Hailstorms, the unexpected ice pelting from the sky, can be a real menace to your car. So, the big question is, ‘Does car insurance cover hail damage?’ The answer is straightforward and multifaceted, and we’re here to break it down for you.
How Is Hail Damage Assessed On A Car?
When hail hits, experts closely inspect your car, searching for dents and cracks. They assess size, depth, and location, crucial for repair cost evaluation. If costs surpass your deductible, an insurance claim may follow, ensuring a fair damage assessment for proper action.
Can Hail Damage Total Your Car?
Here’s a concern that often keeps car owners on edge: Can hail damage total your car? In short, yes, it can.
When you file an insurance claim for hail damage, the cavalry arrives as experts who assess the damage and the associated repair costs. If those costs happen to surpass what your car is currently worth (its depreciated value), your car gets slapped with the label “totaled.”
This means that the cost of repairing the hail damage exceeds the car’s actual value.
But with comprehensive coverage, your insurer checks your car’s value, allowing you to find a replacement. So, while hail can total your car, comprehensive insurance helps you recover from the loss.
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How Much Does it Cost to Repair Hail Damage to a Car?
Let’s talk dollars and cents — how much does repairing hail damage to a car cost? The cost of repairing hail damage on a car varies significantly based on the damage’s extent. Minor dings and dents may only cost a few hundred dollars.
However, in 2021, State Farm reported that the average hail claim for vehicles was $5,000, a 16% increase from the previous year’s average of around $4,300. Factors like the number, size, location, and accessibility of dents influence repair expenses.
Conventional dent repair, especially for paint damage, can increase costs due to added labor. Material like high-strength steel or aluminum may also result in additional repair charges, causing fluctuations in repair costs.
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How Do I File A Car Insurance Claim For Hail Damage?
Filing an auto insurance claim for hail damage is a manageable process. Firstly, contact your insurance company if your car is hit by hail and you have comprehensive coverage.
If your car’s windshield or windows are damaged to the point where it’s unsafe to drive, consider using your roadside assistance auto insurance coverage for a tow.
Next, your insurer will dispatch an adjuster to evaluate the hail damage and calculate the repair cost. They’ll then send you a check for the repairs minus your deductible.
Can Hail Damage Be Repaired?
But let’s backtrack a bit. Does car insurance cover hail damage, and can it be repaired? The answer is, indeed, yes. Hail damage is generally repairable under comprehensive car insurance in the United States. You can file a claim.
Your insurer will then assess the damage and organize repairs. You may have to pay a deductible, a portion of the repair costs. Once approved, your insurance will cover the remaining expenses for hail damage repair.
You can explore Beem for car insurance options best suited to you. Auto insurance with Beem covers damage to your vehicle, other vehicles or property, and injuries to yourself or others.
Will A Hail Damage Claim Raise My Insurance Rate?
The fear of increased insurance rates after filing a hail damage claim is common among car owners. However, the good news is that such claims typically don’t raise your rates. Insurance companies generally don’t solely increase premiums due to hail damage claims.
Instead, they examine your entire claims history when determining rates.
Additionally, insurance rates in areas prone to frequent hail may be higher for all residents due to the elevated risk of claims, irrespective of individual claims. So, your location can indeed affect your car insurance rates.
When Does Car Insurance Cover Hail Damage?
Let’s revisit a fundamental question: When does car insurance cover hail damage? The answer centers around the type of car insurance coverage you hold. Car insurance covers hail damage when you have comprehensive insurance. If you opt for liability-only coverage, hail damage isn’t part of the package.
While no state mandates comprehensive insurance, it’s a prudent choice, mainly if your car is less than a decade old or holds a value exceeding $3,000. Comprehensive coverage extends beyond shielding you from hail damage, offering protection against various non-collision-related damages.
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Should You File A Car Insurance Claim After A Hail Storm?
The decision to file an auto insurance claim following a hailstorm hinges on the damage’s severity. While the average hailstorm claim can reach $3,000, minor damage may not surpass your deductible. For instance, if your deductible is $500 and hail chips your windshield, most repairs cost less than $130.
In this scenario, paying for repairs is cost-effective, as filing a claim could raise your rates. Even if the repair costs slightly exceed your deductible, avoiding increased premiums over time often makes it more economical to handle the expenses independently.
Careful consideration of the damage and potential long-term costs should guide your decision.
Also Read: Do Car Dealerships Offer Temporary Insurance
Which States Have The Most Hail Storms?
Hailstorms primarily target a vertical path from South Dakota to Texas through the central United States. The top four states for hail, per Weather Fusion research, are Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma, and Nebraska. Texas ranks highest in hail occurrences and insurance claims, a less-than-ideal scenario for its drivers.
|Total property damage caused by hailstorms (2012 – 2021)
|$6.5 billion (#1 highest)
|$1.2 billion (#2 highest)
|$565.3 million (#3 highest)
|$464.2 million (#4 highest)
|$139.0 million (#5 highest)
How Can I Protect My Car From Hail Damage?
Protecting your car from hail damage is extremely important, especially in high-risk areas like Texas, Nebraska, Minnesota, Kansas, and South Dakota. Consider these steps:
- If you know a storm is coming, park your car in a garage for immediate protection.
- When caught in a hailstorm while driving, find shelter under a covered parking area or a bridge/overpass.
- Invest in a hail car cover if you lack a garage. It acts as a shield against hailstones.
- Set up a carport in your driveway for home-based hail protection without needing a full garage.
- Check the forecast before leaving home so that you can be prepared for potential storms.
These precautions can spare you from costly hail damage repairs.
So, regarding the burning question, ‘Does car insurance cover hail damage?’ The answer largely depends on whether you have comprehensive insurance.
This form of coverage protects against the unpredictability of hailstorms, providing peace of mind and financial protection.
Understanding the assessment process, repair costs, and the potential impact on your insurance rates empowers you to make informed decisions in the event of hail damage.
While hail storms may be a force of nature, with the right insurance coverage and precautions, you can navigate through them with confidence and security.
A comparison of car insurance quotes can help you get the best deal for your budget and provide the coverage you need in case of an accident. Using Beem to find the best insurance quotes can help you make the right choice.