Insurance claims soar as hailstorm hits hard

23 November, 2021

Adelaide’s recent hailstorm was the worst insurance natural disaster event since the hailstorm which struck South Australia in 2016, and was a traumatic experience for many people.

RAA Insurance has so far recorded 9,500 motor vehicle damage and 3,500 home damage claims – with more expected in the coming weeks.

Damage from hailstones as big as golf balls in some regions ranged from broken pergolas, sky lights and solar panels to whole roofs.

Motor vehicle damage is ranging from minor dents to write offs, RAA Insurance Claims Manager Hayley Cain said.

“We certainly have more claims from this hailstorm than the one five years ago,’’ she said.

“Our phone lines received an unprecedented number of calls in the first days following the hailstorm, which meant many members experienced delays talking to our staff, and for this we sincerely apologise. Claims from the storm increased our usual workload by 70 per cent.  Some members are still experiencing longer than usual wait times on the phone.  

“Our staff are working additional hours every day since the storm, including through the weekends, in a desperate effort to get in touch with members as soon as possible.’’

Ms Cain said staff continue to attempt to identify and address emergency claims where damage left vehicles unroadworthy and homes unsound as quickly as possible.

She added messages were regularly posted on RAA social media and our website to let members know the best way to proceed with the claims.

“In the week following the storm, we were able to process all insurance claims and facilitate timely emergency repairs for many of our members,’’ Ms Cain said.

“We are expanding our insurance claims team as fast as we can, and we’re emailing members over the next few days who’ve had vehicle damaged from the hailstorm to give them an update of their claim.’’

Ms Cain said around 200 damaged cars were being assessed daily at a special pop-up claims site at the former Holden factory in Elizabeth, in addition to those member who have chosen their own repairer. 

“Our priority during any event of this size is to ensure repairs to members vehicles are carried out as efficiently as possible.”

“RAA has a trusted group of RAA Approved Repairers which we work with during these types of events, and we also engage with specialist hailstorm repairers to ensure the large influx of hail damaged vehicles are repaired as soon as possible.

“In this instance, the volume of repairs required is significant and to assist with efficiency – we enlisted the support of an expert in hail repairs from interstate.

Like all of our motor claims interactions, members have their Choice of Repairer, Ms Cain said. Due to the huge influx of vehicle claims at this time, we suggest that members work with their chosen repairer to understand the timeframes they can expect for repair, she said.