What should I do if I am driving during a hail storm?

Hail is something that we experience a lot of in the Denver Metro Area. It can be a powerful force that can damage cars, houses, and you personally. That is why we at Ken Garry Insurance Agency want to make sure that you know what to do if you get stuck in hail.

9.29.2014 Hail 2 2

If you are driving:

  • Stay in your vehicle!
    • I know that our vehicles are our babies. We love them and many times they become a part of our identity, but please don’t try to save your car by putting yourself at risk. Your car can take more damage than your body can.
  • Safely lower your speed.
    • When you lower your speed, you’re able to assess the area better. You also lower the risk of the hail damaging your vehicle.
  • Allow more distance between cars.
    • When you add more distance between cars, you lower the risk of rear ending another driver. Driving in hail can be a lot like driving in snow. It piles up and can cause you to lose traction and stopping power. This becomes especially dangerous when you add water build-up and the possibility of hydroplaning into the mix.
  • Pay attention to the other drivers on the road.
    • You may be the best hail driver in the world, but you could be driving next to a driver who doesn’t have any experience. All it takes is a split second for an accident to occur.
  • Stop driving and pull into a safe area.
    • This is to minimize the damage. When you’re driving, your speed can affect how hard the hail hits your vehicle.
    • Try to pull over under an underpass, in a gas station with a covering, or a parking garage.
    • If you have to pull over on the street, make sure to park on the shoulder, not in any traffic lanes. Avoid any ditches due to flash flood risk.
  • Park & angle your car so the hail is hitting the windshield.
    • Make sure that the hail is hitting the most reinforced window, the windshield. Windshields are designed to take more damage and are less prone to breaking.
  • Protect yourself from possible debris.
    • Keep your back to your windows, lie down, and protect yourself by covering yourself with a coat or blanket. This will help protect you in case the windows do break.

9.29.2014 Hail 2

Once the hail is over & the storm has passed:

  • Cover your broken car windows.
    • If your car window is broken, cover it with tarps or plastic sheeting. This will help protect your car from the elements in the days to come.
  • Move wet items to a dry and secure area.
  • Place damaged items in a safe and secure area.
    • This will allow the insurance company to inspect the items at a later time.
  • Inspect your vehicle.
    • Hail damage is not always obvious. When inspecting your vehicle, look for dings, dents, paint chipping, and cracked windows. A clean car in the bright sun can help you see the tiny dings and dents.

Once you have braved the storm & assessed the damage, call your insurance agent to see if you are covered. Hail is covered under the comprehensive portion of your auto policy. If you don’t have comprehensive coverage, the damage will not be covered.

*Information provided by common sense, years of experience, and information from Safeco, Hartford, Progressive, Travelers, MetLife, and Foremost Insurance.

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