How to protect your car from hail damage if you don’t have a garage

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Georgetown resident Julie Ward used bags of potting soil to shield her vehicle’s sunroof in a recent storm (Courtesy of Julie Ward)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Hail season is underway and the falling ice can cause serious damage to your car.

Texas recently claimed the top spot in a report from State Farm on states with the highest hail damage claims paid in 2020. Last year alone, State Farm paid $474 million on home and auto claims, with the average auto claim totaling over $4,400.

So what do you do when a garage or a car port aren’t options for keeping your car safe from the elements? Here are a few ideas we’ve found across the web.

Moving blankets

The thick polyester blankets you wrap furniture in to prevent scuffs and scratches during a move? Turns out they can double as hail protection, according to several Reddit users.

FILE – In this June 14, 2006 photo, U-Haul trucks sit on a dealer lot in Des Moines (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

To do this, use several blankets to blanket your car — you can even put cardboard beneath it for extra padding! — and use several heavy items to bolster the sheets so they don’t fly up or off.

Cheaper (less thick) moving blankets will cost in the $10-$15 range, while thicker, higher quality ones average around $35-45. They can be purchased at most moving supply stores and hardware stores like Lowe’s and Home Depot.

Some people even recommend, at the least, using regular thicker blankets you may already have at home — if you don’t mind tossing nana’s quilt over the hood of your car.

Cardboard boxes

If you don’t have any blankets, one simple and cheap option is any common cardboard boxes you have. Flatten them, either double-folded or single to cover more area, and use heavy items to hold the cardboard slats down.

While wetness will be a concern, the thick boxes will hold moisture and likely remain intact.

Potting soil

Texas resident Julie Ward used bags of potting soil to shield her vehicle’s sunroof in a recent storm. The thick bags absorb the impact and won’t impact your wallet: an average bag costs around $14 and can be found at any store’s gardening section.

Too late?

If your vehicle does take a beating, comprehensive car insurance should cover damage to the body, windshield and interior but prices will be subject to estimates — and several claims could eventually impact what you pay per month.

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