Hail storms tend to appear suddenly, without advance warning, and often accompany tornadoes and other storms. Whether you're on or off the road, it's important to know the right steps to take for your safety.
Before and During the Storm:
Typically, it is difficult to pinpoint the exact location where hail may occur. However if there is a general warning for an area of conditions prone to hail, it may be wise to prepare in advance.
- First and foremost, be sure to protect yourself and remain in a covered location.
- To protect your vehicle from damage, ensure that it is under a covered space, such as a carport or garage. If no covered space is available for your car, blankets or tarps may be used to cover and reduce potential hail damage to the body and windows of your car.
In the event you find yourself in the middle of a sudden hail storm, immediately seek shelter.
- If you’re in a building, stay away from windows and stay inside until the hail stops. If you’re outside, head for the nearest sturdy structure.
- If no shelter is available, try to find something to protect your head. Avoid seeking shelter under trees, where high winds and rain can cause limbs to fall to the ground.
Driving Tips in a Hail Storm:
Due of hail storms’ sudden, unpredictable nature, it is possible for hail to unexpectedly being while you are driving your car.
- If you’re in your car when a hailstorm hits and see a safe place close-by, such as a highway overpass or garage, drive to it as soon as you can.
- If no shelter is available, stop driving and pull off the road completely. Move away from car windows and cover your head with your arms and hands to protect yourself from any breaking glass.
After the Storm:
- First, assess the damage. When a hail storm has passed over and it is safe to go outside, take your camera and document the damage that has been done to your vehicle. Check the windows and all other parts of the vehicle for hail divots, and, if possible, it's helpful to count the divots in your vehicle and document the size of each.
- The second step is to contact your insurance provider as soon as possible to let them know about the damage. They can make your life much easier just by knowing your plan and having the knowledge to guide you through submitting a claim. They can also help you with evaluating the damage. Sometimes hail damage can be repaired by paintless dent removal, and other times it may need to be hammered out and re-painted.
- Know the value of your vehicle. Knowing the value of your vehicle can help decide whether repairs are worth the cost or not. In the case that your car is worth less than the total cost of the repairs, you may decide to just take a loss and purchase a new vehicle. Your insurance agent will be able to help guide you through making these decisions. Your next step, if considering repairs, is to get three estimates. Your agent can recommend places to go for these, and some repair shops will send someone on-site to give you an estimate.
AAA Insurance is here to help with all of your insurance needs. Call your agent today to make sure your plan covers hail damage and, if so, what that coverage entails. Our job is to make your life easier in times of trouble!
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