I just moved to a new area that is known for hail. I've never lived anywhere that experiences this type of weather, and I'm wondering if my car is damaged from a hailstorm, will my car insurance will cover it?
The short answer is yes. No matter where you are or in what scenario your car was damaged by hail, your car insurance will cover the damage. This is not the case with all things that collide with your car, but insurance considers hail something that is out of your control, so for that reason, it is always covered. In the unfortunate event that your car is damaged by hail, you'll either be covered by your collision or other than collision insurance. Even though you're not colliding with an object, a hailstorm results in ice balls "colliding" with your vehicle, so that's why it is sometimes covered under collision insurance.
How does my car insurance cover my car being damaged by hail?
I woke up this morning and went out to my car only to realize that there was a horrible hailstorm last night and there are dents on my hood. The damage is pretty extensive so I want to get it repaired, but I've heard there are a few different ways that insurance will cover hail damage, so how exactly will they cover it?
Your insurance will cover the damage to your car either through your collision policy or your "other than collision" policy. The coverages are pretty cut and dried, but it's important to know the difference between the two.
Collision coverage: Coverage for hitting another object
Other than collision coverage: Coverage for everything except hitting another object, like flooding, vandalism, or theft.
The interesting thing about collision coverage is that you're not required to have it. However, think about every accident you've ever had and consider how many have been the result of "colliding" with something else, and you might notice that it's good coverage to have.
When it comes to hail damage, if you have other than collision coverage, also known as comprehensive coverage, then that will cover your hail damage. There's even verbiage within comprehensive coverage that addresses hail damage.
Now, let's say that you don't have comprehensive coverage and you only have collision coverage, then your insurance will consider it a collision claim and the damage will be covered that way. Usually, the deductible for other than collision claims is lower than collision deductibles, so that's definitely something to keep in mind when buying car insurance.
How much of the damage will be covered?
I got caught in a hailstorm driving home from work and there's a crack in my windshield and scratches on my car. I know my insurance will cover the damage, but will it even cover the windshield damage?
The great thing about getting in a scenario with Mother Nature is that it's never your fault, so insurance will always cover 100% of the damage that is caused to your vehicle by a hailstorm. However, it's not always the smartest decision to make an insurance claim. You will still be responsible for the price of your deductible, and depending on what insurance policy you have, your deductible could be rather high.
In order for hail to do serious damage to a vehicle, it has to be a pretty historic storm. The damage often consists of small dents or maybe a minimal scratch. This type of damage is not always worth making a claim over. It's important to know how much your deductible is and determine whether the damage is worth making a claim. If you have a couple of small dents, you may be better off heading over to your local car repairman to see if they can simply fix the dents for a small fee that will most likely be less than your deductible.
If my car insurance doesn't cover hail damage, what will?
I was driving my car in another state and it hailed and caused some damage to my car. I've heard that hail is covered under other than collision policies and I don't have that, so I'm worried that my insurance will not cover the total damage. How much will I owe if I don't have other than collision coverage?
Although other than collision or comprehensive insurance specifically addresses hail damage, it is not the only way to get coverage for damage from a hailstorm.
I already went through the difference between comprehensive and collision coverage, and it's unlikely that a driver will not have one or the other. After all, a majority of accidents are caused by collision or something else. The only difference that not having comprehensive coverage makes is that your deductible, the price you pay to get your car fixed, will most likely be higher if you only have collision coverage.
I also already mentioned that it doesn't always make the most sense to go through insurance. Of course, if you decided to take your car to a local shop to get scratches buffed out, dents popped, or even a window replaced outside of insurance, you, of course, would owe 100% of the costs.
If you're deciding whether comprehensive or collision insurance is best for you, consider your driving habits and the environment you live in. If you live somewhere that is prone to dangerous hailstorms, then you may want to consider it. I live in Texas, and a few years back we had what was considered the most damaging hailstorm in the history of the state. Golf-ball-sized ice fell from the sky and literally went through windshields. For this reason, and many others, I have collision and comprehensive insurance. Comprehensive insurance is great for a lot more than just hail damage coverage, and it's easy to adjust your insurance policy if you want to add on the coverage.