Tips to Help Protect Yourself and Your Car During Hail Season
There were more than 6,000 hailstorms nationwide in 2017, says to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association. While it may be obvious that hail can cause damage to homes, it may also damage vehicles caught without proper shelter. According to Colorado Auto Body, some of the damage that a car can incur from a hailstorm includes:
- Dents in the doors, sides of the car, hood or trunk.
- Broken or cracked windows or mirrors.
- Damaged or stuck doorjambs.
Hail can be a part of extreme weather events and can contribute to the severity of a storm. In order to help prevent or limit hail damage, consider purchasing a hail protection blanket — a padded car cover — before the next hailstorm hits. Hail protection blankets can be found online or possibly at your local auto parts store. While proactive measures may be ideal, it is important to protect yourself, your vehicle and its passengers during hailstorms, and to know what to do after one strikes.
How to Protect Yourself and Your Vehicle If Stuck in a Hailstorm
The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety partnered with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to provide these tips for automotive hailstorm safety:
- If hailstorms are in the forecast, pull your cars, boats, recreational vehicles and other vehicles into a garage, covered parking lot or other protected area (like a carport).
- If caught in your car during a hailstorm, find an area where it’s safe to pull over and stop driving.
- Stay in your vehicle until the hail completely stops.
- Avoid the vehicle’s windows and cover your eyes with something in case the windows shatter. If you are able, try getting onto the floor face down or laying on your seat facing away from windows.
- Protect small children from windows (with your body) and cover their eyes.
What To Do After a Hailstorm
If your vehicle is damaged and you need to get it repaired, you may want to file an insurance claim. Typically, hail damage is covered by comprehensive insurance, an optional coverage for damage to your vehicle. If there is a loan on your car, your lender may require you to carry comprehensive insurance. Your insurance company may have you work with an insurance adjuster and an auto body shop to determine the extent of the repairs required.
Following these simple tips can help you and your passengers stay safe and protect your car from some of the damage associated with hailstorms.
Originally published August 2014.