Does Car Insurance Cover Hail Damage?

Written by Maggie Tiede
Written by Maggie Tiede

Maggie Tiede is a writer and blogger based in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Maggie has worked as a freelance writer since 2013, when she began reporting on politics, local events, health, and human interest for the Grand Rapids Herald-Review.

paul martin Reviewed by Paul Martin
paul martin
Reviewed by Paul Martin

Paul Martin is the Director of Education and Development for Myron Steves, one of the largest, most respected insurance wholesalers in the southern U.S.



Does car insurance cover hail damage?
How do I know if my car insurance covers hail?|
How much hail damage is covered by my car insurance?
If basic car insurance does not cover hail, what will?
Expert(s) Found on this Page

Does car insurance cover hail damage?

Hail damage is different from damage I’d get in a car accident, right? Does insurance still cover it?

It depends on what kind of car insurance you have. There are multiple types of car insurance coverage. The kind that covers hail and other natural disasters is comprehensive insurance. If you have comprehensive car insurance, you’re covered.

How do I know if my car insurance covers hail?

I recently bought car insurance, but I’m not sure if it covers hail. How do I know what my car insurance does and doesn’t cover?

To understand the answer to this question, you need to know that there are three main car insurance coverage types. Each covers different situations.

  • Liability coverage: Covers damage you do to other people, vehicles or property.
  • Collision coverage: Pays for damage to your car from a collision with another driver, regardless of fault.
  • Comprehensive coverage: Pays for damage to your car due to a non-collision event such as a flood or theft.

If you have car insurance, then you definitely have liability insurance, since it’s the legally required minimum. But collision and comprehensive coverage are optional, so you may not have them. Check the details of your policy online or in your paper packet to see.

If you have comprehensive insurance, then congrats! You’re covered for hail damage. If not, it’s easy to work with an independent insurance agent and add that coverage to your policy if you want it.

How much hail damage is covered by my car insurance?

My car’s roof and windshield got seriously damaged by hail. Will my car insurance pay the full cost of repairs?

It depends on the size of the deductible and limit of your car insurance policy. 

The deductible is the amount the insurance company requires you to pay before coverage kicks in. If the damage is $1,000 and your deductible is $500, then you'll pay $500 and your insurance will pay the other $500.

The limit is what it sounds like: the limit of what the insurance company will pay. For comprehensive policies, which cover hail, the limit is almost always the actual cash value of your car.

Actual cash value isn’t what you paid for your car. It’s the replacement cost minus depreciation, a.k.a. the amount of value your car loses each year due to age and wear and tear.

It’s extremely unlikely that repairs for hail damage to your car’s body and windshield would cost more than the actual cash value of your car, but it's good to be aware that the limit exists.

If basic car insurance does not cover hail, what will?

I recently bought a newer, nicer car. I want to upgrade my basic car insurance to something with better coverage, especially for hail and other things that could damage the windshield or appearance of the car. What kind of car insurance should I look for? 

If you want your insurance to cover hail and other natural disasters, then you need to buy comprehensive coverage. Liability insurance, the most basic type of car insurance, won’t cover it.

Luckily, adding comprehensive coverage usually costs only a few hundred dollars per year. Discounts can bring down that cost even more.

A quick call or email to an independent insurance agent will get the ball rolling. They can help you fill out paperwork, find discounts, and generally make the process as painless as possible.

Hopefully you’ll never have to use your comprehensive coverage, but you’re right to be thinking about it! If you ever get caught in a hailstorm, you’ll be glad you took the time to get your car covered.

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