The one certain thing about the weather is that it is never straightforward. Storms may wreak havoc on your home, automobile, and city. A vehicle can easily be damaged if a storm unleashes a hail barrage with unsightly dents.
Hire a professional to inspect the damage and assess how much it will cost to repair it. Because hail damage most often spreads throughout the vehicle, costs can be prohibitive. The good news is that hail damage may be covered under your automobile insurance policy.
Hail Damage Coverage
If your car insurance coverage is a sole liability, you will not be reimbursed for hail damage. Liability insurance only protects other people from harm and expenses that you cause, not yourself or your car.
It is critical to buy comprehensive coverage before you believe you will need it. If you don’t, it’s possible that you’ll be unable to avoid paying for hail damage if an unfavourable weather condition develops late in the day. Insurers sometimes refuse to offer last-minute auto insurance immediately before a storm is expected to strike.
Otherwise, cautious individuals would typically wait until the last minute to purchase insurance and then cancel it after the storm has passed. Insurance companies would have to pay out a substantial amount of money on a regular basis as a result of this.
Even though hail is uncommon in a hurricane, insurance companies place a “hold,” or “moratorium,” on adding comprehensive coverage when a storm is anticipated to make landfall. 1 If you can’t get full coverage before the hold takes effect, you’ll be responsible for any damage to your car.
Hail damage is treated in the same manner as any other typical claim. When you get car insurance, providers set deductibles for you. Many insurance firms demand a deductible with comprehensive coverage, but they may provide a zero deductible at an extra cost on rare occasions.
If you have hail damage and a deductible on comprehensive coverage, you must pay your deductible before your car is fixed. Even if your deductible is high, the expense to repair hail-induced damage is almost certainly going to exceed it.
Remember that deductibles are there to keep your overall insurance costs as low as feasible. If you’re caught in a storm without comprehensive coverage on your car, hopefully, you had the foresight to get it before now. Otherwise, make sure you are parking your car in a garage or beneath a canopy as often as possible if you don’t want to self-insure.
Can Hail Damage Total My Car?
Hail damage to your automobile may result in its total destruction. If the harm is significant and exceeds the current value of your car, it might not be worth repairing. An insurance adjuster will determine if your vehicle gets repairs based on the condition of the damage.
How Is Hail Damage Assessed?
When you submit a claim, an adjuster from the insurance company will inspect your automobile. Because the sunshine may cause dents to be difficult to detect, according to the National Alliance of Paintless Dent Repair Technicians, it’s best to have your vehicle examined in a garage or at least in a shaded location.
The adjuster will evaluate the degree of damage in order to determine the repair cost using one of two major approaches:
- Paintless dent removal (PDR): The repair will include the labour required to fix dents on the car’s underside, which does not require it to be repainted. The price of each panel or dent may be determined. Costs for removing and reinstalling any parts will also be included in the estimate.
- Traditional method: Some repair services might demand a lot of preparation time. In the case of major damage, such as when entire body panels must be replaced, this will be necessary. Otherwise, dent and paint costs would be determined and filled.
Let the insurance company know which body shop or hail repair service you want to utilize. If there’s a problem with the estimate (for example, if it was written too low), the body shop may be able to fix it with the insurer without your involvement.
Hail damage might be inconvenient. People frequently believe the problem was unavoidable, and they don’t feel they should have to pay for repairs or a deductible. Storm damage is one of those things that everyone has to face at some point in their lives.
Fixing Hail Damage
Some insurance companies may send you a cheque once the repairs have been completed, but others will subtract your deductible from the estimated repair cost before sending you the money. If your car is entirely yours and the damage is only cosmetic, you can choose not to make the repairs.
However, if you choose to live with your “dimples,” you will almost certainly receive far less money for your automobile if and when you try to sell it. You’ll most likely be forced to make any necessary repairs if you have an auto loan.