Whether it’s an alert on your phone, an interruption on the radio or the weather channel on TV, hail in the forecast is never welcome news. If you’re car isn’t under cover, your blood pressure is probably rising right about now.
Hail damage is a very costly thing to repair, and in the United States nearly exclusively hits the Midwest and Great Plains region ranging from Minnesota down to Texas. So how can you avoid hail damage and prevent major costs to you or your insurance company?
Find Covered Parking
If you’re out and about, finding covered parking is key. You may be able to get into a parking garage at a local mall or near a downtown area. If you’re in a rural area, a local farm may allow you to shelter in a machine shed until the storm passes as long as you ask first.
At home, your best bet is your own garage. If you can squeeze an additional vehicle in there, it’s worth it until the storm passes.
Find Other Covered Parking
If you don’t have a garage, you may be able to shelter at a neighbor’s garage or in an available shed. Otherwise, your local mall or downtown area may have a parking garage you can shelter in for some time.
If you don’t have much time, grab some blankets or quilts along with some duct tape. Cover the roof, hood, trunk and windows of your car as much as possible, along with the headlights and taillights and tape the blankets to the car to prevent the wind blowing them away. These will hopefully deaden the impact. If the hail simply dents your vehicle, it’s cheaper than if it chips the paint.
No blankets or quilts? Grab the tape and throw your floor mats on the roof of your car. It’s not much, but hopefully it can lessen the extent of the damage.
If you have some extra time and you know a storm is coming, there are a few products out there which are purpose-built to protect your vehicle, such as hail blankets and branded hail protector inflatable systems.