around the house to protect your vehicle! I recommend having bungies or ratchet straps ready to go for this one. If you don’t have these on hand run to any supercenter to pick some up. With storms comes wind and your protective materials won’t do you or your car any good as they are flying down the street in a heavy gust.
Things you can utilize to protect your car from hail includes:
- Yoga mats
- Thick blankets or layered blankets
- Dog beds
- Mattress toppers
Use whatever you can to cover your vehicle before the storm, just be sure to secure them well. Cardboard is a great way to cover the windows where as a yoga mat may work better for the hood of the car. Secure with bungees and consider putting a car cover over your work to hold everything into place. It may look ridiculous, but not as ridiculous as a car covered in pock marks from being destroyed by a hail storm.
Get Comprehensive Insurance
You are legally required to have car insurance, however most standard auto insurance policies are not going to cover hail damage. In fact they aren’t going to cover damage from any weather from flooding to fallen tree limbs.
There are insurance policies that will cover you for these things! Comprehensive insurance policies are those that cover you for mishaps that didn’t happen while you were driving or weren’t directly related to damage caused by another driver. So say a telephone pole falls on your car, a comprehensive insurance policy will cover you for this type of damage where as a a standard policy will not.
If you lease your vehicle or took out a financing plan for the vehicle (you didn’t pay cash and have a car payment) you likely already have a comprehensive insurance plan because whoever owns the car requires it. If you aren’t sure what your policy covers, give your insurer a call to gather more information.
You’re still better off trying to prevent hail damage, but life isn’t always 100% predictable. Comprehensive insurance will help you out when life doesn’t go right.
Frequently Asked Hail Related Questions:
Do car covers protect from hail?
Yes, some car covers can protect you against hail. Others won’t do a whole lot for you if your car is caught in a storm throwing off medium to large hail. Opt for a weather proof car cover that utilizes pockets of air or padding to protect the vehicle.
Can hail break car windows?
Yes in severe hail cases you can experience window damage in a hail storm. The toughest window on your vehicle is the windshield which is made of tempered glass. If you can, protect the side and back windows before a severe hail storm as they are more susceptible to hail damage and are usually more expensive to repair.
Does insurance cover hail damage to a car?
If you have a comprehensive insurance policy it should cover you from hail, flooding and other environmental factors not involved specifically with a car accident. Falling tree branches, lightning etc. will all be covered and paid out by an insurer if you have a comprehensive policy.
What size hail will damage A car?
Can hail break a sunroof?
Yes hail can break your sunroof but this is only in extreme cases where hail sizes are especially large. If your car suffers this type of exposure, the vehicle may be totaled anyway.
What To Do If Your Car Has Suffered Hail Damage
- Call your insurance company to see if you’re covered
- Follow protocols of your insurer to have the damages estimated
- Make an appointment with a body shop or applicable repair company
- Drop your car off for repairs
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