Hail and flood damage preventation and insurance – vehicle and property
How do you prevent hail or flood damage or insure insure yourself against them? From November to January, especially in the Highveld, thunderstorms, sometimes coupled with severe hail and damage, are a frequent occurence. 

The damage caused by hail can easily run into tens of thousands of rands, but there are quite inexpensive measures you can take to insure both buildings and vehicles against hail damage.

“Damage can be minimised if you take certain precautions,” says Shehnaz Somers, head of personal lines underwriting at Santam.
Precautions to prevent or limit hail damage

Preventing hail and flood damage on the road

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  • Vehicle owners should follow weather reports closely during summer to lessen the risk of being caught in major thunderstorms while driving â?? in severe cases hail can be 20cm deep and the size of cricket balls.

  • If a hailstorm starts while driving (or rain gets very heavy), find a shelter such as petrol station, undercover shopping mall parking or even a bridge.

  • If there is no shelter nearby, pull over to a safe area because hail will cause more damage to a moving vehicle.

  • Avoid driving through deep water. When in ANY doubt, don’t do it â?? vehicles can get swept away.

  • If parked in the driveway, or if there is no parking garage, vehicle owners should layer their vehicles with thick blankets to minimise the impact of hailstones, these can be bought cheaply and left in the boot of the vehicle.

  • If you drive, drive with your headlights on (on dim).

Preventing hail and floo damage at home

  • It is important to clear gutters of leaves, twigs and any other debris regularly.  Hail takes a while to melt and an overflowing gutter could lead to a leaking roof and further damage.

  • When fitting gutters, quality matters.  Better quality gutters are able to withstand increased water flow during rainfall and hailstorms.

  • When building, it’s sensible to opt for impact resistant roofing as it will prevent any serious damage to the roof structure.

  • Hailstones have been recorded to be as big as 7cm in diameter and can cause irreparable damage, especially to vehicles.

Hail damage insurance – good news
“The good news is that general insurance taken out for household covers this sort of damage and the same principle is extended for motor vehicle insurance.  It is advised that policy holders check with their brokers or insurers to ensure that they are appropriately covered for hail and flood damage,” concludes Sanlam’s Somers.

Photo courtesy of: k4dordy