May 9, 2012

Protecting A New Car From Hail Damage

Your car is your second largest investment. Many people realize the importance of buying auto insurance either because it is required by state law, or because of a requirement by the finance company. Most people shop for cheap car insurance to save money. It is not unusual for people to decline coverage for acts of nature. However, violent weather is a reality that can cause millions of dollars worth of damage. Underinsured vehicles are often damaged to the point that repairs either are not feasible or leave the owner with an unexpected financial burden of paying for repairs.

Yesterday alone there were 63 hailstorms in 13 states. Oklahoma's freak storm hit unexpectedly. Softball sized hail rained down causing destruction into the millions of dollars.

Many people are forced to leave their vehicles outdoors exposed to the elements. There are, of course, products on the market to protect your car from hail damage, such as the car cover that inflates with the touch of a button on a remote so the owner does not have to leave the safety of a nearby building. The manufacturer recommends that the cover be placed over the car every time it is to be parked for an extended period of time.

Most people do not own an inflatable car cover. However, almost everybody owns old blankets, quilts and comforters. If you are unable to park your car in a garage or covered shelter, then covering with blankets may be your next option. A heavy wet blanket will most likely not blow away in a strong wind and can be effective protection.

If you are driving and are suddenly hit by a dangerous storm, stay inside your vehicle. If possible, drive to a protective covering such as a covered fueling pavilion at a gas station, a bridge or a parking garage. If those are not available, pull to the side of the road. If possible, protect the windows with cardboard or plastic bags. Do not roll down the windows in order to add protection. If you have nothing to protect your car, then just stay parked until the danger has passed. Your car will sustain less damage if it is parked and it will protect you from being injured.

If you are buying auto insurance on a bright sunny day, you may be less inclined to feel the need to buy protection against the actions of Mother Nature. Remember, not every day is sunny, and violent storms are a fact of life. You may think saving a few dollars a month by buying cheap car insurance is the best option for you. But remember, the massive damage to an underinsured vehicle can be financially devastating.