Updated January 3, 2020 . AmFam Team
Severe weather can take its toll on your car, and when hail strikes you may be wondering what to do next. We’re here to help clear up the confusion and give you confidence that the things you worry about can be covered by your insurance.
The good news is that, if your auto policy includes comprehensive coverage, your insurance company will likely cover the cost to repair damages to your car from hail. Comprehensive coverage can even help you if your car’s declared a total loss due to hail.
Let’s take a closer look at how insurance can help you prepare for unexpected hail damage.
Coverage for hail damage is easy with American Family Insurance. By choosing to add comprehensive coverage, your policy can handle each of the various stages of hail damage. And you’ll get the focused protection you need to get you on the road to recovery quickly. Like car accidents, the amount of hail damage can vary from one car to the next. That’s why we recommend several coverages to best protect you from costly out-of-pocket hail damage repairs.
Is hail damage covered in a standard car insurance policy? Not usually. So, what insurance covers hail damage to cars? As the name suggests comprehensive coverage covers a lot, including hail damage.
With it, you’ll have coverage from falling objects like hail events or tree branches that damage your car. It’s called comprehensive because it covers your car in a number of important ways that aren’t included in a standard auto policy:
This important coverage is something you may already have on your car, especially if you still owe money on it. Many financing agreements require this coverage to help reconcile costs in the event of a covered total loss.
Here’s how it works: when your car’s declared a total loss, your insurance company will pay out its actual cash value. But some payment plans don’t pay off the car as quickly as it’s depreciating. That can result in you owing more on your car than it’s worth. And gap/lease & loan coverage can help pay for that difference after a major hailstorm.
Whether your car suffered minor dings from hail or major dents, rental car reimbursement coverage can come to the rescue after a storm. It’s designed to help cover the costs for renting a car after a covered loss. It’s coverage that can help you for a period of days when your car’s in the shop.
And if it’s been totaled, you’ll have time to shop around and keep your life on track between vehicles. It can also help to cover other transportation-related expenses too:
After a hail storm, car insurance is key. But it’s even more important to pick up comprehensive insurance when you’re selecting coverage. After a hail event, it’s time to act quickly. Here are a few steps to take to evaluate the extent of hail damage done to your car and get your life back to normal quickly:
Assess the damage. Sometimes hairline cracks can appear in the windows, but they can be hard to see. Most hail damage that prevents you from driving has to do with windows being destroyed or shattered. So, look carefully at your windshield.
Make a determination. If there’s damage to your car that prevents it from being driven, get in touch with your insurance agent and get it towed to a qualified repair shop. If it’s drivable, proceed carefully after talking to your agent about next steps.
File a claim. By filing your claim quickly, you’ll do what you can to minimize the down-time between getting your car to the shop and getting it back.
After a hail event, the first thing you’ll need to do is get in touch with your insurance agency. Filing a claim is easy with American Family Insurance.
One of the best ways to report a claim is to log into My Account (Opens in a new tab) or use the MyAmFam app. And by initiating your claim with one of these options, you’ll also experience additional benefits including:
You can always call us at 1-800-MYAMFAM (1-800-692-6326) (Opens in a new tab) to speak directly with a claims representative or contact your American Family Insurance agent (Opens in a new tab).
Costs to repair hail damage are usually priced out on a per-dent basis. In most cases, you can expect to pay $30-$40 per impact for small or minute dents. Larger dents can be a bigger challenge for hail specialists and can boost that price anywhere from $50-$100+ per dent.
Yes. You’ll need to pay your comprehensive coverage deductible at the time your car goes into the shop. In some cases, your insurance company will subtract the amount of your deductible from the total due and pay that directly to the repair shop. Get in touch with your agent to learn about hail coverage and how your insurance group handles deductibles.
If you own your car outright, you may decide to not get your car repaired after a hail storm. That choice is yours to make. Insurance claims on a hail-damaged car should probably be a priority, even if you own your car. But you should be aware that if your car gets hit by hail again and you decide to then get it repaired, your insurance company may likely deny your claim.
When your car’s been pummeled by hail, these dents can do a lot of aesthetic damage to the car. It’s resale value can quickly decline if you don’t get it repaired. If you’re looking for comprehensive coverage on a car that’s been dinged up and dented from hail, you may not be able to find coverage.
Insurance companies may reject your car because prior damage can be hard to distinguish from new damage. When physical damage happens to your car, it’s best to get it repaired quickly so that your car can continue to benefit from being insurable.
To put it simply: prevention is all about protection. If you safely can get your car out of harm’s way before the weather turns, do so. Here are some suggestions to help you get ahead of the hail and help keep your car safe:
Download a weather app. User-friendly apps that reference multiple weather sources are key for getting the forecast right and can make a big difference when the wind begins to howl. Consider apps like Dark Sky and Carrot Weather for early warning and real-time radar.
Have a plan. When you know that severe weather is on the horizon, take a few minutes and plan for cover before you need it. Find a space to store your car under shelter or in a garage to minimize or avoid damage altogether.
If you want more information on how to file a storm-related claim on your car insurance, check with your American Family Insurance agent (Opens in a new tab). And look into comprehensive, gap/lease & loan and rental car reimbursement coverage. By staying ahead of storm season and updating your auto insurance policies before the weather turns, you’ll have great coverage and the comfort that comes with it.