Is Vehicle Hail Damage Covered by Insurance?
As good as weather forecasting has become, we can never fully predict what the weather will do on any given day. A hail storm can roll in out of nowhere before you have a chance to move your vehicle indoors to prevent it from being caught in a storm.
A severe hail storm can significantly damage the body of your vehicle. Large hailstones can leave several large dents on your vehicle and even break your windows if they are big enough.
Although paintless dent repair is cheaper than traditional dent repair processes, it can still be expensive to have hail damage repaired on your vehicle, as multiple areas are typically affected and there are a large number of dents from the storm.
The good news is, if you’ve purchased the right insurance policy, the hail damage your vehicle has sustained in a hail storm could be covered under your current car insurance policy.
Is Hail Damage Covered by Insurance?
Many vehicle owners often ask the question “is hail damage covered by insurance?”. If you have comprehensive vehicle coverage and a declaration for storm damage on your policy, the answer is likely yes. Most comprehensive policies will cover hail damage on your vehicle, but you need to check the fine print!
In some instances, there are complications that may prevent you from making a hail damage claim. For example, if a flood or natural disaster is expected to happen in the near future, some insurance companies will actually place a hold on insurance policies that are being set up or adjusted. A hold is where insurance providers prevent comprehensive coverage from becoming effective until after a certain date. This is to discourage people with liability policies from upgrading their coverage in the event of a natural disaster and then going back to liability afterward. Insurance companies do this to protect themselves and reduce the number of claims after a natural disaster.
If there is a hold on adding comprehensive coverage to policies in a particular area and you are unable to add it to your policy before that period, your vehicle’s hail damage will not be covered, and you will be responsible for all of the physical damage to your vehicle.
Most insurance providers are transparent in the event there could be a hold on comprehensive coverage when you are looking to purchase an insurance policy. However, it doesn’t hurt to ask just in case. You need to ensure your vehicle can be fully protected and is covered in the event that your vehicle sustains hail damage.
If you’ve only purchased a liability insurance policy for your vehicle, hail damage will not be covered under your insurance policy. When you only have liability on your policy, the only thing that is covered is the damage that you cause to other vehicles and property in an accident. Liability only policies do not cover any damage to your own vehicle.
Auto Insurance Deductibles
The auto insurance deductible for your policy is determined when you purchase a policy for your vehicle. Depending on your policy and the company that is providing your insurance, your insurance provider may require a deductible for comprehensive insurance. In some cases, insurance companies even provide zero-deductible policies or repair hail damage as a “no fault” claim with no deductible with a higher insurance premium. It all comes down to the terms and conditions of your policy.
If you have a comprehensive insurance policy and you make a hail damage claim, you will need to pay your deductible at the time you have your vehicle repaired. Regardless of how much your deductible is, you can be sure that your auto insurance deductible will be significantly less than the cost of the hail damage repairs!
Will a Hail Damage Claim Increase My Premium?
Many motorists wonder if making a hail damage claim will increase their insurance premiums. This is something that is different from one province to the next and can depend on the insurance provider.
Like most vehicle insurance claims, your first hail damage claim typically will not increase your premium. This depends on your particular insurance provider and policy, but it is not unreasonable to make a hail damage claim when needed.
Although insurers typically will not raise your premium after your first claim, if you are frequently making hail damage claims or other vehicle damage claims, your insurance provider may re-evaluate your insurance policy and adjust your premiums and coverage accordingly.
As an example, if you made three or more hail damage claims over two years, your insurance provider may consider you a high-risk policyholder and raise your insurance premiums. In extreme cases, they may even choose not to cover your for hail damage at all in the future.
Before you make a claim, make sure that the repair is worthwhile given the cost of your deductible. If you have a $500 deductible, and the damages are only $300 to be repaired with paintless dent repair, it will not be worth making a claim.
Can My Vehicle be Written Off by Hail Damage?
If the hail damage to your vehicle is bad enough, your insurance company may declare the vehicle a total loss and write off your vehicle. If you have comprehensive coverage and your insurer determines the cost of the repairs exceeds the value of your vehicle, your insurer will pay you the value of your vehicle at the present time so it can be replaced.
As an example, if your vehicle is going to need $6000 in repairs from hail damage, and the present market value of the vehicle is only $5000, your insurer may choose to compensate you for the value of the vehicle so you can replace it.
Are Insurance Companies Different?
For the most part, each province has laws and regulations that govern auto insurance providers and how they handle claims. However, every insurance provider is a bit different when it comes to forgiveness and how they adjust your premiums after making a hail damage claim.
As mentioned above, some insurance providers offer zero-deductible insurance policies and accident or claim forgiveness with their policies, and some do not. This is something to keep in mind when you are researching different insurance providers. It’s important to check the fine print and know exactly what your insurance policy offers when selecting an insurance company.
You may have to pay a larger premium for a zero-deductible policy or one with accident or claim forgiveness, but it may be worth it to you as an individual depending on your financial situation.
How Can I Tell if I’m Covered for a Hail Damage Claim by Looking at My Policy?
Insurance policies can be confusing. It’s not always easy to remember what kind of coverage you have on your insurance policy.
If you’re unsure if you have comprehensive coverage or not, the easiest way to find out is to log on if you have access to your policy online. When you log into your insurance provider’s website and see your policy, check the declarations to see if it includes comprehensive coverage.
It’s also important to check what your insurance provider covers with its comprehensive coverage. Some insurance companies may require additional declarations or additional packages for storms and natural disasters to cover hail damage to your vehicle.
If you are unable to log on and check your insurance policy online, the next best option is to call your insurance policy provider or your insurance broker to find out.
Hail Damage Repair at Dent Force
Using traditional dent repair techniques can be expensive, and they can take a week or longer to complete. At Dent Force, we specialize in paintless dent repair. The paintless dent repair process enables us to repair our customer’s vehicles quicker without disturbing the factory paint on the vehicle.
Although with hail repair, there are typically a significant number of dents to repair, we can often repair them within a few days or less. If trim has been damaged, we replace it and install everything professionally so your vehicle will look as good as new.
If you are in need of hail damage repair, come talk to the dent repair experts at Dent Force. We take pride in every hail repair project we complete and will make your vehicle look as good as it did before the hail storm hit!