Most of us don’t worry about hail. It isn’t something that occurs very often, and when it does, it’s more of a wonder to us than something damaging. But the truth is, hail can spell major trouble for our beloved vehicles.
As you will soon learn, there are some very practical ways you can protect your vehicle when this disaster strikes.
How to Protect Car From Hail
Let’s get right to it so that you can be better prepared when it hails the next time. By following these simple tips, you can avoid a big headache down the road.
Tip 1: Build a Carport
Obviously, those of you who own a garage won’t have to worry about hail as much as those who don’t. Unless you own several vehicles, in which case these tips will serve you well.
The most effective thing you can do is build a carport. These coverings offer excellent shelter for your vehicles. Fortunately, they are much cheaper than building an entire garage unit. Many big-box stores carry do-it-yourself kits for building carports.
But truth be told, you can more than likely build your own if you have the technical know-how. You’re almost always going to spend more on premade kits. Either way, a carport is a quick and (fairly) easy way to get immediate protection from the outside elements.
Tip 2: Find Shelter
One of the most practical things you can do is to seek immediate shelter. Parking under a large tree is a great way to protect your ride from hail. It’s important to make sure the tree is safe for doing so, however.
You certainly don’t want to park under an old, decaying tree. You run the risk of tree limbs falling and crushing your vehicle. If you have a solid and healthy tree on your property that you trust, hurry, and park your vehicle under it.
You might want to talk to your neighbors and discuss a backup plan if they have somewhere safe you can park.
If there’s nothing around you that can serve as cover, drive somewhere that does. You might consider going to your nearest parking garage. If it’s safe to do so, you may even park under an overpass.
Tip 3: Makeshift Covering
If you don’t have time to seek protective covering, make your own. Check out this link for a crafty way to make your own unique covering.
Blankets are a great way to protect your vehicle from hail. You may even want to invest in several thick blankets for such an emergency. If you have the help of someone else, you can have your vehicle covered in a matter of seconds.
Sometimes it hails fast and hard, leaving you little time to prepare or take action. With thick blankets, you can spring to action in no time flat. Just be sure to have them somewhere that’s easy to get to in a hurry so that you can cover your car quickly.
If you don’t have blankets available when hail strikes, cardboard makes a great shield for your vehicle. Buying a bunch of good, thick blankets can admittedly get pretty pricey.
Cardboard, on the other hand, can be picked up for free from just about any store. Large appliance boxes work the best. You can cut these and then fold them up for easy storage.
When the hail arrives, whip out the cardboard and get to cover. The hail will bounce right off and protect your vehicle from potential damage.
For often than not, hail is relatively small and shouldn’t harm your ride if it’s covered. That being said, there is the rare occasion where hail is the size of a baseball. This could potentially harm your vehicle, even if it’s adequately covered.
Conversely, there are specially-made hail vehicle covers that are designed to protect your car from damage. These ultra-tough coverings are fairly affordable and do a fine job of preventing hail from causing harm to your vehicle.
Tip 4: Invest in Comprehensive Insurance
One of the most important things you can do for your vehicle is to invest in the right insurance. Many people don’t worry about hail damaging their rides because it’s usually pretty infrequent.
But progressive planning pays off. By taking the appropriate action before disaster strikes, you can be better prepared for when it does.
Now, it’s important that you get the right insurance. Comprehensive insurance doesn’t necessarily mean it will cover hail damage. You need to speak with an agent to ensure that you are signing up for insurance that includes hail.
By and large, comprehensive coverage includes damage caused by hail. But it’s vital that you ask to make sure.
Additionally, if you rent cars on a fairly regular basis, you need to think about potential hail damage. You don’t want to have to pay out-of-pocket for something as unexpected as hail.
Tip 5: Check the Weather!
It pays to plan ahead, and checking the weather is a great way of doing just that. If you need ample time to prepare for hail, knowing when it may strike can make the difference between a damaged car and a safe car.
If the radar or forecast shows that hail is likely to strike, you can leave the house early enough to find shelter.
It’s understandable that you might not always check the radar for impending hail. Thankfully, there are usually signs that the weather is getting bad outside. This is a great warning that you should check the forecast to see if you need to take the appropriate measures to protect your vehicle.
Tip 6: Move Close to a Building
If there is no way to get to any kind of shelter, try to move your vehicle as close as you can to your house. This will serve as protection from the outside elements.
It’s not the best solution, but it’s better than nothing. If hail strikes unexpectedly, this may be your only option for protecting your vehicle.
Tip 7: Stay in Your Car
If you’re caught in a hail storm while you’re out driving, the safest thing you can do for yourself is to stay in your vehicle. Never get out while it’s hailing, as you are putting yourself at risk of getting injured.
Hail has been known to kill people, so it pays to protect yourself at all costs. You might end up with a damaged vehicle, but that’s a lot better than harming yourself and your family.
If your vehicle is damaged by hail, it’s important to take the right actions. Call your insurance company and file a damage claim. Follow their instructions as to what to do so that you can get an estimate of the damage.
Once the estimate is obtained, take your vehicle to someone you trust to have it repaired. Once the repairs are complete, it’s important to inspect your vehicle to ensure that it is satisfactory.
And lastly, always make sure that you get the warranty written out, as well as any contact information related to the repair.
You might not be able to always avoid hail damage. But know how to handle it correctly will make things so much smoother.