Hail occurs mainly in the springtime and can occur across most of the United States. Hail stones can range in size from very small, pea-sized hail to the size of a softball. And obviously larger hail can cause more damage to a car and pose a hazard as motorists rush to get their car under cover. The Highway Loss Data Institute claims that hailstorms damage 250,000 cars in the U.S. each year. Its worth noting a few ways to protect your vehicle, which is something probably not taught in driver's ed.
As an example of hailstorm damage, in 2012 a series of hailstorms in St. Louis, Missouri caused damages estimated to exceed over $1.6B in insured losses. A list of the Top Ten Hailstorms that occurred in the U.S. provides some insight into the damage these storms regularly cause. A good portion of that damage was to cars that were outside when the hailstorms fell on St. Louis.
A few tips for minimizing damage to cars during hailstorm season:
- Hail Protector from Siciliano is a new product that is essentially a "hail airbag" that an be remotely controlled and provides protection from hail when your car is not under cover.
- Subscribe to the National Weather Service storm warning service which can give you a heads-up and allow you time to get your car under cover.
- Listen to local weather service reports and try to park your car in a covered area whenever possible during hail season. Paying a little extra to get a parking spot with a cover in your apartment complex can pay off during hailstorm season.
- Comprehensive coverage can be added to your insurance policy which typically covers "other than collision" damage, including storm damage.
If you live in an area where hailstorms frequently occur, heeding the above advice and paying attention to the local weather forecast can help save costly repairs to your car.