According to an insurance group, a recent hailstorm that hit San Antonio and northwestern Bexar County on the 12th of April has produced almost 1.4 billion dollars worth of damage. Hailstones resembling the size of grapefruits came pelting down from the sky and ended up causing nearly $560 million in insurance losses to motor vehicles.
Independent Insurance Agents director, Robert Crosby, stated that uninsured losses to motor vehicles were also expected to be high. The natural disaster has now made history as it’s been recorded as the most costly hailstorm in Texas to date.
The storm lasted for around ten minutes with some of the hailstones measuring up to 4 ½ inches. There were no serious injuries reported during the freak weather storm, but there was plenty of damage to homeowners’ and business owners’ property.
April 12th was only the first of the hailstorms as two other damaging storms followed on the 25th and 29th of April. Accumulated, the three hail storms damaged 136,000 vehicles. Several insurance companies have already announced that they’ve managed more hail and wind claims this year than they have in a long time.
What are hailstones?
Hailstones are chunks of ice. When a storm has strong updrafts, rain droplets move to a freezing level. Hailstones can grow in size as more rain droplets can attach themselves to the original stone. When the hailstones become too heavy, they will drop to the ground and create a hailstorm. The majority of the time, hail stones will not grow any larger than a penny, but occasionally we get freak weather where the hailstones can grow to a dangerous size and can cause enormous damage to property.
When abnormally large hailstones fall, they can do damage as great as putting large dents in cars, smashing car windows, putting holes in roofs and more. Insurance plans are a great help when extreme weather hits as most insurance policies cover a natural disaster.
Auto insurance and car damage
Cars are built to endure most types of weather but sometimes, when an extreme hailstorm hits, there are few things that remain undamaged. Hailstones can cause dents, broken windows, and scratches to your car. If you live in an area that is prone to extreme weather and natural disasters, it would be a good idea to get an automobile insurance policy that covers damage caused by hailstones. If the insurance policy has comprehensive coverage, it will protect you from not just hail damage, but theft and fire damage too.
What a car owner should do in the event of a hailstorm
When your car has been outside during a hailstorm, you will want to follow the points below:
● Check if there has been any damage to the car – When the storm has passed, go out and check your car. Look for any scratches, dents or smashes that the hailstones could have made. Scratches and dents in your car can decrease its value drastically.
● Take pictures of the car as proof of damage – If you find any hail damage on your vehicle, you should document it as evidence.
● Read your insurance documents – Look at your car’s insurance documents to see if you are covered for damage caused by hail.
● Contact your insurance company – If your insurance policy covers you for hail damage, get in touch with them as soon as possible.
How you can protect your car from hail damage
If you live in an area that is known for experiencing hailstorms, then you should take precautions to protect your car as best as possible.
● Park in a covered area – Park your vehicle in a garage or under some form of shelter, this will stop the hailstones from being able to have direct contact with your automobile. Keeping your car sheltered means you won’t have to go through the hassle of claiming on your insurance or having to spend a large amount of money.
● Find shelter – If you are out driving when a hailstorm hits, find temporary shelter and wait out the storm. Driving through the hailstorm could cause more damage to your vehicle, as the impact of the hailstone will be stronger if it hits a moving object.
● Use a blanket – If you don’t have anywhere to shelter your car, and it’s been predicted that a hailstorm is coming, you can use a blanket to protect your vehicle. Putting a blanket over your car will soften the impact when the hailstones hit your car. Remember to tape the blanket down or it will go blowing off down the street. The tape may leave some sticky residue, but this is better than your car being covered in dents and scratches.