For many of us, our car is our pride and joy.

So, it's no surprise when we hear the word ‘hail' or see a green tinge in the sky, we start to worry.

Hail damage can be incredibly inconvenient. And although Budget Direct covers damage to cars caused by storms, it's usually better to minimise and prevent potential damage now, rather than deal with the outcome later.

So, if you're looking to avoid dealing with a hail-damaged car, check out our tips below.

Stay Safe

Getting caught in a storm can be scary, especially if you're driving in the open. Even if it's not a hail storm, driving in wet weather can make it hard to see and affect tyre grip.

So, if you're looking to stay safe when driving through a storm and avoid hail damage, here are some steps you can take:

  • Pull off the road and wait out the storm to avoid excessive hail damage, if it's safe to do so.
  • Never drive through floodwater. If it's flooded, forget it.
  • Do what you can to protect your car, but don't risk your safety during a hail storm — that's why you have car insurance.

Get Hail Hero

When the storm season hits, it's worth keeping an eye on the weather so you're not caught by surprise. But constantly checking the forecast can be time-consuming in the lead-up to a bad weather event.

Enter Hail Hero, an award-winning SMS weather alerts system. The service is provided free for all Budget Direct Car Insurance customers and will automatically send alerts when you buy a policy.

About 10 minutes before a potential hailstorm is due to hit the postcode where your car is normally kept, we'll text you hail alerts to give you an early warning.

This could give you the time you need to get your car under cover before a severe weather event leaves you with a hail-damaged car.

Find Shelter

Whether you're parking your vehicle in a garage, under an awning or in an undercover car park, any kind of shelter could help save you from having to deal with a seriously hail-damaged car.

However, a key safety tip to remember is not to park under trees or anything that isn't tied down to avoid causing worse damage than what a few hail stones could do.

Protect Your Car

For the times when you can't find cover quickly enough, avoiding hail damage can be a bit trickier.

If you live in an area that's prone to storms, it might be worth keeping some old, thick blankets, picnic blankets or a car cover in the boot or backseat.

If it's safe to get out of your car, these could be used to cover your parked car to avoid cosmetic hail damage or other severe damage.

In a pinch, you could even use your car's floor mats to protect your windscreen from hail damage and potentially avoid spending more money down the track.

Consider Car Insurance to Cover Hail Damage

Despite all these precautions, sometimes you just can't avoid hail damage to your car - but that's why you have car insurance cover.

Generally, a comprehensive car insurance policy can protect your car if it's damaged by hail or other extreme weather events including storm damage and floods.

The cost of car insurance and insurance premiums can change depending on the level of risk your vehicle has of being damaged by hail and other weather events. Then, in the case of an incident, you'll have to pay an up-front excess to help get your car repaired.

Damaged cars can range from being a quick fix to a repairable write-off or a written-off vehicle if it's deemed unroadworthy.

However, in many cases with hail, the damage can be easily repaired and the right car insurance policy can help you get back on the road in no time.

Before buying your policy, you should tell your car insurance provider if you have any pre-existing hail damage to ensure you don't risk missing out on key cover.

Whether you have a new car or a used car, some general advice is to always check the relevant product disclosure statement to make sure you're choosing the right cover for your own vehicle.