When talking about a storm, most people think of tornadoes and hurricanes. However, there is another type of storm that can be just as damaging – hail.
Hail is a ball of ice that falls from the sky, ranging in sizes from a pea to a softball and can fall at speeds up to 72 mph.
In the past two decades, hailstorms have, on average, caused between $8 billion and $14 billion in damages per year. According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau from 2018 through 2020, hail claims increased 2% from 832,377 to 849,033 and hail questionable claims submission increased 34% from 1,462 to 1,958.
What causes hailstorms?
Hail is formed when raindrops are pushed by thunderstorm updrafts into parts of the atmosphere with freezing temperatures. The rain droplets combine with other water vapors and form frozen chunks of ice – we call these hailstones. When the hailstone gets heavy enough to break through the updraft, it drops out of the sky (NSSL.NOAA.gov), Multiple hailstones dropped is considered a hailstorm. Hailstorms can cause serious damage to your property.
How to recognize if a hailstorm is coming?
Can you imagine how alarming it must’ve been for people to experience ice hailing from the sky before people knew what hailstorms were? Thankfully in today’s age, we know what causes hailstorms and how to recognize if one is on the way. As mentioned above, thunderstorm updrafts play a big part in developing hail; so spotting thunderstorm clouds in the sky is a good indicator that a hailstorm may be looming. If you see gray clouds, thunder, lightning and feel a swift drop in temperatures – it could be a sign that a hailstorm may be on the way. Hailstorms typically occur between May and September. Luckily, meteorologists can usually read if conditions are ripe for a hailstorm and can provide warning.
Some ways to prevent hail damage to your car:
- Check the weather app for your area to see if hail is being predicted
- When possible, park your car somewhere with overhead coverage – like a overhang. A good option is a mall that has parking garages. Your car then stays protected while you shop and wait out the storm, sounds like a win!
- If you do not have a garage at home, think about purchasing a car cover for your car. If you live in an area where hailstorms happen frequently, this cover could save you major money. Covering your car can reduce the risk of hail damage by up to 80%. The covers are inexpensive, easy to install and offer great protection from hailstorms.
Now, let’s say your car did suffer some hail damage. Your car can still be in tip-top shape if you avoid these costly mistakes that some people have made.
- Some people will look at their car and think the damage is very light and doesn’t need fixing. The dents hail leaves behind can rust over time causing drastic looks to your car affecting the value. Get it inspected by a professional.
- Do. Not. DIY. Sure, you might be good at other DIY things but when it comes to your car, let the professionals take care of it.
- Lastly, do not wait until after hail season to get your car fixed. Waiting to get your car fixed could cause further damage to the car. This could result in more money spent to fix it and more time without the use of your car while it is being fixed.
A Hailstorm cannot be avoided but being prepared with adequate insurance can make those times a lot easier. Call your insurance company today to see if you are covered!