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Inflatable car cover battles the elements

  • hail-protector-660.jpg

     (Hail Storm Products)

  • hail-protector-deflated-660.jpg

     (Hail Storm Products)

  • hail-protector-trunk.jpg

     (Hail Storm Products)

He really loves his car.

A man in Argentina became an internet sensation last week, and a hero of car enthusiasts around the globe, when he selflessly sacrificed his body to protect his Citroen sedan during a surprise hail storm.

Writhing around awkwardly on the roof of the vehicle, the unidentified fellow was subjected to a good pelting by golf ball sized hailstones, all of it captured on a video posted to YouTube, but since categorized as private.

The good news is, if you live in an area where this sort of weather is a regular occurrence, you don’t have to go to such lengths, but it'll still cost you.

The Hail Protector is a cleverly designed car cover that can be inflated up to create a layer of air between it and the vehicle underneath, protecting your prized possession from hailstones up to the size of softballs, according to its manufacturer.

The Highway Loss Data Institute estimates the average claim for hail related damage is over $3,000, and nearly $800 million in claims were paid out in 2011.

The portable device runs on batteries, AC power or a lighter socket and also comes with an app that sends you a warning when the local weather service detects a possible hailstorm approaching, giving the owner a few minutes to set it up.

Unfortunately, the video of it inflating isn’t quite as entertaining as the one of the guy from Argentina was. But since the results are a lot more successful, you can probably live without the excitement.