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Hailstorm has Thousands Claiming Insurance for Their Damaged Cars

Hailstorms Hail a Flood of Car Damage Insurance Claims

After the recent devastating hailstorms in Johannesburg, many car damage insurance claims are rolling in. Though we tend to envision hail as little balls of ice, those that fell from the skies in the last storm measured the size of golf balls. Some were even as big as cricket balls. As this hail hits your car’s windscreen, there really is no quick way of preventing immediate damage.

As a result, all of those affected have been making insurance claims to have their precious vehicles repaired. This influx of insurance claims has insurance companies scrambling to tend to all their customer needs. Vehicles were affected primarily in the towns of Edenvale, Midrand, Germiston, and Kempton Park. Though the storm lasted less than 2 minutes, the number of claims amounts to between 1,000 and 6,000. On average, an insurance company only receives up to 1,000 claims based on hail damage per year.

Some insurance companies have admitted that the hailstorm on the East Rand proved one of the most devastating that they have ever had to deal with. Various customers have also not yet claimed for insurance and numbers are set to rise. Santam is currently dealing with 2000 cases that amount to a total of about R28 million.

As Santam itself is significantly overwhelmed, they have extended their working hours and resorted to importing skilled professionals from other countries, including the US, the Netherlands, England, Brazil and Slovenia, to assist in repairing the damaged vehicles. About 25 foreign professionals have been brought in to assist local panel beaters with a technique that fixes dents without the need to use paint. This method is both time and cost-efficient.

Mutual & Federal are similarly dealing with claims estimated to cost them as much as R24.4 million. OUTsurance has received millions of Rands of claims, alongside Dial Direct which has received about 3300 claims following the storm.

Insurance companies have advised clients to ensure they take the necessary precautions to prevent such devastating damage in future. Among other things, residents in areas prone to hailstorms are advised to invest in reliable carports which will protect their vehicles from the hail.

Sources: iol; insurance journal

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