How to protect your car before a hailstorm

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The first thing you’ll want to do if you don’t have a garage or covering is protect your car’s glass. Here are some quick, easy ways.

HOUSTON — If you’ve lived in Texas through a spring season, then you probably know how nasty a spring hailstorm can be. If you’re new to the Lone Star State or you need a reminder, here’s what to do if you don’t have a garage or covering for your car and there’s a threat of hail.

The first thing you’ll want to do is protect your car’s glass, like the front and back windshield, and sunroof, and push in those side mirrors.

One item most of us have lying around the house is a comforter. A comforter, or large heavy blanket, can help weaken the impact of large hail stones on your glass, but it’s not always effective when used alone. If we have a tarp, and bungee cords, secure it over your windshields as a base layer. Then, if you have at least one large cardboard box slide it under your secured tarp for insulation, especially in windy conditions. Use a bag or two of gardening soil to add extra hold for the taro and provide protection for your sunroof.

A piece of cardboard or windshield cover can be used for the back windshield. Secured it by tucking the sides in the back hatch.

Avoid parking under trees as the Houston area is known for falling trees and branches in high winds and saturated ground.

What is hail?

Hail is a solid type of precipitation consisting of balls or irregular lumps of ice. A hailstone is formed during a storm when strong updrafts carry water droplets high enough into the atmosphere that they freeze. Once the ice becomes too heavy, it falls to the ground, according to AAA.

We usually see hailstorms in spring and summer because the warm temperatures and high humidity help fuel storms that create hail.

Will my insurance cover hail damage?

The not-so-easy answer is, that it depends. If you have comprehensive coverage, then yes. If you have basic liability or collision coverage, then your vehicle is not protected against hail damage, according to AAA.

That’s because liability insurance is used to pay the other driver’s medical bills and property damage in a crash where you are found at fault, not yours.

AAA says that comprehensive coverage usually requires a deductible and takes care of damage from hail, storms, vandalism, and theft.

Your best bet though, is to get your car to a garage or covered space to avoid or minimize damage as much as possible.

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