In recent weeks we have seen in the social media the significant damage to property caused by hail storms in Gauteng! This past week a friend in Sandton informed me of the alerts that she receives on her phone ahead of pending storms and how this enables her to ensure that her vehicle is safely secured under a roof!
We decided to approach Discovery Insure and enquire how this works and how these alerts have been received by their clients!
We continuously look for ways in which we can enhance and protect our clients’ lives and assets.
With regards to hail and other severe weather events we do this in two ways:
- There is no excess payable when a client suffers damage from these events, dependent on their Plan type, and
- We try to warn our clients of imminent bad weather events, which they could possibly avoid. Being in a car during a hail storm is a frightening experience not to mention the inconvenience of getting your car repaired following such an event.
Our weather warning sms’s work as follows:
We have partnered with Africa Weather who obtain information directly from the South African Weather Bureau. The information shows real time satellite images, showing how a storm develops and progresses. It is very difficult to predict hail, but the probability of hail increases dramatically once a cloud reaches a certain density. This activates a trigger, which we convert into an immediate sms, sending a warning message to our clients in the areas most at risk of being impacted by a specific storm.
We try to give clients advance warning (in fact up to 30 minutes), but this is not always possible as some storms change direction and intensity within minutes.
We have had positive responses from our clients, one example:
“… I received the warning SMS from Discovery Insure regarding the hail, I pulled into the nearest service station under cover. 5 minutes later it hailed GOLF BALL sized hail. If not for that SMS my brand new car would have been badly damaged…”
During the month of November we send out over 300 warning messages to different areas where we had clients in these areas that were about to be hit by severe weather events, warning them to move their cars and avoid damage.