Hail season survival guide

3 min read 02 October 2020

Summertime is commonly associated with hail season in the northern parts of South Africa, and short-term insurer, Santam confirmed on Friday afternoon they received the first storm and hail damage reports from Mpumalanga. The South African Weather Service issued a warning earlier this week that Friday would bring thunderstorms for Mpumalanga, Gauteng and Free State with possible strong winds and large amounts of small hail. Hail stones vary vastly in diameter – from the size of marbles to the size of golf balls causing millions of Rands worth of damage each year.

Santam’s personal lines underwriting manager Marius Neethling says: “Hail is an extremely destructive natural weather pattern. Hailstones can measure up to 7 cm in diameter, so it is easy to see why so much irreparable damage is done to vehicles and property. Windscreens are shattered, vehicles dented, roofs damaged and house windows broken.”

The cost to repair and replace vehicles varies according to the severity of the storm and whether the damage could be repaired paintless or not. Not only are the costs crippling, but the repair process can take months, depending on the availability of car parts and the capacity of approved motor body repairers. 

Statistics show an average of six to eight hail days each year in parts of Gauteng and Lesotho, the eastern Free State, KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga. So, how can South Africans living in these parts of the country prepare for the inevitable fallouts of these storms? Neethling offers some tips to help the Northerners be adequately prepared for hailstorms:

If you are on the road or vehicle is parked:

 When you are at home:

“Now is not the time to compromise on your insurance cover – it is very important to know exactly what you are covered for and for what amount.  Consumers should make sure their policies are up to date and take a note of the insurer’s available emergency services. Choose an insurer that assists you in protecting your assets in severe weather situations by sending out weather alerts,” concludes Neethling.