The weather can be very unpredictable and in some cases, it can damage property and vehicles. The impact of the hailstones can cause extensive damage to the panels and bodywork of a car, often leaving them severely dented. Depending on your policy, many insurance providers cover hail damage.
Below, we have identified how much you should expect to receive if your vehicle is damaged by hailstones.
Comprehensive insurance covers vehicle owners against hail damage. Though comprehensive cover isn't required in most states, it is favorable to opt for this cover to ensure that you are protected in the unfortunate event that hail strikes against your vehicle.
Many policies exclude hail damage so the insurance provider will refuse to pay out for it. Despite this, many companies will allow you to upgrade to comprehensive cover from your existing policy for an additional expense. Although most states require drivers to have auto liability coverage, this policy does not cover hail damage.
An average claim for hail damage can cost around $3,000, however, it depends on the severity of the damage. In most cases, the cost isn't greater than that of the deductible.
A deductible is an amount that you are responsible for paying towards your claim before your insurance provider covers the rest. For example, if you have a $1,000 deductible you will be required to pay that much out of your own pocket. If the cost of repairs is more than $1,000 your insurance company will pick up the additional costs.
The cost of the damage and the deductible of your policy will influence whether you should make a claim. If the cost of repairs is no greater than your deductible it will likely prove to be more cost-effective to pay the cost out of your own money, rather than claiming against your insurance and having to pay the deductible that way.
In some cases, the cost of the repairs may be significantly lower than the cost of your deductible so it will be cheaper for you to pay for the repairs outright. If the cost of the repairs is slightly higher than your deductible you may still choose to pay the amount yourself rather than going through your insurance to avoid an increase in your rate. If the cost of the damage is much higher than your deductible, you may wish to go through your insurance.
Is a hail damage claim going to increase your premium?
Although most comprehensive car insurance policies cover hail damage, a claim can increase your premium the following year. This is because hail damage will be listed as an at-fault claim, despite being caused by the unpredictability and harshness of the weather.
The damage that hailstones cause to some vehicles is pretty catastrophic and if no one else can cover the cost, your insurance provider will be left to pay the remaining bill, hence why your premium will likely increase as a result.
An increase in your premium can depend on the provider and your policy. It will also be influenced by the number of claims that you have filed.
Some companies will not raise your premium if you have claimed against hail damage as they do not view it as something that you are responsible for, however, if you have filed for several other claims, your insurance is likely to be increased as a result. For example, if you have claimed against them for damages sustained by your vehicle in a recent car accident.
How do I file an insurance claim against hail damage?
The process of filing a claim for hail damage follows is the same as any other claim. Following the storm, you should get in touch with your insurance provider immediately informing them of what has happened and the damage that has been inflicted upon your vehicle as a result.
In response to this contact, your provider will then affix an adjuster to your claim who will be responsible for assessing the damage and the cost that the insurance company will incur for the damages.
How can I protect my vehicle against a hail storm?
There are several ways that you can reduce or eliminate the risk of your vehicle getting damaged during a hailstorm. In many regions, a severe hailstorm is an uncommon occurrence and because of this, you will often find that owners aren't prepared for the occurrence of a storm. If you get caught in a hail storm when you are driving, you should try and find cover as soon as it is safe to do so.
If you are traveling down a busy road this may prove challenging, however, parking under some sort of cover like a tree can help to protect your car against damage. If there isn't anywhere near to shelter, you should try and pull over and leave your vehicle in a stationary position as it will sustain less damage this way.
If you live in a location that experiences frequent hailstorms it may be worth investing in a special car-specific cover that can protect it from any damage caused by hailstones. Of course, the cover should be made from a thick and durable material, otherwise, it isn't going to prove very effective.
If you don't have a car-specific hail storm cover, you may use blankets. Of course. they will need to be taped down otherwise they are likely to blow away when the bad weather hits.
A hail storm can severely damage a vehicle. When looking at insurance policies it can be tempting to overlook the finer details regarding their exclusions instead basing your search on affordability. Should you then find yourself with a damaged vehicle caused by hail, you will likely be left regretting this decision.
Comprehensive insurance is preferable because your provider will cover your vehicle against this damage. Other insurance policies will not. Remember to account for the value of your deductible, because this may be a deciding factor as to whether you claim against your insurance company or not.
Also, remember that there are ways that you can reduce the risk of your vehicle getting damaged by hail too. The amount that your company will payout for the hail will depend on the severity of the damage as some cases will be more minor than others.