Summer is on its way and along with it comes all the weather phenomena associated with the season, including rain, thunderstorms, high winds, and, of course, hail. Last year, 13 hail storms were reported in Bedford, TX, and the year before that there were 10 reports. Nearby Burkburnett, TX reported the biggest hailstones in May 2020, which measures around 5 inches in diameter–about the size of an average grapefruit or a DVD.
Hail businesses in Texas reported massive damage to both homes, businesses, cars, other types of vehicles, roads, and other infrastructure in the last two years. Predictions for this year are not going to be much better.
Fortunately, there are some steps that you can take to protect your property from hail damage this season, and what better time to start than now.
Here are tips to prepare your car for the hail season:
1. Under Cover
Ensuring that your car is always parked under cover is the surest way to protect your car from hail as well as other hazardous weather conditions. A garage provides the ultimate protection while a carport will offer sufficient shielding. If you don’t have a garage or a carport, it may be time to consider building one.
The simplest way is to erect a DIY carport. Carports that are ready to assemble are available from retail outlets, making it easier for just about anyone to put one up quickly. However, if you don’t like DIY projects, you can hire a handyman to provide some assistance.
You can also opt for a car cover that provides adequate protection from hail damage. Unless a hailstorm of the magnitude that was experienced in Burkburnett, TX last year hits, your car should be safe and well protected. Car covers are available from auto retailers as well as hail damage businesses that offer fitted car covers.
2. Watch The Weather
Download a reliable weather app on your smartphone to provide you with constant weather updates and warnings. The local weather services will provide weather warnings before a hail storm is about to hit.
Remember to keep the location on your phone active so that the weather app can provide you with information in the area where you are. This is especially important if you travel a lot during the day or over far distances.
3. On The Road
If you do receive an update or a warning, take steps to ensure that your car will be safe when the storm hits. Head home and park your car under cover or find a parking garage or other type of cover for your car around the time that the storm is expected to hit. Alternatively, pack your fitted car cover in your trunk to quickly and easily protect your car from hail damage wherever you may be.
You don’t want to be caught in bad weather with no idea where to go exposing your car to more hail damage. As a solution, you may even want to go as far as saving GPS coordinates or pin drops for undercover parking lots or other places where your car will be protected on your phone.
4. Parking Elsewhere
If your car is parked in an open parking lot while you are at work during the day, you may want to pay careful attention to your weather updates. This will give you the opportunity to move your car to a covered area before a hail storm hits.
You may want to do some research into a covered parking area near you so that you can move your car quickly when needed. It is also recommended to find out the cost of parking your car undercover in a lot near your work to save you the worry and the risk of hail damage.
Alternatively, use a fitted car cover for protection from hail and other elements of Mother Nature during the day. You can either keep an additional cover at work or in your trunk. Keeping the cover in your trunk may take up space, but it will mean that you will be ready for a hail storm regardless of where you are or when it hits.
5. In An Emergency
If there is simply nowhere to go and you haven’t invested in a fitted car cover, then there are additional measures that you can take. Grab blankets, boxes, or any other fabric that is available to cover the car. These items will lessen the impact of the hailstones and reduce the chance of dents and damage to the paintwork on your car.
If you are out on the road and really in a bind, the floor mats in the car can be used to protect the bonnet and the roof. At a minimum, these will provide some protection against a moderate hail storm. However, this is not the ideal solution as it will only provide sparse cover and will not protect your entire car from damage.
Strong winds often accompany hail storms, which means that the hail can come in from the sides, damaging the doors and side panels. Hail also has a tendency to bounce off the tarmac, causing damage from a different angle.
6. Ensure To Insure
You need to check your current auto insurance policy to ensure that it provides cover for hail damage. Some insurance policies will not cover damage caused by “acts of God”. These normally include all weather phenomena, including hail damage.
However, comprehensive car insurance should provide the cover you need to remove those dents in the event that your car does suffer hail damage. If you aren’t sure whether your insurance covers hail damage, contact them to find out.
If your policy does not provide hail damage cover, you can always upgrade it. Keep in mind that North Texas is hail central and the risk of damage is, therefore, greater. Alternatively, you can take out a separate dent insurance policy. Most insurers do provide this type of cover at a minimal cost. It is, however, recommended to compare the cost of upgrading your policy that will already include hail damage cover and the cost of taking out a stand-alone dent insurance policy.
Keep in mind that claiming compensation from your insurance may mean that you will need to pay a deductible. If the amount of the deductible is too high, it may be better to pay for the dent repairs yourself. Claiming may also affect your insurance rate or premium. Most insurance companies will increase a policy holder’s insurance rate after they have claimed regardless of how big or small the amount they claim for.
What To Do After Your Car Has Been Caught In A Hail Storm?
When all the precautions you have taken have failed and your car has been exposed to a hail storm, you should take the following steps:
– Walk around your car and check for dents and damages. Don’t forget to check the roof. Take your time to do the check. If you’re in a rush, perform another inspection when you have more time.
– Take photos of any dents and damage that you find. You may need these as evidence when you submit your claim to your insurance company.
– Call Udentifix, the premier hail damage business in Bedford, TX, for a quote or to schedule your repair. You may need to submit a quote along with photos to your insurance company. You can choose to come to us or to use our mobile repair service to come to you.
– Remember to keep your receipt for the repairs to have proper compensation from your insurance company.
Prepare your car for hail season this year by keeping your vehicle insured, investing in a fitted car cover, parking your vehicle under cover for added protection, and being mindful of weather updates. Pull over when hail hits and park it in a safe place, where possible. Also, it’s a good idea to ask a reputable auto mechanic specializing in hail and dent repairs, such as https://www.udentifix.com/ if your vehicle has become damaged.