Unfortunately, it won't be raining men
For the past two years, hail storms have left a catastrophic trail of destruction, desolating thousands upon thousands of cars and homes. This year, we are urging our policyholders to be prepared as hail season is right around the corner!
South Africa's summer rains usually start in October and last until March or April. They are characterised by late afternoon thunderstorms that often involve lightning and hail. That said, hail storms are often unpredictable and while the South African Weather Service can predict a large storm two days before it hits, radar can only pick up hail stones in the clouds 30 minutes or so before they drop to earth.
In an effort to keep you and you possessions safe and sound, here are a few tips on what to do when the hail hits:
- To reduce your risk of being caught in a storm, take heed of 1st for Women's SMS weather alert service which forewarns policyholders of adverse weather conditions. This SMS service is free and automatically available to all 1st for Women policyholders.
Proctect your car
- When hail is forecasted, try to make arrangements to park your car undercover and delay travelling until the storm has subsided.
- If you are caught in a hail storm, look for cover. This could include a covered car park, a petrol station or under a bridge. However, take extreme care when pulling-over, put on your hazard lights, and don't risk your safety or the safety of others by dashing madly for cover.
- Don't park under trees as there is a danger of falling branches and debris. Stay in your car and only leave the safety of your sheltered spot when the storm has passed.
- If there is no shelter nearby, motorists are urged to pull-over onto the side of the road if it is safe to do so. In an unsheltered spot, hail damage is inevitable but, it is safer not to drive through a storm when visibility is poor, the roads are slick and there is a risk of aquaplaning through deep pools of water and hail.
- Another idea is to keep heavy blankets in your car. This will provide you with a protective covering you can throw over the bonnet of your car to prevent hail damage.
Protect your house
- At home, steps can be taken to mimimise damage to property. Gutters should be kept clean and free of debris to channel ice and water away from the roof.
- Outdoor equipment and furniture should be moved undercover if possible when a heavy storm is forecasted.
- Do I have to submit my claim immediately? No, you don't have to call us immediately. We have extended our business hours in order to accommodate all the incoming calls.
- When will my vehicle be booked in to be repaired? A date for your vehicle to be repaired will be discussed and agreed to with you on the day of the pre-assessment.
- Why do I need to take my vehicle to be pre-assessed? We pre-assess a vehicle so that we are able to determine the severity of the damages sustained. We would be able to decide on the most efficient, effective and time-saving repair process, once we know the extent of the damages.
In the event that you were caught in a hailstorm, you can visit our claims link where you'll be able to login or register to submit your claim online. Alternatively, you can call us on 0860 21 21 43 and one of our friendly consultants will assist you.