What To Do When Your Car Is Damaged By Hail
Posted in AUTO BODY, on July 13, 2021
Sometimes bad weather conditions come out of nowhere and hit us unexpectedly. This is especially true with hail storms, which most often do not give people a chance to prepare. This means you might not have a chance to move your car out of harm’s way before it’s too late.
Most people don’t think about the harm hail can cause, but a severe hail storm can cause significant damage to the body of your vehicle. Your car can suffer multiple large dents and broken or cracked windows if the hail is big enough.
If multiple areas of your vehicle are affected with large dents, the repair process can be quite expensive. Paintless dent repair is cheaper than traditional dent repair processes, but can still add up to be an expensive process when multiple dents need to be fixed. However, depending on which insurance policy you have purchased, hail damage could be covered under your car insurance policy. If this is the case, that means the damage your vehicle has sustained from the hail storm is covered under your insurance!
Is Hail Damage Covered by Insurance?
A common question asked by many vehicle owners is “Is hail damage covered by insurance?” The simple answer is it depends on what insurance you have. If you have comprehensive vehicle coverage, and your policy states a declaration for storm damage, then it’s most likely covered. Generally, most comprehensive policies do cover hail damage, but the best way to know for sure is to check the fine print.
Sometimes there are situations that could prevent you from making a hail damage claim. For example, if a flood or natural disaster is expected to happen in the near future, sometimes insurance companies will place a hold on insurance policies that are being set up or adjusted.
This means insurance providers prohibit comprehensive coverage from coming into effect until after a certain date. Insurance companies do this to discourage people with liability policies from upgrading their coverage for the sole purpose of a natural disaster, and then going back to liability afterward. Doing this protects the insurance companies and reduces the number of claims that are made after a natural disaster.
If you are unable to add comprehensive coverage to your policy due to a hold and a hail storm hits, any damage to your vehicle caused by the hail will not be covered. This means you will be responsible to pay for any and all physical damage to your vehicle.
If your vehicle is only covered by a liability insurance policy, hail damage will not be covered. A liability policy only covers the damage that you cause to other vehicles and property in the case of an accident. This also means liability only policies do not cover any damage to your own vehicle.
Auto Insurance Deductibles
Your auto insurance deductible is determined when you purchase a policy for your vehicle. Your insurance provider may require a deductible for comprehensive insurance, depending on the policy you purchased and the insurance company you are with. Some insurance companies provide zero-deductible policies, or repair hail damage as a “no-fault” claim with no deductible with a higher insurance premium. It all depends on the terms and conditions of your policy.
When you make a hail damage claim and you have a comprehensive policy, you will have to pay your deductible at the time your vehicle is repaired. It doesn't matter how much your deductible is, because it will be significantly less than the cost of the hail damage repairs!
Will a Hail Damage Claim Increase My Premium?
Many drivers want to know if their insurance premium will increase if they make a hail damage claim. The answer to this varies, as it differs from province to province, and depends on the insurance provider.
Commonly among vehicle insurance claims, first time claims don’t increase your premium. So generally, your first hail damage claim will not increase your premium. However, it is important to remember that it ultimately depends on the insurance provider you are with and what policy you have.
Can My Vehicle be Written Off by Hail Damage?
If the hail has caused bad enough damage to your vehicle, it is possible that your insurance company will declare your vehicle a total loss and write it off. If you are covered by comprehensive insurance and the price of the repairs for the hail damage costs more than the value of your vehicle, your insurance company will pay you the present time value of your vehicle so that you can replace it.
For example, if the hail damage repairs cost $6000, and the present market value of your vehicle is only $5000, your insurance company may choose to pay you the value of the vehicle so that it can be replaced.
Are Insurance Companies Different?
Generally, every province has its own laws and regulations that govern how auto insurance providers handle claims. Despite this, each insurance provider can differ when it comes to forgiveness and how they adjust your premiums after you make a hail damage claim.
When searching for an insurance provider, always remember to read the fine print and inform yourself about exactly what your insurance policy offers.
How Can I Tell if I’m Covered for a Hail Damage Claim by Looking at My Policy?
Insurance policies can be confusing and difficult to remember. If you are unsure of what insurance coverage you have or what is included in your policy, the best way to find out is to log on to your policy online, if you have access to. Once you have logged on to the website, check your policy for the declarations to see what it includes. If it includes comprehensive coverage, you should be covered for hail damage.
If you do have comprehensive insurance, it’s important to check what your insurance provider covers. Some insurance companies require additional declarations or additional packages for storms and natural disasters, in order to cover your vehicle’s hail damage.
If you cannot log on to the website to view your insurance policy, you can call your insurance provider to find out the details.
Hail Damage Repair at Modern Automotive
Traditional dent repair techniques can be expensive, and they can take a week or longer to complete. At Modern Automotive, we specialize in paintless dent repair. The paintless dent repair process allows us to repair our customer’s vehicle faster, without disturbing the factory paint on the vehicle.
When it comes to hail repair, there are generally multiple dents to repair. However, we can often repair these dents 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, you can trust the dent repair experts at Modern Automotive. 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!