Weather Center

How to Protect Your Vehicle from a Hailstorm

By Staci Parks 2.3.20

Nothing triggers springtime anxiety in Texans quite like the violent “THUMP!” of hail hitting a vehicle’s roof — or worse, its windshield. Despite advances in modern weather technology, it’s still difficult for meteorologists to predict and pinpoint hailstorms — especially in Texas.

Between 2016 and 2018, the Lone Star State led the nation in hail-loss insurance claims with 811,381 filed, according to a National Insurance Crime Bureau report. In fact, two Texas cities (San Antonio and Plano) were among the top five cities in the country with the most reported hail-loss claims during that time.

Hailstorms may be unpredictable, but there are measures you can take to protect your vehicle.

How to Protect Your Vehicle from a Hailstorm

1. Keep up with severe-weather alerts and download weather apps so you can plan in advance; perhaps do some spring-cleaning in your garage to clear a space for your vehicle.

2. Reconsider your auto insurance deductible.
“Make sure that your deductible is set at something you can comfortable afford to pay,” advises Eryn Reedy, a Texas Farm Bureau Insurance Agent in Mineral Wells. “A lot of people opt to go with a $1,000 deductible because it makes their auto policy a little bit cheaper. Well, if you have $5,000 in hail damage, can you afford to pay the $1,000 deductible to get your car fixed? Make sure [your deductible is] something you’re comfortable paying in the event of a loss.”

3. If don’t have access to covered parking, cover your car with blankets, pillows, and tarps. Or take a creative cue from these North Texans and use pool floats and bags of mulch as protection from Mother Nature’s wrath.

4. If you’re driving during a hailstorm, try to find a safe, covered area — such as a carport, a parking garage, or a parking lot with an awning — to wait out the storm. If possible, leave your vehicle for a sturdier structure. Find more on sheltering from severe weather here.

After the Hailstorm

Once you and your family members are safe, it’s time to assess the damage. Reedy suggests taking the following actions:

1. Call your Texas Farm Bureau Insurance Agent to start a claim.
“So many people are worried about filing a hail claim or a Mother Nature-induced claim against their vehicle,” Reedy says. “A hail claim is considered a comprehensive claim at Texas Farm Bureau Insurance, so it will not count against you on your insurance, in the way an at-fault auto accident would.”

2. Try to prevent further damage.
This can be as simple as placing a tarp over your car’s smashed windshield to keep the interior from getting wet.

3. Be patient with your assigned adjuster.
In the event of a large storm that generates a lot of claims, our claims adjusters try to work as quickly and efficiently as possible, Reedy says. They try to work on the most urgent cases first — vehicles with a shattered windshield or a home with a leaking roof tend to take priority over minimal body damage to a vehicle. So, a little patience can go a long way in the claims process.

Prepare your vehicle for surprise hailstorms by talking to your Texas Farm Bureau Insurance Agent about the coverage you need.

Coverage and discounts are subject to qualifications and policy terms and may vary by situation. © 2020 Texas Farm Bureau Insurance