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Wednesday, 23 January 2013 19:52

Could ‘Hail Protector’ Mean Less Business for Body Shops Fixing Hail Storm Dents?

 

A north Texas inventor has designed an inflatable cover to protect cars from hail damage. Hail damage costs consumers millions of dollars each year and is why Michael Siciliano invented the Hail Protector in the garage of his Gunter, TX, home.

“People are scratching their heads trying to figure it out because they’ve never seen it before,” he said.

The Hail Protector slips over a car like a regular cover and cinches together to form a tight seal. It plugs into a regular outlet, and with a remote control, inflates in about five minutes to form a protective bubble around a vehicle.

Siciliano says he’s put the product to the test to try to prove it works.

He recorded a home video that shows how it holds ups against chunks of ice, softballs, tennis balls and 3-pound cantaloupes that were dropped from the top of the Denison fire training tower.
Siciliano says he was inspired to invent the product while watching his two daughters play on an inflatable slide four years ago.

“So I just connected the dots and had that eureka moment!” he said.

Siciliano says he’s also developed an alert system app to let people know when a hail storm is about to hit.

He hopes drivers will spring for the $300 product that he says could protect car owners from thousands of dollars in damage.

However, the product is not yet available for sale. Siciliano and his wife say they’re working with manufacturers and investors to bring it to retailers.

“All in, around 300,000 vehicles were damaged just in 2011, and at an average cost of $3,118 to be specific, and it totals to more than $1 billion in losses,” he said.

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