How To Protect your Car from Hail Damage in Alberta

How To Protect your Car from Hail Damage in Alberta

5 Tips to Guard Against Hail Damage – On and Off Alberta Roads

A Stormy Start for the Alberta Hail Season

Hail damage Alberta season is upon us, and it’s more intense than ever. Last year in Western Canada, July and August tallied insured losses from of $181 million. (IBC) So far in 2020, we’re off to a crazy start. Calgary’s ‘monster’ hailstorm on June 13th ravaged cars and homes with estimates of $1 billion in insured losses.

As a car owner, how can you avoid a hefty car insurance bill and save your car from the ravages of hail? Alberta’s hail season runs from May until September. So it’s essential to get acquainted with tips and tricks to protect against this mighty peril.

What is Hail damage?

Although hail and snow are both solid forms of water, they are different from one another. Think of them as two music fans, one into classical music and the other into death metal.

The most upsetting thing about hail is the absence of fluff. I mean, who doesn’t like to watch fluffy snowflakes falling at a slow speed while holding a cup of hot chocolate inside a warm house? No one! While snowflakes are made of tiny ice crystals, hailstones are made of frozen raindrops, which are significantly larger and heavier than pure ice crystals.

According to the National Severe Storms Laboratory, hail is formed when the water inside a thunderstorm moves to the top. The cold air then freezes that water, making it heavier and forcing it to move downwards. The frozen water is then forced upwards and downwards a couple of times due to the force of the thunderstorm. During that continuous motion, the frozen water (baby hailstone) keeps melting and re-freezing multiple times, creating hailstone layers. At a certain point, the layers add up and the hailstone can no longer resist gravity and eventually fall

5 Tips to Prevent Hail Damage

There are several recommendations to protect your vehicle during hail season. Since the hail season started in May, there has been a plethora of ideas circulating on the Internet on ways to protect your car from minor to significant hail damage. We offer some excellent tips from industry experts on how to protect your car during hail season.

  1. Rent a canopy or carport. If you don’t have a garage to park your car, you can always rent a canopy or carport to guard against the unrelenting ice pellets called hail. Hail the size of golf, and tennis balls can slam into your car’s roof, sides, and windows resulting in severe damage, including a complete write-off of your vehicle. 
  2. Watch the weather forecast. One of the best preventive measures, if you have a garage, is to watch the weather forecast or get an alert on your phone about severe thunderstorms. If you know a storm is coming, you can stay home until it passes especially if you are in Calgary.  

It only takes a few minutes for hail damage to cause significant dents and dings on your car’s roof, doors or glass that can cause major damage. It’s good to have a few tricks up your sleeve.

Last-Minute Hacks to Reduce Vehicle Damage

3. Take Cover. If you’re on the road miles from your garage or without a proper car cover, you often only have moments to realize what to do. If you’re near a mall or gas station that has partial coverage for your car, go for it. If you’re out of luck and the hail is already slamming your car, find one side of a building where you can park until the storm subsides. Depending on the direction of the wind, you might be partly protected from the hail. 

4. Plan Ahead of Time. There are apps that you can download on your phone, like Park Champ, that indicate the location of nearby parking garages – this could be a car saver!

5. Protect your Car. Use thick blankets or comforters to cover your car and secure the covers with duct tape or rope. Covering your car comes in handy if you look outside and see those storm clouds coming your way and you have only a few minutes to act. It’s something you can do last-minute to prevent minor hail damage. Still, it’s not a great strategy for larger hail that could cause great damage. There is a chance that specific blankets or covers could scratch your vehicle. Do your research to discover which covers will and won’t work with your vehicle.

  • Purchasing a hail cover for your vehicle is an investment. On the cheap, you can try substituting that cover with a thick blanket. To ensure you have adequate vehicle coverage from hail, be sure to tuck the blanket ends into the door, under the hood, inside the trunk lid, and even in the windows. Close them tightly, ensuring you have access to door handles to reenter your vehicle once the storm passes.
  • Don’t forget to Fold your side mirrors in, Hail can easily crack side-view mirrors, as they’re quite thin and flimsy. Folding them in will help to protect the reflective part, though the mirror’s casing will be at the mercy of Mother Nature.

Most importantly, be safe. When a storm hits, you’ll be navigating treacherous weather. If you can’t rush to a safe spot, stop your car and wait for the storm to pass. Always stay in your car during a hailstorm as you could get seriously injured.

Does My Car Insurance Cover Hail Damage?

If the damage is already done, don’t panic. Hopefully, you’re covered for hail damage on your car insurance policy. But what insurance coverage do you need? For hail damage protection, you need comprehensive insurance coverage. Comprehensive coverage includes payment for total loss due to hail or repair, or a cash payout depending on the age of your vehicle and the amount of damage, among other factors.

If you run the risk of omitting hail coverage from your car insurance policy, you could get a bill worth thousands of dollars. In Alberta, hail damage happens every year, so plan to get adequate protection.


No, your personal items are covered by your home insurance policy or your tenant insurance, not your car insurance policy, even in cases of home insurance in Calgary.


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