Your Hail Season Survival Guide for Cars in South Africa
Hailstorms can wreak havoc on our vehicles during South Africa’s summer months. Here’s how to help your car survive the onslaught anywhere from Gauteng to Mpumalanga.
Is it Possible to Survive Severe Weather Like Hail without Damage?
Anyone living in the northern half of South Africa is familiar with severe storms, heavy rain, and hailstorm damage. Hail damage reports each year prove how devastating these storms can be for plant populations, households, and vehicles. Are we at the mercy of mother nature when it comes to extreme weather conditions like hail?
Or are there steps we can take to protect ourselves and our possessions? We’ve got good news! You can do something about the potential damage caused by bad weather such as hail. Here are 15 Steps you can take to help your car survive the hail season:-
15 Steps to Less Hail Damage
- If you’re caught out on the roads during a hailstorm, drive slowly. When you driver slower, the vehicle sustains less hail damage. The likelihood of an accident because of slippery roads is also lower.
- If a hailstorm arrives while you are driving, find the nearest covered area to park under immediately.
- Covering can take the form of an overpass, a garage, or any covered parking such as that you may find at a mall. Trees are not the best idea, since branches and debris often fall from them.
- Stay inside your car, since large hail stones can injure you and land you in hospital.
- You can cover your car with fleecy blankets to minimise the hail damage. Keep these blankets in your boot and whip them out at the first sign of severe weather. They absorb the impact.
- Insure your car with a company that offers insurance cover for hail damage. When your car gets damaged, you will be able to cover the costs of repairs thanks to your insurance coverage.
- Take photos of all the damage your vehicle has sustained before submitting your insurance claim to the short-term insurer with whom you have a policy. Remember to check your headlights, taillights, side mirrors, glass, and body for dents, cracks, and damage.
- Report the damage to your insurer as soon as possible. Many insurers have a time limit for when you can claim for hail damage and severe weather damage.
- If your home sustains structural damage, it could result in damage to your vehicle, too. For this reason, it is important to keep gutters clean. The twigs and leaves can block the gutter and cause flooding or other damage in your home.
- Hail is heavy. If any of it has gathered on your bonnet, in your bakkie’s bucket, or on the roof of your car, it is important to remove it as soon as the storm is over.
- Trim trees close to your home or anywhere near where you park to avoid debris falling onto the car and damaging it.
- Keep your car windows closed. Large hail stones may shatter or crack windows, but the windows protect you, your car, and your family from further harm.
- Park your car in a safe location such as your garage habitually. If a storm hits while you are away or asleep, you can rest assured that your car is safe.
- When hail season arrives, pay attention to severe weather warnings and make extra preparations when there is a hail warning. You can follow South African weather channels on social media or weather radio reports.
- Does your insurance policy give you enough cover for the possible damage you could face? The best way to be sure is to familiarize yourself with the policy wording, terms, and conditions.
Special Considerations for Surviving Hail Season
1. Summer Road Trips and Rural Areas
You can use some of the above steps to protect your vehicle from hail damage if you are planning a road trip. Quilts and blankets, getting cover, and monitoring weather reports is vital. South African roads often cut through kilometres of empty land.
If you are stuck on the road in a desolate area of rural South Africa with no way to protect your loved ones or vehicle, stay inside the car and cover your eyes and face. Stay away from the windows as far as possible, and don’t park near plants or crops.
2. Upgrading Your Insurance Coverage
Some insurers offer extra benefits for their clients. Short-Term insurer Santam offers their policyholders emergency roadside assistance through their 24/67 SOS service. African insurer Auto and General offers customers access to a list of benefits, too.
If your insurance company isn’t covering your car for hail damage in your car insurancepolicy or offering roadside assist benefits, you can move to another provider or upgrade your plan today. You could also find an affordable vehicle insurance deal by getting a vehicle insurance quote on our site.
To start, simply fill in the form at the bottom of this page and the ideal insurer for your needs will contact you.