Leaving your car outside, exposed to the weather, is risky business. Particularly if you live in an area where hail is common.
In 2020, there were over 4,000 major hailstorms around the country causing billions of dollars worth of damage to vehicles. Do you still think it won’t happen to you?
Vehicle hail damage is much more common than most people think. And while it’s a bummer that hail can cause so much damage, it’s also totally preventable. At least for most homeowners.
Wondering how to protect your car from hail damage? It’s not that hard, nor expensive. Most homes have a garage where residents could park their vehicles if they wanted to. However, a large percentage still choose to park their cars outside.
Even if you don’t have a garage, there are still easy, affordable options to hail protection options. Keep reading to find out what they are.
Risks of Hail Damage
Most of us have seen hail before. Most of the time we see it, it looks like little snowballs or pebbles, which seem light and harmless.
But hail is actually ice formed as raindrops fall from the sky and freeze together. When hail is small, it’s not an issue. But hail can often reach the size of golfballs and get even larger.
In fact, the largest recorded hailstone in the US weighed a pound and a half. That’s a heavy ball of ice that is going to damage whatever it hits.
The most common car hail damage is cracked or shattered windshields and windows, and dents on your roof and the body of the car.
Hail storms are typically the result of thunderstorms. Thus, parts of the country most susceptible to thunderstorms, such as Colorado, Wyoming, or Nebraska, can expect to receive the most hail.
Wondering how to prevent car hail damage, so that you don’t have to file a complicated, lengthy insurance claim?
How to Protect Your Car From Hail
The fact of the matter is this; at some point, you’re going to face a bad hail storm. And even if you are safe indoors, your car might be getting pounded outside. Here’s how to protect your vehicle from hail.
Start Parking In the Garage
Many homeowners don’t use their garages to park their vehicles. This is a mistake. Not only would parking your car indoors protect your vehicle in case of hail, but it can also protect against many other things.
Parking in your garage can prevent theft or vandalism to your vehicle. It can also keep your car safe from the damaging rays of the sun, which can wear out your car’s interior faster.
Plus, parking inside will keep your car at a more comfortable temperature, for when you are ready to drive.
If you’ve stocked your garage full of storage, or have left it completely unorganized, consider it a favor to yourself to make some parking space available.
Erect a Carport
Don’t have a garage at home? Or do you use your garage for something else entirely, like a workshop or studio? Then you can erect a metal carport instead.
These simple, affordable structures function as a basic roof over your vehicle, keeping hail, snow, and sunlight off of your car. While they typically don’t have full walls, they have enough wall siding to protect your car from wind-blown debris or sideways falling hail.
You can also get them in a variety of widths and heights, in case you have a boat or RV at home, or if you want to park multiple cars at your home. Because they are light and have a smaller profile, they can fit into smaller spaces than a standard garage buildout.
Choose Covered Parking When Out and About
If you are going to work or running errands, and you know you are leaving your car outdoors for a while, consider the weather. If there is a risk of a thunderstorm or a hail warning, be willing to park a little further from your destination if it means parking undercover.
Find a public parking garage near your destination to ensure your car is safe, so you can go to work or buy groceries worry-free.
Cover Your Car
Stuck at work and notice a hail warning coming your way? There’s still something you can do to keep your car safe.
You can cover it up with heavy-duty blankets or a spare rug. Alternatively, you can invest in a car-specific hail cover, which is designed to fit your car’s make and model and resist hail damage.
While these are a bit more expensive than spare blankets, they are worth it if you live in a hail-prone area. Just make sure to practice putting it on before the hailstorm comes, as they can be kind of tricky.
Install Paint Protection Film
Want to give your car permanent protection wherever you go? You can have a paint protection film applied to your vehicle. This is a similar type of product that is used to create non-dentable doors.
The coating, which will look invisible once installed, will resist denting. When it does experience a scratch of some sort, the nano-coating actually heals itself. It also repels water, which prevents your vehicle from experiencing corrosion.
It acts as a tough layer of skin, creating surface tension that minor hail can’t penetrate.
Have the Right Insurance
Of course, you may take every precaution listed above and still manage to get caught out in the worst hail storm of the year. Because you can’t predict everything, you need to ensure you have proper insurance coverage.
Check your current policy to see what coverage is available for hail damage, if any at all. Because hail does cause a ton of damage, it may be worth increasing the hail damage limit.
Now that you know how to protect your car from hail, it’s time to be proactive. Follow the steps listed above to ensure your car is going to be safe, no matter what the weather throws your way.
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