will car insurance cover hail damage

Will Car Insurance Cover Hail Damage

Whether car insurance covers hail damage is a common question for drivers, especially if you live in an area prone to severe storms. Hail can cause extensive damage to vehicles in a very short amount of time, leaving drivers with repair bills in the thousands of dollars.

Fortunately, most standard car insurance policies provide protection against hail damage if you have the right coverages. Comprehensive and collision coverage are the two main parts of a car insurance policy that would pay for repairing hail damage.

Comprehensive coverage pays for damage from events other than collisions, including hail, vandalism, fire, theft, flooding and more. Collision coverage pays for damage from accidents with other vehicles or objects.

To get hail damage repairs covered, you’ll generally need to have comprehensive coverage. Collision may also help cover your deductible if your car is damaged by hail while parked and gets pushed into another object. Liability coverage alone won’t cover repairs from hail.

Comprehensive Coverage for Hail Damage

Comprehensive coverage, sometimes called “other than collision,” is an optional add-on with car insurance. It covers damage to your vehicle that’s not from an accident with another car. Comprehensive claims could include:

  • Hail damage from severe storms
  • Damage from falling trees or branches
  • Vandalism
  • Theft
  • Fire
  • Flood damage
  • Hitting or being hit by an animal
  • Glass damage from rocks or debris

Comprehensive has a separate deductible, usually $100 to $500. So if a major hailstorm leaves $4,000 of damage to your car, you’d pay the comp deductible and your insurer would cover the remaining cost of repairs.

Without comprehensive coverage, you’d have to pay the entire bill for hail damage repairs out of pocket. Given the extensive cosmetic and mechanical damage hail can cause, repair bills can easily exceed the value of an older car.

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Comprehensive Coverage for Hail Damage

Collision Coverage for Hail Deductibles

Collision coverage pays for repairs when your car is damaged in an accident with another vehicle or object. It also covers damage from potholes, debris in the road and single-car accidents where you hit something like a guardrail or pole.

Collision coverage alone won’t pay for hail damage if it happens while your car is parked. But it can help cover your comprehensive deductible in certain situations:

  • If hail cracks your windshield or dents your hood while driving, causing an accident, collision would cover the crash damages. Comprehensive would pay your deductible.
  • If your car is hit by hail when parked and gets pushed into another vehicle, collision may pay your comp deductible. Comprehensive would cover hail damage.
  • If you have a multi-car accident caused by low visibility from a hailstorm, collision will cover the crash damages between vehicles.

So while collision doesn’t directly cover hail damage, it can indirectly help by paying your comprehensive deductible when an accident results. This saves you money compared to paying the entire deductible yourself.

Collision Coverage For Hail Deductibles
Collision Coverage for Hail Deductibles

What to Expect When Filing a Hail Damage Claim

If a severe hailstorm leaves your car with chipped paint, dents and cracks, here’s what to expect when filing an insurance claim:

  • Report the damage – Notify your insurance company as soon as possible after the storm. An adjuster will arrange an inspection. Document the damage – Take dated photos and video of all damage before having repairs done. Hail can cause hidden mechanical issues too.
  • Get repair estimates – Your insurer will ask for an estimate from their preferred shop. You can also get a separate estimate from your own shop. Settle the claim – The insurer will compare estimates and choose an approved amount for repairs. You’ll pay your deductible and they’ll cover remaining costs.
  • Get the repairs – Take your car to the agreed shop and leave it until work is complete. Make sure all damage is fixed properly before taking it back.

Follow up on delays – Severe storms mean high claim volumes. Check in with your insurer if repairs take longer than expected. Rental coverage may help with transportation needs.

The entire claims process can take weeks or even months when large hailstorms hit an area. Be patient and thoroughly document all damage from the beginning. Communicating frequently with your insurer and repair shop can help speed up the process.

What To Expect When Filing A Hail Damage Claim
What to Expect When Filing a Hail Damage Claim

Factors That Affect Hail Damage Coverage

When it comes to covering hail damage, the specifics of your policy and the severity of the storm will determine how much you pay out of pocket:

Your comprehensive and collision deductibles impact repairs you’ll have to pay for. Higher deductibles mean more money out of your pocket. Small dents may fall under your deductible amount so you have to pay for repairs.

Significant damage will likely exceed your deductible so insurance covers more costs. Trucks with fiberglass hoods and tops often sustain more damage compared to cars. Luxury vehicles are also pricier to repair. Cosmetic repairs like dents are

cheaper than mechanical damage to electronics, antennas and air intake systems under the hood. Your coverage limits cap the total payout per claim. Make sure you have enough protection for your vehicle’s value.

Checking that you have adequate coverage for hail damage is especially important if you live in high-risk storm areas known as “hail alleys.” Texas, Colorado, Nebraska and Wyoming are the costliest states for hail based on insured losses, according to the Insurance Information Institute and State Farm.

What To Expect When Filing A Hail Damage Claim
What to Expect When Filing a Hail Damage Claim

How Much Does Hail Damage Increase Your Insurance Cost?

Since hail damage is considered a not-at-fault comprehensive claim, filing one or two small claims generally won’t increase your rates much. However, once you start having frequent hail damage claims, your car insurance premium could start increasing more significantly.

Insurers view drivers who have multiple hail damage claims in a short period of time as higher risk. Data shows these policyholders are more likely to file additional claims in the future compared to drivers who have never filed hail damage claims.

To limit rate increases, avoid filing small claims that are under your deductible amount. Also try to use reputable, high-quality repair shops that fix all damage properly the first time. Shoddy body work that later needs redoing can lead to bigger rate hikes.

Shopping around for better car insurance rates after a few hail claims can help minimize the impact on your premium. Just make sure to get apples-to-apples quotes based on the same coverages.

How Much Does Hail Damage Increase Your Insurance Cost?
How Much Does Hail Damage Increase Your Insurance Cost?

How to Protect Your Car from Hail Damage

Park indoors – Garages and covered parking structures provide the most protection. Underground parking or first floor garages limit exposure too.

Use car covers – Thick, snug-fitting canvas covers guard against dents and paint chips. Avoid lightweight models that tear easily in high winds. Make sure it allows proper ventilation.

Face the front away – Park so the vehicle’s front faces the oncoming storm rather than the more vulnerable rear and top areas.

Add protective film – Clear vinyl wraps fortify paint from chipping and can be easily replaced after bad storms. They cost a few hundred dollars.

Get glass coverage – Comprehensive usually excludes glass damage but you can add this coverage to repair cracked or pitted windshields.

Move vehicles – If you have advance warning, drive cars undercover before the storm arrives. This minimizes the size of the exposed area getting battered by hail.

Park under trees – Though overhead branches don’t guarantee full protection, they help block some hailstones before they pick up enough speed and force to do vehicle damage. Avoid trees with dead branches that could fall.

Check forecasts – For upcoming trips or weddings, be mindful of the extended forecast. Park in a garage if hail is likely.

Being proactive reduces the risk of hail damage happening in the first place. But you can’t prevent all damage, especially in severe thunderstorms. That’s where comprehensive insurance coverage comes in handy to cover the cost of repairs and get your car looking like new again.

tips for finding reputable repair shops for hail damage:

Ask for referrals from friends, family, or your insurance agent. Word of mouth is often the best way to find a quality shop. Look for shops that have been in business for several years and have good ratings on review sites like Yelp, Google, etc. This indicates consistently positive customer experiences.

Find a shop that specializes in hail damage repairs. They will have the proper training, tools and experience. Verify the shop is licensed and insured. This protects you if anything goes wrong.Check if the shop offers a repair guarantee. Some guarantee to match the repair quality of other shops.

Ask if they use OEM (original equipment manufacturer) parts. OEM parts best match your car’s fit and performance. Inquire about warranties. Good shops will guarantee their workmanship for 1-3 years. Get an itemized estimate upfront. A reputable shop will assess all damage and required repairs accurately.

Tips For Finding Reputable Repair Shops For Hail Damage:
tips for finding reputable repair shops for hail damage:

factors that determine the cost of adding glass coverage to a car insurance

Your deductible – Glass claims may have a separate deductible of $100-$200. Higher deductibles lower your premium. Type of vehicle – Sports cars and high-end vehicles cost more to repair due to pricier glass replacement.

  • Windshield replacement vs. repair – Repairs are much cheaper than full windshield replacement. Chips and cracks under 6 inches can often be repaired.
  • Glass shop networks – Insurers get volume discounts from partner glass repair shops which can save you money.
  • Discounts – Bundling glass coverage with other policies or having a good driving record may qualify you for discounts.

Extent of coverage – Comprehensive glass coverage is more expensive than windshield-only coverage. Your location – Insurance rates are higher in areas with higher risk of glass damage claims.

how can i find out if my state is considered a hail alley with the high risk for hail damage?

To find out if your state is considered a hail alley, you can check industry reports from insurance information institutes, insurance providers like State Farm who track hail claims data, and general online searches for lists of the most hail-prone states.

States considered hail alleys typically include Colorado, Nebraska, Wyoming, and Texas. Your local insurance agent may also have insight into the relative level of hail risk for your specific location. Living in an area known for frequent, severe hailstorms will likely lead to higher comprehensive auto insurance rates.

FAQs

Does pea sized hail cause damage?

Yes, even small pea-sized hail can cause damage to your vehicle. Dents, chips in the paint, and cracks in glass can occur from hail this size. Comprehensive coverage and glass coverage in your auto insurance policy should pay for repairs from pea-sized hail damage.

Do dent pullers work on hail damage?

Dent pullers may work on minor hail damage where the metal has not been stretched or creased. For deeper dents or puncture marks from large hail, body fillers, paint less dent repair, or traditional body work would be needed to smooth the areas out for proper repairs.

What does comprehensive insurance cover?

Comprehensive auto insurance provides financial protection against damage to your vehicle from events other than collisions, such as weather events, vandalism, theft, fire, or animal strikes. It covers repairs from damage caused by hail storms.

Does car insurance cover hail damage in Florida?

Yes, if you carry comprehensive coverage, your auto insurance policy will pay for hail damage repairs for vehicles in Florida. The state frequently experiences severe hail and thunderstorms that can leave extensive cosmetic and mechanical damage requiring costly repairs.

conclusion

Hail damage is a common and costly issue for drivers across many parts of the United States. Comprehensive auto insurance coverage provides important protection by paying for repairs when hail leaves dents,

chips, and cracks on your vehicle. Without it, you’d be stuck footing the entire bill out of pocket. Knowing exactly how comprehensive and collision work together to cover hail claims can help you make the most of your policy when storms strike.

Keeping your car parked indoors or protected during hail season also helps minimize potential damage in areas prone to hailstorms. While hail claims may lead to moderate premium increases over time,

reputable repair shops can help control costs by properly fixing damage the first time. Focus on preventive measures, understand your coverages, and choose a quality repair facility. With the right preparations, you can rest easy knowing your car has protection against unpredictable hail damage.

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