Over the summer, Central Europe experienced extensive hot and dry weather that was due to a high pressure system. The result was hail storms that made their way across Germany toward Wolfsburg. Volkswagen’s headquarters are located in Wolfsburg, and this meant that vehicles at the company’s manufacturing center suffered devastating consequences due to the hail.
The storm system produced hail that was the size of golf balls, and the largest was found to be 12 centimeters (4.72 inches). These huge balls of ice caused damage to property everywhere with many automobiles suffering extensive damage. Investigators reported that a total of 28,000 vehicles received hail damage and that a majority of them were cars at the Volkswagen headquarters.
As would be expected, hail dented the exterior of vehicles throughout the area. It also scratched the paint and broke windshields. The totals are not known yet, but experts believe that damages could easily amount to more than 10,000 euros ($13,525.80) per car.
Sales Suffer in Wolfsburg
The hail storms seriously slowed sales at Volkswagen’s headquarters. Customers who were expecting to pick up their new vehicles at the time that the hail storms occurred had to wait until a later date. A majority of the manufacturer’s new vehicles were damaged, so the company needed a significant amount of time to inspect each vehicle to ensure that they were free of hail damage. This meant that no vehicles could be delivered until the inspections had been completed.
In the event that the manufacturer discovered that a vehicle was damaged, Volkswagen promised to repair it. Then, customers were free to purchase their automobiles at a discounted price. Those who did not wish to buy a damaged vehicle although it had been repaired would have to wait even longer until the manufacturer could produce new vehicles. Volkswagen expects the hail damage done to its vehicles to amount to millions of euros. However, executives are not concerned about this possibility because the company has insurance against this type of risk.
Previous Hail Storms
In 2008, a hail storm damaged 30,000 vehicles in Emden, Germany, so Volkswagen executives were aware that this type of risk existed. As a result, they were able to be prepared with appropriate insurance coverage. However, Germany is not the only place where hail storms that can damage vehicles occur. In 2012, a hail storm caused damage to new Passats in Chattanooga, Tennessee, so these hail storms are capable of happening anywhere in the world.
Because hail storms are known to happen anywhere and a vehicle is in danger of receiving hail damage when they do, everyone needs to follow Volkswagen’s lead and purchase insurance that covers their cars against this risk. Comprehensive coverage is optional coverage that insures the policyholder’s vehicle against damage that occurs in a manner other than in a car collision. You will file a claim with your insurance company after the damage occurs and pay your deductible. Then, your insurance company will pay the remainder of your repair bills.
When a Property Damage Attorney Is Necessary
The above description is a best case scenario. Sometimes, it does not work out and your insurance company refuses to cover the repair bills. If this happens, you need to hire a property damage attorney. Your insurance company has attorneys that are fighting to protect the company’s bottom line, so you need to have an attorney of your own who knows the tricks that insurance attorneys employ when they are unlawfully denying claims. Contact a property damage attorney today and let your lawyer do the fighting for you.