Hailstones can vary in size and weight, some being hardly noticeable and others so big that many feel the urge to post them to social media to show their friends. Hailstone storms only usually last for less than half an hour, but in that time, those little balls of ice are able to do a huge amount of damage. It is vital that you prepare yourself, not just in the days before hail season but the months before the season is due to start if you want your cars to be protected. Failing to prepare for hail seasons means it is more likely that your vehicle will incur serious damages and leave you thousands of dollars out of pocket.
Get The Right Insurance
Hail storms can cause a considerable amount of damage to your vehicle – therefore, it is important to get the right insurance to protect you against the cost of having to do repairs.
Remember that it is not just the financial cost of repairs but the associated benefits like a free rental car needed to fix the hail damage (often many other cars will be suffering too so queues can form), during which you’ll need a temporary rental to get to work and do your daily tasks.
Comprehensive insurance policies are your best choice; they cover the damages from storms, hail and other weather-related phenomena as they have a “natural events” clause in the contract. A comprehensive insurance policy will not automatically be included by your insurance provider – it is an additional policy, so you need to ask for it. It is vital that you purchase comprehensive coverage well before the start of the hail season. Insurance companies often limit the time when people can purchase comprehensive insurance to stop people from only paying for the coverage during seasons prone to natural events such as hail seasons.
It is also important to pay attention to the deductible when purchasing a comprehensive insurance policy. The deductible is the amount you will have to pay when getting vehicle repairs. Sometimes an insurance company will offer a zero deductible, but this usually comes with an additional cost.
Repair Any Previous Hail Damage
Hail damage might look superficial but when it is left untreated, it can cause serious consequences. Signs that you might need auto hail repair include:
- Paint Damage – when hail falls on your car it can scrape against the paintwork, leading to chips and scratches around your vehicle. This is not just something that happens with the large golf-ball-sized hail pieces that you see floating around social media – chipped paint and scratches can happen with hail of any size. After any hailstorm, make sure you check your car for strange marks that you hadn’t noticed before.
- Dents – dents are caused by some of the heavier hail balls and can be quite common, especially in severe hail storms. You can tell when a dent is caused by a hail stone as they will leave dents that vaguely resemble a cone, usually all over your roof, hood, side, or door of your car.
- Cracked glass – this can be seen in some of the more severe storms. Hail can crack your windshields, windows and even your lights if it is falling at a high enough speed, so if you have noticed a broken window or windscreen, make sure you take care of fragments of glass that can be on the seating areas of the car.
- Damaged mirrors – particularly large hail stones have been known to completely knock your mirrors off. Many times, however, they can just change the alignment of your car mirrors. This can be fixed easily, but if you don’t spot it, it can lead to dangerous driving.
It’s understandable that you will want to avoid repairing hail damage on your car – even if you have the proper insurance, it’s a hassle.
If you want to protect your car from hail damage, the first thing you should do is find your car some sort of protection. You can use a garage or even some awning to stop hailstones from getting through and damaging your car. Many people don’t have that option, though; if that’s you, car covers and blankets are a good way of protecting your car from scrapes (though some huge hailstones can dent your car through the car cover or blanket). You can also move your car behind a building to give it some cover. Try to avoid driving in a storm if you can, and whenever you get a notification that a storm is on its way you should move your car to a protected area as soon as possible.