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Does Auto Insurance Cover Hail Damage?

One of the most damaging natural events your vehicle can suffer, short of having a tree fall on it, is being pummeled by hailstones, because this will affect the entire bodywork of the car.

Prevention is always better than a cure, so – if a storm is predicted – try and get your vehicle protected, either safely in a garage or multi-story car park or under some other type of cover, such as a car port.

If your car is damaged by hailstones, the cost of repairs can be sky-high because the damage will be so extensive. Fortunately, if you have bought a comprehensive cover, then you will probably be covered for hail damage, depending on the detail of your cover.

If your insurance is only the absolute minimum required by your state, then it will be liability only coverage, which is to take care of your liability to other drivers in the event you cause an automobile accident.

To be covered for hail and other damage to your car, such as flooding, you will need to buy comprehensive insurance.

But beware of leaving your purchase of this cover to the last minute, when a storm is already brewing, because insurers are wary of people who only buy cover when the chance they will need it is at its highest.

To combat this, they impose time limits on new comprehensive policies, so they don’t pay out for specific events which occur within a certain period of the policy’s inception.

You also need to bear in mind the deductibles which are set when you purchase car insurance on your vehicle. This is a sum of money you agree to pay towards any insurance claim before the insurance company pays out. So, for example, if the total payout is $10,000 and you have a $1,000 deductible, then the insurance pays you $9,000, leaving you to take care of the $1,000 balance.

When you buy the insurance is the time to decide the size of the deductible you’re comfortable with. The larger the deductible you elect to pay, the smaller your insurance premiums will be.

Hail damage can be so extensive and so costly to fix that there’s a good chance to your insurance company will declare your vehicle totaled.

That means the cost of fixing the damage can be greater than the insurer’s valuation of the vehicle, in which case your vehicle will be pronounced ‘totaled’, the vehicle would not be repaired and you will simply be give a certain sum in full and final settlement.

But all is not lost because you might be able to argue your case to get a little larger settlement and you might even get the insurers to agree to allow you keep the car, which might still be drivable, albeit unsightly.

This will take away the imperative to buy a replacement vehicle right away and also give you the means to travel round to view prospective replacements at your leisure so you can eventually strike a good deal.

Hail damage can be very frustrating to deal with, because you naturally feel you could not possibly avoid this act of nature and yet you have to honor your deductible.

Unfortunately, hail storms are one of the hazards of life, which is the reason why we buy insurance. But a good insurance broker, like the ones on this page, are well placed to advise you on the best insurance for your circumstances.

If you do file a claim, keep in mind that your vehicle is probably one of hundreds damaged by the hailstorm locally. So it will probably take longer than usual to process your insurance claim and repair your vehicle.

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Published in Auto Insurance

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