Is Hail Damage Covered by Car Insurance? Unveiling the Truth Behind Your Policy’s Shelter

What similarities exist among peas, nickels, tea cups, and grapefruits?

They all serve as descriptors for hail size, as outlined by the National Severe Storms Laboratory of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

In the realm of hailstorms, which commonly feature a variety of sizes, a severe thunderstorm typically produces hail ranging from 1 to 1.75 inches in diameter (equivalent to a quarter of a golf ball).

These hailstones fall at speeds between 25 to 40 miles per hour.

Consider the potential damage this can inflict on your vehicle.

If your car insurance policy includes the appropriate coverage, it is possible to file a claim for hail damage.

Is Hail Damage Covered by Car Insurance? An image of a man stranded as he calls for assistance for his car that has been damaged by hailstones
An image of a man stranded as he calls for assistance for his car that has been damaged by hailstones. PHOTO: Freepik

 

Does Car Insurance Cover Hail Damage?

Although quarter-sized hail typically results in minor cosmetic damage such as dings, dents, and broken windows, larger hailstones pose a more significant threat due to their increased velocity.

Fortunately, there’s a readily available insurance solution to safeguard your vehicle from hail damage.

To ensure coverage for hail damage under your car insurance, purchasing comprehensive insurance is essential.

This type of insurance not only addresses repairs caused by severe weather, including hailstorms, but also extends coverage to various other incidents such as fire, floods, vandalism, theft, collisions with animals, and damage from falling objects like tree branches.

Comprehensive insurance is classified as optional coverage, requiring an additional payment.

Without comprehensive insurance, if your vehicle sustains damage in a hailstorm, you’ll be responsible for covering the repair costs yourself or accepting the damage as is.

How Do I File An Insurance Claim For Hail Damage?

In the event of hail damage to your car and possessing comprehensive insurance, reach out to your insurance provider to initiate a claim.

If your vehicle’s windshield is shattered or windows are broken, it may pose safety risks for driving.

If you have roadside assistance insurance, you can coordinate a tow.

Following your claim, an adjuster from your insurance company will assess the hail damage and determine the repair costs.

Subsequently, you will receive a reimbursement check for the repairs, with your deductible subtracted.

As an illustration, if your deductible is $500 and the repair expenses amount to $1,500, you will be issued a $1,000 insurance check.

A hail damage repair at an auto body shop is typically addressed through one of two methods:

  • Conventional Vehicle Repair

Dings are smoothed out, and any imperfections are addressed using a body filler.

Afterward, the surface is primed and given a fresh coat of paint.

  • Paintless Dent Removal

Unique instruments are employed beneath the vehicle panels to eliminate dents, preserving the integrity of the painted surface.

However, this approach might not yield satisfactory results for substantial dents or widespread hail damage.

Will A Hail Damage Claim Cause My Car Insurance Rates To Go Up?

Submitting a hail damage claim typically doesn’t lead to an increase in your insurance rates.

However, insurance providers review your claims history to assess premiums.

When you file a hail damage claim, the information enters a database containing past claims.

Accumulating numerous claims may contribute to elevated premium costs.

Moreover, frequent hail incidents can impact insurance rates for all residents in a specific region.

In areas prone to severe weather, insurance companies might raise rates due to the increased probability of claims.

Therefore, whether or not you file a claim, your geographic location can influence your car insurance rates.

Is It Worth Making An Insurance Claim For Hail Damage?

Having comprehensive insurance involves a deductible, which is an amount deducted from your claim payout.

Depending on the repair costs and your deductible, claiming hail damage on your car may not be financially advantageous.

For instance, if your car has minor hail damage amounting to $600 for repairs and your deductible is $1,000, your insurance company won’t contribute anything, making it impractical to file a claim.

With a $500 deductible, you would receive a $100 insurance check.

In this case, deciding whether to make a claim involves considering whether a $100 payout is worth having a claim on your record.

On the other hand, if your car sustains significant hail damage costing $5,000 to repair, and your deductible is $500, you would receive $4,500 for repairs.

In such a scenario, making a claim is justified due to the substantial amount you would otherwise have to pay out of pocket.

Generally, filing a single comprehensive claim is unlikely to raise your auto insurance rates.

However, if you find yourself needing to make multiple claims in the next few years, the accumulation of claims on your record could lead to an increase in your car insurance premiums.

How Much Does It Cost To Repair Hail Damage To A Car?

The expense of fixing hail damage on your car hinges on the extent of the damage.

Repairing minor damage may only set you back a few hundred dollars, whereas addressing significant hail damage could entail costs in the thousands.

According to State Farm’s 2021 report on hail claims, the average claim for vehicle hail damage was $5,000.

This represents a 16% increase from the 2020 report, which indicated that auto hail claims averaged around $4,300.

If the car paint is compromised and traditional dent repair methods are employed, the costs of hail damage repair will escalate.

Traditional repair is pricier than paintless dent repair due to its more labor-intensive nature.

Several additional factors influencing the expense of repairs comprise:

  1. Number of dents to your car.
  2. Size of the hail dents.
  3. Location of the dents and how accessible they are to repair.
  4. Material of the affected area—if the panel is damaged and is made of high-strength steel or aluminum, for example, there is an extra cost for repairs.

How Much Does Comprehensive Insurance Cost?

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ latest data indicates that comprehensive insurance typically costs around $170 on average.

Explore the average expenses for comprehensive insurance in your specific state.

  • Average Cost Of Comprehensive Insurance By State

State Average cost of comprehensive insurance
Alabama $180.11
Alaska $155.11
Arizona $208.38
Arkansas $240.54
California $96.53
Colorado $298.01
Connecticut $134.01
Delaware $136.31
District of Columbia $221.94
Florida $153.00
Georgia $180.37
Hawaii $106.29
Idaho $142.89
Illinois $144.65
Indiana $138.86
Iowa $221.72
Kansas $286.48
Kentucky $168.11
Louisiana $252.34
Maine $115.26
Maryland $168.01
Massachusetts $149.86
Michigan $162.01
Minnesota $214.55
Mississippi $238.95
Missouri $223.94
Montana $313.27
Nebraska $269.19
Nevada $119.19
New Hampshire $120.48
New Jersey $129.97
New Mexico $222.43
New York $172.85
North Carolina $138.40
North Dakota $264.98
Ohio $131.37
Oklahoma $270.19
Oregon $109.76
Pennsylvania $171.18
Rhode Island $141.03
South Carolina $211.29
South Dakota $347.61
Tennessee $168.07
Texas $285.56
Utah $127.15
Vermont $148.88
Virginia $149.42
Washington $121.13
West Virginia $225.50
Wisconsin $168.52
Wyoming $335.04
Source: National Association of Insurance Commissioners Auto Insurance Report

 

How Can I Protect My Car From Hail Damage?

Here are several measures you can take to safeguard your vehicle against hail damage:

  • Get Covered Parking

If feasible, place your car in a garage or carport.

  • Use A Car Cover

If you lack a garage or carport, consider purchasing car covers specifically crafted to shield your vehicle from hail damage.

Alternatively, if a dedicated hail car cover is unavailable, using blankets is an option.

Ensure you find a method to secure the blankets in place during high winds.

  • Find Temporary Shelter

If you lack a garage or a protective car cover for hail, think about investing in parking at a nearby parking garage until the storm subsides.

 

If you happen to be driving in a hailstorm, locate a secure area to pull over.

If available, take refuge beneath a structure with a sturdy roof or an overpass.

Use clothing to shield your face and minimize the risk of injury from potential broken glass.

Top 10 States For Hail Insurance Claims

Texas leads in both hail activity and claims, a victory not sought after by Texas drivers.

  • Top 10 States For Hail Claims 2018-2020

Rank State
1 Texas
2 Colorado
3 Illinois
4 Missouri
5 Minnesota
6 Kansas
7 Nebraska
8 Iowa
9 Oklahoma
10 South Dakota
Source: National Insurance Crime Bureau ForeCAST Report, 2021

 

State Farm analyzed its internal data on auto and home insurance claims, revealing a notable increase in Texas hail claim expenses.

The costs surged from $474.6 million in 2020 to $710 million in 2021.

Final Thoughts

Recognizing the risk of hail damage is essential to safeguard your vehicle.

Although small dents might not justify an insurance claim, larger hailstones can lead to substantial financial burdens.

Comprehensive car insurance provides a shield against these potential losses, but successfully managing repairs and claims involves careful consideration of deductibles, expenses, and coverage alternatives.

Armed with knowledge and readiness, you can reduce the adverse effects of hailstorms on both your car and finances.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • What if I can’t drive my car because of hail damage?

Intense hailstorms have the potential to render a vehicle inoperable.

Instances such as cracked or shattered windshields, along with broken windows, pose significant safety risks for driving.

In the event of such damage, if you are covered by roadside assistance insurance, contact your provider to arrange for your car to be towed to an auto body shop.

  • Will my homeowners’ insurance cover my car for hail damage?

Hail damage to your car is not included in homeowners insurance coverage, but it does provide coverage for hail damage to your home, including the roof, siding, windows, and other structures, such as your deck.

  • What type of car insurance do I need for hail damage?

The hail damage protection within an automobile insurance policy extends to cover various incidents.

This includes damages caused by fires, floods, falling objects, vandalism, car theft, and collisions with animals.

If you currently have an auto loan, you are probably obligated to maintain comprehensive coverage.

  • Does Florida car insurance cover hail damage?

The comprehensive coverage in an automobile insurance policy encompasses protection against damage to the insured vehicle caused by various environmental factors, such as wind, hail, flooding, fallen trees or debris, lightning strikes, and fire.

Claims for comprehensive coverage are compensated irrespective of the entity or event responsible for the damage.

  • Does car insurance cover hail damage in Ontario?

To safeguard your vehicle against hail damage, it is essential to have an active car insurance policy that includes Comprehensive coverage, All Perils coverage, or Specified Perils coverage.

By choosing any of these supplementary coverages, you ensure protection from various risks, including theft, fire, and hail.

ALSO READ: When Was Car Insurance Invented? A Look Into The Past

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