For many Canadians, summer also means hailstorm season is here.
From June to September each year, it’s not uncommon to see storms with hail the size of tennis balls! This usually happens when high winds and strong thunder clouds combine. In June of 2020, a hailstorm in Calgary caused over $1.2 billion in damages to homes, cars, and businesses. It was one of the costliest storms in Canadian history. Luckily, we have a few tips that can help you reduce hail damage and keep your home and car safe.
Hailstorms are becoming more common and more severe every year, so it’s important to protect yourself and your property from costly damage. We’re sharing a few ways you can prepare for a hailstorm, protect your property and stay safe during bad weather!
Don’t wait for hail to start – prepare now!
There are a few things you can do ahead of time, to prevent or reduce damage to your home and car.
- Keep your home in great condition! Whether you own or rent a home, it’s important to ensure it’s maintained in good condition. For example, repairing any loose fences, peeling roof shingles, or drafty windows ahead of time, will prevent these issues from getting much worse or causing damage during a storm. In many cases, you’ll also save money by repairing them ahead of time.
- Clear debris from eaves troughs. This will ensure water goes where it’s supposed to, preventing it from getting into the foundation of your home or causing any other damage.
- Install a sump pump. These pumps remove water from your basement in case of a flood. Even though sump pumps cannot prevent flood damage completely, they can significantly reduce the damages and cost of repairs.
- Consider installing strong window shutters or impact resistant windows to prevent any damage to your windows. Windows are one of the more delicate parts of your home, so being able to protect them during a storm is a huge plus!
- Window safety film is also a great option to keep glass from shattering after any impact from hail. This can also help prevent injuries from broken glass.
- Use waterproof underlayment and high-quality roofing shingles when reroofing your home.
- If you have any trees near your home, make sure they’re healthy! A healthy tree is a strong tree, so make sure any dead trees or branches are removed so they don’t fall. during a storm!
Finally, it’s important to make sure you have insurance the right insurance coverage in place. With proper coverage, you’re protecting yourself from any unforeseen repair costs. If you’re not sure about your policy details, deductible, replacement values, and coverage limits, contact your broker to find out. You can find a local BrokerLink broker simply by contacting us!
How to prepare for hail right before a storm
Preparing for hailstorms ahead of time helps provide some peace of mind, but it’s also important to check a few things just before and during a storm.
- Be weather ready. Monitor the forecast regularly, for updates on the weather conditions.
- Try to find a covered or protected parking spot for your car. Cars are especially vulnerable in hail storms and high winds, so it’s best to park your car in a covered area. If you have a garage, clear some space to park your car. Underground parking is also a great option if that’s available near your home.
- Cover and secure any loose items outside. In high winds, almost anything can be blown around! Check to make sure items like your barbeque, patio furniture, and garbage bins are secure. Alternatively, keep them safe by storing them in the garage.
Keeping you and your family safe during a hail storm
When the hail storm comes, following these guidelines could help keep you and your family safe.
- Be ready for a power outage. Keep spare batteries on hand and charge your laptop and phone in case there’s a power outage. Unplug any sensitive electronics to protect them from electrical surges.
- Stay away from windows and doors. Even if you have shutters or window safety film, it’s best not to take chances! Stay in the centre of your home, far from any windows or doors in case they break.
- The safest place is your home. Unless otherwise directed by authorities, stay home! It’s one of the safest places to be during a big storm. If you can’t get home in time, find shelter in a safe building, away from windows.
- For more tips on how you can prepare for emergencies, read our Emergency preparedness blog post!
After the storm
Even though these tips can help prevent or reduce damage, we know that mishaps can still happen and we’re here to help. If there’s damage to your home or car, follow these easy steps when it’s safe to do so:
- Take pictures of the damage. Pictures will help the insurance company assess the damage and required repairs.
- Make any necessary temporary repairs. For example, covering a broken window on your car can help prevent any further damage from the elements.
These tips will help keep you, your family, your home, and your car safe during the next hail storm. Its summer, storms happen, so make sure you have insurance protection that fits your needs. Contact our insurance experts at BrokerLink – they’ll help you find the coverage you need!