Car owners beware: hail is on the way 

Posted: 27 October 2020 5:04 pm

Severe hailstorms are forecast for the east coast of Australia this week and car-owners are being warned of potential damage.

Earlier this year, the Bureau of Meteorology warned that a La Niña weather system would bring heavy rain, severe storms and tropical cyclones to much of east coast Australia.

This weekend, we began to see the first of that unwelcome weather as thousands were left without power in regional Brisbane and landslides were triggered in Sydney.

Several hail warnings were also issued across Queensland and NSW, bringing back bad memories for many car-owners who had their vehicles damaged by storms in previous seasons.

If you're among them, or you narrowly missed a major repair bill last time around, it might be time to consider how you can best protect your car from dangerous hail as we head into a particularly wet and wild few months.

How can I protect my car?

  • Shelter - Finding a sheltered place to park your car is the best way to protect it from hail. If you don't have access to a carport or garage, consider renting a spot from someone nearby.
  • Car covers - If shelter is out of the question, it might be worth investing in a car cover. You can even get ones which are specifically designed to protect against hailstones.
  • Weather alerts - Signing up to local weather alerts could give you a head start on moving your car if hail is on the way. They're usually free and could save you thousands of dollars.
  • Car insurance - Car insurance won't protect your car from hail but a comprehensive policy will cover the cost of repairs if your car is badly damaged in a storm. That bill could easily be several thousand dollars if you don't have comprehensive car insurance.

How does car insurance cover hail damage?

All comprehensive car insurance policies cover hail damage. However, there are some other benefits which can come in handy such as windscreen replacement and choice of repairer.

The table below lets you compare Finder partners and the benefits they offer which could be particularly useful for drivers worried about hail damage.

Name Product Hail, Storm and Flood Damage Hail Alert System Windscreen Replacement Choice of Repairer
Budget Direct Comprehensive
Australia Post Comprehensive
Bingle Comprehensive
Coles Comprehensive
Virgin Comprehensive
Huddle Black Comprehensive
Youi Comprehensive
Qantas Comprehensive

Compare up to 4 providers

Does choice of repairer really matter?

Choice of repairer is an extra benefit offered by some insurers. It does what it says on the tin and lets you choose your own mechanic or car repairer, rather than having to use the one your insurer prefers.

Being able to choose your own repairer is particularly useful in mass-claim events like hailstorms. While the insurer's preferred repairer risks becoming inundated with jobs, your local technician might be able to return your car to you without much delay.

Picture: GettyImages

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