What to do when hail damages your car

Car Insurance Car Safety 3 min read 21 October 2016

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What to do when hail damages your car


More than R2 billion in claims were paid out following the massive hail storm which sent hail the size of golf balls pelting down onto Gauteng cars and homes on 27 November 2013. There have been other hail storms since but industry insiders agree – when a hail storm breaks out during peak hour traffic, it can prove disastrous for most vehicle owners.


It doesn’t take hail stones the size of a R5 coin to dent the bonnet or damage the window of your car. Even a small hail storm can cause significant damage. Here are five things to remember the next time you are caught in a hail storm:


  1. Stop driving the vehicle if you can. Hail falls at very fast speeds and if you continue moving, it will impact the vehicle at a greater speed that may cause more damage. If you need to drive to a safe spot, try do so at less than 50 km/hour.
  2. Try to pull into a safe place so that the hail doesn’t shatter your windscreen or your car’s windows. In view of traffic safety, do not to stop under an overpass. Go to a petrol station or any shopping area with undercover parking if you can.
  3. If you can’t find undercover shelter and you don’t have a hail blanket, turn your car so that the hail is hitting it from the front and not the back. Windscreens are reinforced to withstand strong forces from the front to provide additional personal protection. If there is damage to your car, call your insurance company and report the damage. You can discuss the repair process with your insurer as well. Comprehensive insurance generally provides cover for the insured event hail.
  4. Wait until the hail storm has completely cleared before carry on driving. If you find that your car is not driveable, contact your insurer, to arrange a tow-in service provider to assist.


Get cover against hail damage


Santam offers cover for your car in the event that it is damaged as a result of a hail storm. Our offering includes:


  • Comprehensive cover: Comprehensive cover for your car (excludes third party only and limited cover options for vehicles) and home, standard with your personal insurance policy.
  • Excess:  Standard excess, no additional excess for hail-related claims. 
  • SOS services: Six free SOS services to all personal lines clients.


If you’d like more information about protecting your car against hail damage, visit our car advice page or call Santam on 0860 444 444.