Climatic change and the growth of hail damages on vehicles

For a while now there have been statistical studies and evidence that point to the reality of climatic change. It is not a matter of what could happen in the future, but a question of what is going on right now.

There is no doubt that the climate is being affected by this process, and even though we are far from being able to determine to what exact point this is happening, a report from 2012 by Munich Re showed certain tendencies that the following years have confirmed:

Considering that no variations have been detected in the prevalence of earthquake, volcanic activity, tsunamis, and other geological events, the impact of climate change over such hydrometeorological phenomena as floods and storms becomes evident just by observing their evolution since 1980:

An evident conclusion would indicate that insurance companies will be inevitably affected by this tendency, which increases the risks of climate-caused damages, an more specifically of hail-related car damages.

Why does climatic change increases the risk of hail-related damages in automobiles

A basic explanation shows that hail is an atmospheric phenomenon that takes place inside cumulonimbus, the main actors in electric storms. The currents inside these clouds take water drops up to heights where temperature is low enough to freeze them. Once they reach a certain size, their weight make them fall back to earth, causing damages with different severities according to the diameter they have reached.

The cited study by Munich Re includes, like many others, information about global warming and its impact in different areas of the planet:

One consequence of the increased temperatures is the raising of the point where the freezing of the water drops takes place, although that should not necessarily promote the formation of hail. Nevertheless, the environmental warming injects energy in the system and causes a more intense water evaporation, sending more vapor into the atmosphere, and thus it facilitates the formation of electric storms and hail.

The more recent results: stronger storms and bigger hailstones

The last works about the subject, like the one published by Nature Climate Change in 2017, went even further, studying the behavior of hail under temperatures like those expected for the years ahead. It is a line that points more to the intensity than to the frequency, and it shows a tendency of storms over North America -a territory particularly affected by the phenomenon-, to somehow decrease their frequency, but to augment the size of the hailstones and, consequently, the potential damage to automobiles.

In any case, it seems te be a consensus that hail-related catastrophes and the huge amounts involved in car repairs will increase due to climatic change. Material and financial risks, already considerable in certain regions, will grow, and it will be necessary to take counteracting measures.

It is clear that a key factor in the severity of the dents on a car is the diameter of the hailstones, as it is shown in the following picture:

levertouch-blog-hail-scaleIt seems that the current environmental process will result in an increase of the diameter of the hailstones on the short and medium term. Considering all the evidence, studies and conclusions of climate professionals, and the crushing figures resulting from the material and financial damages caused by this phenomenon year after year, it becomes clearly advisable for the bodyshops and insurance companies to get ready to face this expected increase in the hail size.

Having a warranty partner in the automotive sector, like Lever Touch, with the best PDR technicians –specialized in hail damages-, guarantees an efficient answer to the unpredictability of climate factors and makes it possible to face the future with the certainty of being adequately prepared.