With climate change being a rollercoaster that only goes up, hail is something that can catch you off guard. Especially if your forecast app is not a widget. After paying your premiums on car insurance and thinking about the total cost of owning a car, you might be wondering if hail damage is something that is covered under this.
The Short Answer
Yes, IF you have a comprehensive insurance policy.
The Slightly Longer Answer
Most comprehensive insurance policies do cover damage due to falling objects such as hail. It may also cover storm-related damages. But as always, you need to read the fine print and ensure you ask your insurance provider about it beforehand.
Opposed to this, liability only policies account solely for damage caused by the insurance holder. It only covers damage caused by the vehicle, and not the damage suffered. It also does not offer hail protection.
Why should you get hail protection?
Hail may cause dents in your car, shattered glass, and other damages. In some severe cases, the damage may be extreme. If you live in or travel to a hail prone area, this should be a no-brainer coverage area. You should even consider this if hail has occurred in your area in the past year or you notice a forecast for it. Ultimately, it may be better than paying for the damages caused.
How much does it cost?
Hail damage costs can range from less than $1,000 to more than $10,000. This is especially true if your car has damaged parts that are expensive to replace. Compared to this, adding comprehensive coverage increases your insurance costs generally by $100 to $300 a year.
While seeking hail damage claim the first time may not raise your insurance premiums, frequent claims may do so. This is because you will be considered a high-risk customer for this cause. However, the details will depend on your specific insurance provider.
You can use our free tool to get a cost estimate for your insurance!
Will hail damage write off your vehicle?
Heavy hail damage can write off your car. This is in case the cost of repairs exceeds the value of the car. Here, your insurance provider will choose to declare the vehicle a total loss and write off the vehicle. With comprehensive coverage, the insurer will pay you the present value of the car in order for you to be able to replace it.
Unless you are friends with the weather gods and goddesses or incredibly successful at science, a hail storm cannot be prevented. However, you can take measures to protect your car from the damages and yourself from the time and money it causes.
Use a Weather app
From funky to aesthetic, there are several weather apps available for free use. Most mobile phones come downloaded with one. Place it next to your Instagram to take a glance at it every morning. You can use a widget for better visual access. The app may even send alerts if a hailstorm is predicted.
Use a car cover
If hailstorms are predicted or suspected, use a car cover to reduce or entirely prevent damage to your vehicle. If you don’t have access to an indoor garage, make sure to use it at all time when parked.
Be mindful of your location
Park indoors whenever possible, especially in areas with a high risk of hailstorms. When travelling, ensure you know the weather forecast and plan ahead. Check if it is possible for you to reroute in case of a hailstorm occurrence. If not, try to take shelter in a safe place, preferably indoors or away from large trees or objects that can fall.
First steps in case of hail damage
Prevention is important, but sometimes the vehicle may get damaged regardless of it. The damage on your vehicle can vary quite a bit depending on where your case was, the severity of the hailstorm, collateral damages, etc. Make this process less confusing by following these simple steps as quickly as possible after the damage occurs
Assess the level of damage
Take into account the physical factors such as dents and shattered or nicked glass, while also looking for the more invisible damages such car not starting, sudden stoppage, warning lights, etc.
Estimate the costs
Observe the repairs needed and see how much it would cost. If you have comprehensive insurance with hail coverage, notice if its more expensive to repair the damages out of your pocket or to pay the deductible.
If you are not insured against this, estimate if the value of your repairs are more than the present value of your car. Consider replacing your car if you will be spending more in repairs than the vehicle’s value in the current market.
File a claim
After assessing the cost of repairs, decide if you wish to proceed with filing a claim. With comprehensive coverage insuring your vehicle, act quickly ensure you file your claim to minimise confusion as well as the time it takes for your car to get repaired.
The insurance provider may choose to proceed with paintless dent removal in case of lesser damages, body panel replacements with more damages or a complete write-off in severe cases.
Is it worth it?
Many insurance providers may require a deductible for comprehensive insurance. You may be able to choose to pay lower premiums if you decide to forego the higher deductible. This is better if you’re in an area that is not hail-prone. Further, the cost of repairing small dents and nicks in glass is lesser than the deductible, then this option may prove more expensive on your end.
Ultimately, the choice is between you, your insurance provider, and the climate.
Now that your car is hail-ready, read on about 5 Ways to Get Your Car Ready for Winter in Canada!