The massive hail storm that recently hit Lichtenburg caused extensive damage to properties and vehicles.  With this in mind, Dialdirect is once again urging South Africans to be vigilant in protecting themselves and their assets during hail season.

“Although vehicles are usually the hardest hit, major hail storms also result in millions of rands in damages to roofs, windows, sliding doors, skylights, garden and outdoor equipment. Make sure that both your vehicle, home owners and household insurance adequately covers you against damage to property caused by hail,” says Warwick Scott-Rodger, Head of Dialdirect Insurance.

Dialdirect offers the following tips to keep in mind during a hail storm:

In general:

  • Keep a close eye on the weather forecast and any up-to-the-minute websites, apps or networks that can alert you to an approaching hail storm.
  • If you are in a place that offers shelter against an approaching storm, rather stay put until the storm has subsided.

On the road:

  • Don’t park under trees as there is a risk of falling branches and debris.
  • If you are on the road and get caught in a hail storm, look for cover. This could include a covered car park or a petrol station. Take extreme care when pulling-over, put on your hazard lights, and don’t risk your safety or the safety of others by dashing madly for cover. Stay in your car and only leave the safety of your sheltered spot when the storm has passed.
  • If there is no shelter nearby, motorists are urged to pull-over onto the side of the road if it is safe to do so. In an unsheltered spot, hail damage is inevitable but, it is safer not to drive through a storm when visibility is poor, the roads are slick and there is a risk of aquaplaning through deep pools of water and hail.
  • Remember that, with the sudden drop in temperature during a hail storm, your car’s windows will be more prone to fogging up, hampering visibility, so make sure that your car’s defogger is working properly.

At home:

  • Gutters should be kept clean and free of debris to channel ice and water away from the roof.
  • Outdoor equipment and furniture should be moved undercover if possible when a heavy storm is forecast.
  • Roof structures should be checked to ensure that they won’t buckle under the weight of the hail in the event of a blocked drainage system.

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