Hail – 8 practical tips on how to avoid hail damage

Jun 28, 2021.

We are all looking forward to summer. Unfortunately, it is also the season of hail – here in Switzerland, most hailstorms occur from May to September. But there’s no need to let that spoil your anticipation of the months ahead. Our hail expert Caterina Giovanoli has put together a few helpful recommendations for summer 2021.

8 practical tips for dealing with hail

Hailstones fall at speeds of up to 70km per hour and can be the size of tennis balls. They can cause a lot of damage. So getting to safety should always be your number one priority. Everything else can be repaired and insured. These 8 tips and tricks tell you how to react properly:

1. Always protect yourself and your family first

Find somewhere you can shelter to avoid injury. Of course, your car also offers protection. But anyone who has ever seen a vehicle severely damaged by hail will know it’s better to seek shelter inside a building.


2. Move your car under cover

If it’s possible to park your car in a garage or under a bridge, then you should do so as quickly as you can. But it’s even better to stay indoors and avoid putting yourself in any danger.

3. Special case: hail while driving

If you get caught in hail while driving, the best way to act is as if it were winter. Don’t make any sudden manoeuvres. Instead, drive slowly and calmly or pull over and even stop completely, as you would when driving on snow-covered or icy roads. Don’t forget that hailstones tend to massively reduce visibility. However, they do melt quickly in summer and soon disappear. You can then drive on. But first, check your car for damage.

4. Close doors and windows

Close all doors and windows, skylights and other openings in your home. Make sure you stay away from skylights and roof windows – they run the greatest risk of taking a direct hit.

5. Protect windows properly

Pull up all outdoor blinds, awnings and shadings as soon as possible. Hail can destroy synthetic materials very quickly, whereas window glass is much more resilient. Nevertheless, should a window get broken, the blind can be used temporarily to provide protection. Wooden blinds and shutters, on the other hand, are very robust and even hail finds them hard to destroy.

6. Keep drains and gutters clear

Water outlets often become blocked by hailstones during a shower, causing additional flooding. That’s why we recommend clearing blocked drainpipes (for example, gutters) of hailstones, leaves, twigs and branches.

7. Protect plants

Hail damage to plants can be avoided, given enough advance warning. Fleece or film covers are a useful aid. Place these over the plants you want to protect and make sure they are well secured.

8. And finally: don’t forget your garden furniture

Put your garden furniture and BBQ somewhere safe. It’s best to get everything under cover quickly, but don’t forget your own safety.

Hail damage – the prompt and proper way to react

Don't worry: if damage occurs despite all these precautions, we can help you almost immediately. Thanks to the latest technology and Generali’s own hail task force, we are always well informed about the weather and able to help you fast. As a general rule: let us know as soon as possible so that we can include your case in our planning immediately.

How to reach us:

  • Hail hotline: 0800 002 022
  • generali.ch/hail

If the worst comes to the worst: the Hail Drive-in

After a particularly severe hailstorm, our task is to skilfully organise the higher-than-usual need for repairs and avoid waiting times. We do this in two steps: First, when we know a hailstorm is coming, we increase the size of our Hail team to better cope with the flood of messages we are about to receive. Then, we look at setting up a Drive-in in regions that have been particularly badly affected, so we can record your damage right there. The Hail Drive-in service is free to all customers with comprehensive or partial accidental damage cover.

We find out which areas have been affected and forecast the number of damaged vehicles. In addition, a taskforce regularly monitors the overall situation. We use this information as the basis for deciding when and where to open a Drive-in.

We let our customers know where a Drive-in is being set up and for how long via our website (generali.ch) and social media channels. Appointments are arranged when claims are reported via the hail hotline on 0800 002 022 or the online portal at generali.ch/hail.

As soon as we know where the Drive-in is going to be located, our Claims department organises the set-up and procedures. The Drive-In team is also put together.

At your service are:

  • Advisors from your local agency
  • Motor experts
  • Members of the Claims department
  • Dent repair experts

Tasks are clearly allocated to enable repairs to be carried out as quickly as possible. Our vehicle experts assess and record the hail damage, which is then repaired by our local partner. You can relax and help yourself to something from our buffet while all this is taking place. 

In other words: roll on summer

Naturally, hail is as much a part of summer as BBQs with family and friends. But when it happens, you’ll know you’re fully prepared: follow Caterina Giovanoli’s 8-point checklist on how to react properly. Save the hail hotline number on your smartphone to ensure you can take quick action if you need to make a claim. And last but not least: don’t get too annoyed about any damage. Let our well-established team take care of it for you.