It doesn’t take golf ball-sized hailstones to damage your motor vehicle; even small hailstones can cause thousands of rands worth of damage, which is why having car insurance that covers hail damage is essential.
Insurance companies pay out billions of rands for hail claims in South Africa every year. Hail damage puts great strain on the South African economy and, more directly, uninsured car owners.
What do I do if I’m stuck in a hail storm?
If you find yourself trapped in a hail storm while driving, here’s what you need to do:
- If possible, stop your car. If your car is moving fast, the impact of the falling hail will damage your car more. Slow down your car as much as possible and, if you can, find a covered spot for your car, whether it be under a bridge or at a petrol station. Keep in mind, strong storms can cause tree branches to break and fall, so don’t park underneath a big tree for protection.
- Face the front of your car towards the hail. Front windscreens are made to withstand hail and other strong forces. So, if you can, turn your car to face the direction of the hail head-on.
- Wait for the storm to end before you continue driving. If your car has been damaged to the point that you cannot drive it, contact your insurance company’s emergency assist to arrange and authorise the towing of your car.
Can hail damage total my car?
Yes. Major hail damage can total your car. If it costs more to repair your car than what it’s worth, it doesn’t make much sense to repair it.
Will my car insurance cover hail damage?
Comprehensive car cover usually covers both hail and storm damage. You need to make sure you have car insurance before any damage happens to your car. If you’re not sure whether or not your insurance covers hail damage, contact them to find out.
Will I have to pay an excess for hail damage repair?
An excess is the first amount you pay towards the cost of the damage. It serves as a motivation for the driver to be responsible on the road and take care of their vehicle to prevent petty claims. Like with other types of weather damage, malicious damage or a stolen vehicle, you will probably have to pay excess for hail damage, but this ultimately depends on your insurance policy. Find out more about insurance excess.