For many of us our car is our pride and joy. So it’s no wonder when we hear the word ‘hail’ or see a green tinge in the sky that we go running for the keys to get ‘her’ to safety.
Melbourne was struck by a particularly devastating storm in December 2017 with golf ball-sized hailstones wrecking havoc on cars and property alike. The State Emergency Service reported that they received hundreds of calls for help after the powerful 125 km/h winds, heavy rain and hailstones blew through. Over 100,000 homes across the state lost power during the storm.
A Budget Direct assessment centre was set up within just two to three days of the storm, designed to give Budget Direct Car Insurance clients the help they needed as quickly as possible. The centre was designed for customers to be serviced by professional hail technicians and to get their vehicles back on the road as quickly as possible.
While Budget Direct covers damage to cars caused by storms, the best way to deal with hail damage is to avoid it completely. Follow these steps to protect your car in the event of a hailstorm.
Getting caught in a storm can be intense and scary, especially in the country, where safety can be many kilometers away.
Even if there is no hail, heavy rain can severely reduce visibility and flood roads.
To stay safe we recommend you:
- Pull off the road and make for the nearest shelter to wait out the storm
- Never drive through flood water
- Do what you can to protect your property, but don’t risk your safety – that’s why you’re insured!
Get Budget Direct’s Hail Hero
Sometimes there’s no time or opportunity to check the forecast or Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) website for weather warnings. Enter Hail Hero, a handy and award-winning* SMS alert system for Budget Direct customers.
About 10 minutes before a potential hailstorm is due to hit the postcode where your car is normally kept, we’ll text you a warning, giving you precious minutes to get your car under cover.
Otherwise, you can keep track of weather services and of course, be aware of the weather itself. However even with weather forecasts and warnings from organisations such as The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM), storms, rain and hail can strike very hard and very fast and often catch people by surprise. We here at Budget Direct strongly recommend any measure that lets you be aware well ahead of time!
Remember to always try to keep informed and respond accordingly. If there is even a chance of a storm causing damage in your area, take steps to avoid the worst of it. Don’t park under trees, and don’t leave your car exposed out in the open!
Have a plan
If a hail storm is bearing down on you and your car, there are things you can do to stay safe and minimise damage, including:
- Find cover – a garage, awning or undercover car park will do. Don’t park under trees or anything else that might blow over in strong winds.
- Keep some old, thick blankets or a car cover in the boot; if you’ve got time, put them on your safely parked car
- At a pinch, use your car’s floor mats to protect its windscreen.
Need to make a claim?
- Gather all the required information, including your policy number and the details of the incident.
- Lodge your claim online or over the phone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- Leave it with us; we’ll get back to you within 2 business days.
* Hail Hero was recognised in the Australian Business Awards Product Innovation category in 2012, and the 2012 Australian Insurance Industry Awards.
This post was brought to you by Budget Direct Car Insurance