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How to protect your car from storm and hail damage
Australian residents are pretty used to unpredictable weather. When Neil Finn began writing ‘Four Seasons in One Day’ in his East St Kilda flat in 1992, he had Melbourne’s changeable weather in mind. Scorching hot one minute, and freezing, with hail, the next. And it’s not just Victoria’s capital that’s susceptible to so many seasons in one day – all around Australia wild weather can be felt in different ways.
Know the forecast
Though it can change, it’s always a good idea to know the weather forecast in advance. It can help you to anticipate if there’s any weather heading your way that could be potentially dangerous to you or your car. Being ahead of the game – by listening or reading the news, checking an app on your mobile, or keeping up to date with weather forecast websites – means you’ll have more time to prepare if you need to.
Prepare for anything
The best way to keep your car protected from the weather is in a car port or garage, however that’s not always an option for everyone.
Maybe you live in a city, with an exposed car park, or you could even be out and about or at work when a storm passes through. If this is the case, you could consider purchasing a hail cover for protection. Depending on the size of the hail, a hail cover may not prevent damage entirely, but it is likely to reduce it. Just don’t forget to practice putting it on your car before a storm hits so that you know how long it takes to secure.
It’s also important to think about where you’re parking, and plan ahead. If you know a storm is approaching it’s best to avoid parking under trees – falling branches are extremely hazardous – and within areas that you know are prone to flooding.
If you encounter challenging weather conditions while you’re driving, the most important thing is to keep yourself safe. Extreme weather can be dangerous and affect the road conditions, particularly during and after hail or heavy rain, causing it to become slippery or soft. If you find yourself in a situation like this, make sure you:
- Drive slowly and with caution
- Turn your lights on, and
- If visibility is affected, pull over to the side of the road and wait for it to improve.
It can be scary to find yourself driving in these conditions. Take things slowly, stop completely if it’s safe to do so or seek out shelter under an awning - like at a petrol station or covered car park. Never increase your speed because you think you can beat the oncoming storm – this could lead to an accident.
Organise your cover
Car insurance is another form of protection against the elements. Because the unexpected can happen, no matter how well you prepare, it can be good to know you potentially won’t have to pay a fortune for repairs.
AAMI Car Insurance, Motorcycle Insurance, NSW and ACT CTP Insurance, and Caravan Insurance are issued by AAI Limited ABN 48 005 297 807 AFSL 230859 (AAI) trading as AAMI. Consider the Product Disclosure Statement before making a decision about this insurance. This advice has been prepared without taking into account your particular objectives, financial situations or needs, so you should consider whether it is appropriate for you before acting on it.