Hail Season – Tips to stay safe
Summertime is here, and for most parts of South Africa summer comes with hail season. Most of us dread hails storms as they can be extremely destructive and can cause a lot of damage. Hailstones can measure up to 7 cm in diameter and these stones can cause irreparable damage to your vehicles and property.
Hail damage on vehicles can be severe and the cost to repair and replace varies depending on the severity of the storm and the damage it has caused. Not only are the costs crippling, but the repair process can take months, depending on the availability of car parts and the capacity of approved motor body repairers.
Statistics show an average of six to eight hail days each year in parts of Gauteng, the eastern Free State, KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga. So, how can South Africans living in these parts of the country prepare for the inevitable fallouts of these storms?
We have put together some tips on how you can survive and prepare for a hailstorm:-
Keep a close eye on the weather forecast, weather alert apps or networks that can alert you to approaching storms. Most insurance companies also issue warnings to their clients when a storm is approaching. When you are on the lookout it makes preparation easier.
If you are on the road and get caught in a hailstorm, drive slowly as the road could be slippery, locate a safe covered area or temporary shelter immediately. This could be a petrol station, undercover parking at malls or pull over overpass, provided it is safe to do so.
Stay inside the vehicle. Large hailstones pose genuine injury threats, put on your hazards lights, take extreme care and don’t risk your safety or safety of others.
If there is no shelter nearby, pull over to the side of the road if it is safe to do so, though damage is inevitable it is safer not to drive through a storm.
Keep fleecy blankets in your boot so you can cover your car to minimize the impact of hail.
When you are at home:
Keep your gutters clean. It is important to clear gutters of leaves, twigs and any other debris regularly. Hail takes a while to melt and an overflowing gutter could lead to a leaking roof and further damage. Hail buildup is also heavy so make sure that the guttering is sound and in good order.
Trimming trees close to your house helps get rid of branches that can cause severe damage during a storm.
Keep your blinds down. Make sure you close all curtains, blinds or shutters to prevent broken window glass and hailstones from entering your home and injuring you or your family.
Roof structures should be checked to ensure that they will not buckle under the weight of hail.
Outdoor equipment and furniture should be moved undercover if possible.
At home park your car in the garage or sheltered undercover area.
Ensure that you are adequately covered against hail damage in your insurance policy so that you have cover when you need it.
It is very important to know exactly what you are covered for and for what amount, make sure your policy is up to date.
Note your insurer’s available emergency services and contact numbers.
If you are affected by hail, immediately report the incident to your insurer.
Document the damage as soon as possible and keep records for all clean up costs to simplify your claims experience
Take careful note of the extent of the damage to your car, look for damage to all glass items including side mirrors, taillights and headlights. Taking pictures may be useful when it comes to the claims stage.
Contact one of our advisors for more information.
Phone: 011 803 9686