Does Car Insurance Cover Hail Damage?
Hailstorms can inflict severe damage to a vehicle. When your vehicle gets damaged, you depend on car insurance to cover it. But does car insurance cover hail damage? Will your car insurance company reimburse you for hail damage? Today, we’re explaining everything you need to know about whether or not your car insurance covers hail damage.
It Depends On your Insurance Policy
The answer to the above question, as you might expect, is “it depends”.
Some insurance policies cover hail damage. Others do not.
If you have only liability coverage, then your insurance will not cover hail damage. Liability insurance is the most basic insurance required to legally drive on the road. It covers damages to other drivers and property, but it does not cover damage to your own vehicle – even if you’re involved in a collision.
If you carry comprehensive coverage, on the other hand, then hail damage will almost certainly be covered by your insurance policy. Comprehensive coverage protects your car against virtually all type of damage, including theft, vandalism, and weather-related events like hail.
Here’s where things get a little confusing. Some insurance companies offer three broad types of policies, including liability insurance, comprehensive insurance, and collision insurance. The third policy type, collision coverage, does not protect you against hail, theft, vandalism, or non-collision-related incidents. However, it does protect your own vehicle and its occupants in the event a collision. If you have collision coverage but not comprehensive coverage, then your hail damage is unlikely to be covered.
How Much Will My Insurance Cover?
If you have comprehensive insurance, then your insurance company will cover any hail damages above your deductible. If your deductible is $500, for example, and it’s going to cost $1500 to repair hail damage to your vehicle, then you’ll be required to pay the $500 deductible while your insurance company covers the remaining $1,000.
There are certain situations where insurance companies have been known to waive the deductible. If you choose to repair your glass instead of replacing it, for example, then your insurance company might waive the deductible – at least for the glass portion of your comprehensive coverage.
In any case, your insurance company will send an adjuster to review your claim. You might have to visit a repair center to get an estimate.
Sometimes, your insurance company will pay the repair shop directly. In other cases, your insurance company will send you a check for the estimated cost of repairs. Some people choose to keep the check and not repair their vehicle. There’s nothing wrong with this approach (if you don’t mind having dimples on your car). However, if you have a car loan, then you might be required to repair the damage.
If You Live in a Hail-Prone Area, then Consider Getting Comprehensive Coverage
If you live in a hail-prone area, then you should consider getting comprehensive coverage. Repairing hail damage can be surprisingly expensive, and a single storm can cost a driver thousands of dollars. In many cases – like where the hail is particularly large – hail damage can total a vehicle, which means the cost of repairing the hail damage exceeds the depreciated value of the vehicle.
Do you live in a hail-prone area? State Farm recently put together a list of the top 10 states with the most hail damage claims. Texas is at the top of the list, which means it had more hail damage claims and more severe hail incidents than any other state.
Overall, hail causes approximately $2.4 billion in damage to State Farm’s policyholders every year.
Basic liability car insurance does not cover hail damage. If you have the lowest legal level of car insurance, then you’re out of luck. However, most comprehensive insurance plans will cover the costs of repairing hail damage. You’ll be required to pay your deductible and your insurance company will cover the cost of repairs above that deductible.
If you live in a hail-prone state, then it may be in your best interest to get comprehensive car insurance.