Can I protect my car from hail damage?

With hail season quickly approaching, car owners are preparing the best ways they can to protect their personal property from that annoying time of year we call “Hail Season.” As one of the card-carrying states included in what meteorologists call “Hail Alley” or “Tornado Alley,” Colorado see’s it’s fair share of damaging hail storm. In fact, Colorado ranked 2nd place for most hail claims in 2017.

Hail Fact: This region, known as hail alley, lies predominantly within the states of Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, and Wyoming. While their domain of greatest frequency is in the plains states, hailstorms have been observed just about everywhere thunderstorms occur.Federal Alliance for Safe Homes 

    1. Do car covers protect against hail?
      Sometimes cars, like people, need protection from extreme conditions. For humans, it’s easy. We have basements to protect ourselves from extreme winds and tornados. When the roads are covered with ice, we can put chains on our tires to help keep us on the road. For cars, unless we have a garage or carport to provide shelter during the worst of weathers, we can simply cross our fingers and hope for the best. Or do we? Car owners can be very inventive in the case of an emergency. For example, comforters can create a great barrier between hail and your vehicle. Companies like Hail Protector have stepped up to the challenge and invented a sort of “hail barrier” that literally looks like some sort of space house or blow-up silver shed that completely covers the vehicle.  In a nutshell, you simply cover the vehicle with the huge silver blanket and blow it up. Wa-la! Safe and sound. The blanket comes in 7 sizes to fit any vehicle. Amazon sells it for $429 and it’s buyers give it a 4.5-star review. The Hail Protector is one of many hail blanket varieties but the Hail Protector is the highest rated and most widely used.
      One reviewer says,
      “PERSONALLY TESTED: From the great personal attention to truly testing this product, it is worth the price for “peace of mind” when hail is around the corner. I have a truck that is too long to fit in my garage. So, I purchased the Hail Protector as I live in Texas and with Spring comes some damaging storms. The timing couldn’t have been better. Two days after receiving my cover, it hailed up to baseball size hail in some areas. Saw the warnings using the app provided with the cover. Monitored the storms developing throughout the day. Put the cover on the truck, pushed the button and no more concerns. (except for the rest of the house and property). In the morning, removed the cover, rolled it up and placed it back in the handy bag it came with for the next storm. We all have insurance to repair our vehicles, but we also don’t have the time to deal with it. ROI on this cover for me is the time, cost and inconvenience it saves me from having to deal with insurance, car rentals and body shops.”
    2. Will a tarp protect a car from hail?
      A tarp might protect your car from hail damage if the hailstones are relatively small. If the hail is larger than dime-size, you could see some hail damage. A comforter plus a tarp will provide a better barrier from hail damage.
      Progressive says, 
      “Use blankets or a hail car cover. —If you don’t have a shelter option, and you know a storm is coming, get something over your car. Some companies sell car covers specific to this purpose, but you can use your own blankets, as well.”
    3. Invest in Comprehensive Insurance Coverage. Comprehensive Insurance Policies are required for vehicles with an outstanding bank loan. This is because the lender knows their investment is protected. Damage caused by collision, hail, tornadoes, fire, flooding, and wind damage is covered under the policy.  If you live in an area prone to damaging hail storms and you value your investment, spend the extra money and get Comprehensive Insurance Coverage. Save yourself from a lot of hassle and money, especially in the middle of the country (especially Denver), and get the upgrade.
    4. Covered Parking. If you live somewhere that offers covered parking or have a garage, you are good-to-go. If you don’t have immediate access to covered parking, now is the perfect time to do your research.
      1. Denver International Airport. If you live near DIA, one hour of parking will cost you around $30.
      2. Downtown Denver Parking.  Live in downtown Denver, reserve a couple of covered parking hours for approximately $12.

To learn more about protecting yourself and your property from hail, read the “How to prepare for hail season” article.