When you think of summer, you think of beautiful weather, weekend roadtrips and soaking up the sun. But, unfortunately, the warmer months also bring hail season. Hail is caused when strong winds freeze water droplets, turning them into small ice pellets. And as these pellets form, they continue to take on more water. So, a piece of hail that started as a droplet could grow to be the size of a golf ball – and those can cause some serious damage to your car. Hail damage can include dents on the roof or hood of the car, or cracks on the windows and windshield. We want to make sure that you and your car are always protected – here are some tips on what to do before, during and after a hailstorm.
How to prepare your car for a hailstorm
- Sign up for weather alerts so you always know when a hailstorm is coming and how intense it’ll be.
- Review your auto policy to ensure you have the right coverage to protect your vehicle.
- Consider investing in a carport if you can’t park your car in your garage.
- Protect your car with a fitted car cover – if you don’t have one, consider using old blankets and duct taping them to your car. It’s not the most stylish option, but it does the trick.
What to do if you get caught in a hailstorm while driving
- Find a place with covered or underground parking.
- If you can’t find shelter, use large buildings as a shield for your car (check the direction the hail is coming from and park on the opposite side of the building).
- Place your floor mats on the hood of your vehicle to deflect the hail.
What you should do after a hailstorm
- Inspect your vehicle for any damage.
- Take pictures of the damage if you decide to open a claim.
- Cover any broken windows with a tarp or plastic sheeting.
- Keep all receipts related to repairs.
Does car insurance cover hail damage?
In terms of your car insurance, damage caused by hail should be covered under a policy that includes Comprehensive or All Perils coverage. Comprehensive coverage protects your car from damage that’s caused from things like falling objects, fire, theft, vandalism, getting struck by lightning, earthquakes, and windstorms (which often go hand-in-hand with hailstorms… lucky us). It’s the part of your auto insurance that covers damage from everything that’s not a collision (that’s covered under Collision coverage). All Perils includes everything that’s under Comprehensive and Collision, plus a little extra: if your car gets stolen by an employee, someone working at the repair shop, or even by someone living in your home.
Comprehensive and All Perils coverage can be easily added onto your auto insurance policy, if they’re not already included. If you’re unsure of what coverages your policy includes, you can talk to your insurance provider and top up your coverage if needed. We recommend making sure you have protection against hail, especially if you live in the Prairies, where hailstorms are a little more frequent than the rest of Canada.