Publish Date: September 2015
You may take pride in keeping up the appearance of your car, getting it washed and detailed on a regular basis. But in spite of your efforts to keep your car looking spotless, weather-related events such as hailstorms can literally put a dent in your best intentions.
Before hail strikes your car, it’s helpful to understand whether you have insurance coverage to help protect your vehicle after a hailstorm.
We've all seen photos on the news of hailstones as large as golf balls and baseballs. But, according to the National Storm Damage Center (NSDC), even hail larger than three-fourths of an inch can cause serious damage. Furthermore, the NSDC says hail can fall at speeds of up to 120 miles per hour. That means during a hailstorm, your car may suffer significant damage.
So, how do you know whether your auto insurance policy covers hail damage?
If you carry comprehensive coverage, you're likely covered. Comprehensive coverage can help reimburse you for damages not related to a collision. That typically includes hail damage, which could result in dents in your car’s body, cracked or shattered glass, and even interior water damage.
The Insurance Information Institute (III) says comprehensive coverage is usually sold with a $100 to $300 deductible, the amount you'll pay out of pocket when you make a claim. The III says policies with a higher deductible may help lower your premium -- however, if you live in an area where hailstorms occur more often, you may want to consider whether you can afford the out-of-pocket deductible after a hail claim.
It's also helpful to know that, under some circumstances, your insurer may waive the deductible on the glass portion of your comprehensive coverage. For instance, if the glass is repaired, rather than replaced, your insurer may waive the deductible. Additionally, you may be able to buy full glass coverage as part of your policy, which typically means you won't have to pay a deductible on glass claims. Check with your agent to see if these options are available on your policy.
When it comes to hailstorms and the potential damage they can cause to your car, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Speak with your insurance agent to help decide whether comprehensive coverage might be right for you.