Oh hail is right! It is indeed that time of year once again in the great State of Oklahoma where the wind really does come sweeping down the plain…sometimes carrying huge ball of ice made ready to destroy our homes and vehicles! Typically hail season begins as early as March but May is generally considered the most active month for such storms. Of course, hail storms can happen anytime as we learned in 2021 – Oklahoma had at least one hail storm every single month of that year…what’s that saying? “If you don’t like the weather here in Oklahoma, wait a minute and it’ll change” (Will Rogers). Regardless if you like the weather or not, since there is nothing to do that can change it, the best that one can do is have a plan in place to mitigate losses from weather events such as hail.
So how can you mitigate losses to your vehicle from a hail storm?
- Garage or Carport
- Having a garage or carport is optimal if you live in Oklahoma. It is certainly the safest and best option as a means of protecting your vehicle from all the things that Mother Nature can throw your way. Since not every home comes with a garage, nor the space to build one, a carport is an affordable option as a means to protect ones vehicles from the elements. Yes, it still comes at some expense, but having such options can sure save one on deductibles. When you consider that the average deductible these days is $1,000 per vehicle, it may make financial sense to go ahead and make the investment into a carport. Not only will it add value as an investment to your home, but over the many years and Oklahoma seasons it will eventually pay for itself in savings of vehicle damages and repair costs due to exposure to the elements.
- A Safe Hiding Place for Storms
- If you do not have a garage or carport, knowing a nearby location where you can put your vehicle can have some value. Of course, you have to consider where you will go after dropping your vehicle off and how you will get there. Finding a safe place to hide with your vehicle is definitely an option to employ if you are away from your home when you find yourself getting caught up in a hail storm. Under bridges, at certain drive-in restaurants (Sonic for instance), car washes, parking garages, and other type places you may be able to find temporary refuge from out of the storms.
- A Hail Storm Cover
- There are many different hail cover products that you can purchase online. If you do not have a garage or a carport, having a hail cover might be a fantastic option for you to check into. AutoGuide.com has a fantastic article on several hail covers they checked out including a list of pros and cons of each option they reviewed.
- Blankets, Comforters, Pads and More…
- You have no doubt heard the phrase of “something is better than nothing” and that is definitely true in the case mitigating hail storm damages to your vehicles. Covering the windows up with cardboard and putting a thick comforter over the vehicle can soften the blows when the hail comes pounding down.
- A Backup Failproof Option
- Listen, you should always consider good insurance as a failproof backup plan when it comes to weather phenomena in Oklahoma and your vehicle. Contact your insurance agent and ensure that you have comprehensive coverage on your vehicle. Make sure you know what your deductible is and that you are comfortable paying it. You might consider lowing your comprehensive deductible in the springtime to a lower amount, and then increasing it back up once you are past the most potentially destructive months – do discuss any changes you might want to make with your insurance agent to determine what would be best for your situation.
Springtime does not have to be a huge stressor, especially if you already have a plan in place to mitigate your exposure both physically and financially. However, no matter how vigilant you are, hail (and hail storm damages) can still happen. When it does, here are some things that you may find helpful to know before you rush to get your vehicle in for a hail repair.