Hailstorms in the spring, summer, and fall can wreak havoc on your car’s exterior, especially if you live in an area where hail damage is particularly severe. People who live in the Great Plains or the Midwest are more likely to experience hail damage, but it can happen anywhere. And unless you have comprehensive coverage, you’ll be left to pick up the bill for the damage, which can be quite costly; the average hail claim is about $2,500. 

Even if you have comprehensive coverage, which typically covers hailstone damage, as part of your car insurance policy, you might not want to file an insurance claim since it might drive up your insurance rates. But in some cases, you might need to. You should consider the repair cost, your deductible amount, and the value of your car when making a decision. 

Comprehensive coverage may be less expensive than you think. If you want to protect your vehicle in the event of a storm, your best bet is to compare personalized rates for comprehensive coverage across insurance providers. With Insurify, you can view customized auto policy quotes from up to 20 insurance companies at once, so you’re sure to get the best deal. 

Car Insurance and Hail Damage Repair 

While you can satisfy your legal requirement for auto insurance with liability insurance coverage, you’ll only be covered in the event of a collision. Even then, liability insurance only pays for the damage you caused to the other party’s property. If you want to protect against the financial implications of acts of God, such as fire, flood, and hail, you’ll need comprehensive insurance coverage. 

Your vehicle might sustain only minimal cosmetic damage from hail, or it could be completely totaled. Whether or not it’s worth filing a claim with your insurance company depends on your deductible, the cost of the damage, and the value of your car. 

For example, if the cost of repairing minor hail damage doesn’t exceed your deductible, it’s not worth claiming, since you’ll pay for the repairs anyway. And if your car is totaled, your deductible is high, and your car is old and not worth much anyway, you’ll be better off purchasing another vehicle than filing a claim. 

Keep in mind that hail damage will lower the value of your car. So if you have a $1,000 deductible, but your car is now worth only $2,000 due to hail damage, it’s probably not worth spending the money to repair it. 

On the other hand, if your car is still relatively new and the hail damage was moderate, it’s best to file a claim. If you own your car outright, you can decide whether to make the repairs or keep the check. 

Will my insurance go up if I file a claim for hail damage?

The good news is, hail damage won’t directly raise your rates in most cases; some states don’t even allow premium increases if the damage wasn’t the driver’s fault. However, the number of claims made against your policy could still affect your rates. So if you’ve been in other recent accidents, you may want to avoid filing a claim, especially if the damage is minimal. 

How much does it cost to fix hail damage yourself?

Depending on the severity of the damage, you may be able to fix your car yourself rather than taking it to a repair shop. But know that at-home techniques such as hot air and dry ice aren’t always successful. Often, you’ll be left with remnants of the dents, even if you improve the appearance of your vehicle. You can also try a dent repair kit, which will cost you about $30–$50. 

If you take your car to a body shop, they’ll likely charge about $30–$75+ per dent, depending on the size. The average cost of hail damage repair is about $2,500. But if you only have a few small dents and the repair cost won’t exceed your deductible amount, it’s not worth filing a hail damage claim

How to Prevent Hail Damage to Your Car 

To prevent hail damage, always be aware of local weather alerts, so you know when a hailstorm is coming. If you live in an area that gets frequent hail, you should always keep your car parked in a garage or covered parking spot if possible. If you happen to be driving during a hailstorm, you may want to pull over into a covered area. 

Ultimately, severe weather can strike your car despite your best efforts to prevent damage, and you should be prepared with comprehensive coverage. That doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll pay a higher premium, however. 

With Insurify, you can easily compare cheap car insurance quotes across different insurance providers, so you’ll be more likely to snag a low monthly rate. You’ll just need to enter some information about your vehicle and driving history to get started. 

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FAQ: Hail Damage to Car

How much does hail damage devalue your car?

If you file a claim and take your car to the body shop for paintless dent repair, the damage won’t be listed on your vehicle’s CarFax report because it has been corrected. In this case, hail damage won’t impact the value of your car at all. If you choose not to repair the damage, each dent will devalue your car by about the same amount it would cost you to get it fixed (about $2,500 total, on average). If you’re looking for an affordable car insurance policy that includes coverage for hail damage, use Insurify to compare quotes. Within minutes you’ll be able to see a list of affordable car insurance policies from top companies!

How do you fix hail damage?

There are a few methods you can use to fix your hail-damaged car. Not all these techniques will work for all types of damage, but we’ve listed them in order from least to most costly so you can try the cheapest methods first. Apply hot air or dry ice to the dent, or simply leave your car in the sun for an extended period. Buy a dent puller or dent repair kit and follow the instructions to repair the damage. Take your vehicle to a repair shop.

How is hail damage assessed on a car?

Typically, your insurance company will send an insurance adjuster to estimate the extent of the damage to your vehicle.

Updated November 25, 2020

Lindsay Frankel is a Denver-based personal finance writer for Insurify. Her work has been featured in publications such as LendingTree and FinanceBuzz. When she's not writing, you can find her enjoying the great outdoors with her rescue pup, playing music, or listening to audiobooks.