Does Car Insurance Cover Hail Damage? (2024)

Car insurance generally covers hail damage if you have comprehensive coverage.

Amy Beardsley
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Amy BeardsleyInsurance Writer
  • 3+ years writing about auto, home, and life insurance

  • 7+ years in personal finance and technology

Amy specializes in insurance and technology writing and has a talent for transforming complex topics into easy-to-understand stories.

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Danny Smith
Edited byDanny Smith
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Danny Smith
  • Licensed auto and home insurance agent

  • 4+ years in content creation and marketing

As Insurify’s home and pet insurance editor, Danny also specializes in auto insurance. His goal is to help consumers navigate the complex world of insurance buying.

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Konstantin Halachev
Data reviewed byKonstantin Halachev
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Konstantin HalachevVP of Engineering & Data Science
  • 7+ years experience in data analysis

  • Ph.D. in Computational Biology

Konstantin has led data teams across multiple industries, including insurance, travel, and biology. He’s led Insurify’s engineering team for more than three years.

Updated July 11, 2024

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The United States saw more than 4,400 major hailstorms in 2022, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.[1]

Unpredictable weather patterns make it crucial to understand your insurance coverage in the face of potential hail damage. Home insurance policies often include hailstorm coverage, but does car insurance cover hail damage?

If you have liability-only coverage, your insurer probably won’t pay for damage from hail. Comprehensive coverage, on the other hand, usually will. You can’t control the weather, but having the right car insurance can make all the difference when unexpected weather damage happens.

Quick Facts
  • Hailstorms caused more than $1 billion in damages in 2021, the most recent year the National Weather Service has data for.

  • Homeowners insurance typically won’t cover damage to a vehicle in your driveway.

  • You’ll need comprehensive coverage if you want your insurance to cover hail damage.

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When does car insurance cover hail damage?

Car insurance usually only covers hail damage if you have comprehensive coverage — a type of add-on coverage that covers noncollision-related damage to your vehicle, like damage from natural disasters, hail, animals, falling objects, and more. State laws don’t require drivers to have comprehensive coverage, however.

“You need a comprehensive policy for hail damage coverage,” says Zach Lazzari, owner of Cross Border Coverage insurance agency. “Liability won’t cover you in any state for hail damage or other naturally occurring events.”

Other types of insurance — including collision, medical payments, personal injury protection, and uninsured motorist coverage — won’t extend to hail damage, either. Comprehensive insurance coverage is the only type of auto policy that covers hail damage.

Read More: These 10 States Are the Most Vulnerable to Hail Damage

Read More: These 10 States Are the Most Vulnerable to Hail Damage

Why comprehensive car insurance is important

Comprehensive car insurance protects your vehicle on and off the road. If you only have liability insurance, your car insurance policy will cover damages to others in an accident. Comprehensive insurance protects your car from a broader scope of perils, including natural disasters, theft, vandalism, fire, falling trees, and wildlife accidents.

Protection against hail is included under the natural disaster peril of a comprehensive policy.[2] Hailstorms can cause dents, chips, or scratches in your paint and cracked windshields, mirrors, or lights that can be expensive to repair. And you’ll be on your own to cover the costs if you don’t have comprehensive coverage.

How much does comprehensive car insurance cost?

Your coverage level, vehicle type, location, value, deductible, and (in most areas) credit score all factor into your comprehensive insurance cost. Your choice of insurance company also affects how much you pay.

The table below shows how much extra per month insurance companies charge for comprehensive insurance for drivers with a $1,000 deductible.

Insurance CompanyAverage Monthly Quote
Direct Auto$3
Bristol West$5
Progressive$6
The General$8
Midvale Home & Auto$9
Mile Auto$11
Farmers$12
Safeco$14
Infinity$20
Clearcover$22
Travelers$23
Mercury$26
Elephant$29
Nationwide$31
Dairyland$34
State Auto$36
Liberty Mutual$47
Disclaimer: Table data sourced from real-time quotes from Insurify's 50-plus partner insurance providers and quote estimates from Quadrant Information Services. Actual quotes may vary based on the policy buyer's unique driver profile.

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Insurify’s drivers have found rates ranging from $41/mo. to $119/mo. in the last few days

*Quotes generated for Insurify users within the last 10 days. Last updated on July 11, 2024

Rates shown are real-time Insurify user quotes from 100+ insurance companies and Quadrant Information Services data. Insurify’s algorithm excludes anomalous quotes and anonymizes personal details, then displays refined quotes by price, date, and insurer popularity up to 10 days ago from July 11, 2024. Actual quotes may vary based on the policy buyer’s unique driver profile.

*Quotes generated for Insurify users within the last 10 days. Last updated on July 11, 2024

Rates shown are real-time Insurify user quotes from 100+ insurance companies and Quadrant Information Services data. Insurify’s algorithm excludes anomalous quotes and anonymizes personal details, then displays refined quotes by price, date, and insurer popularity up to 10 days ago from July 11, 2024. Actual quotes may vary based on the policy buyer’s unique driver profile.

How to file a claim for hail damage

Dealing with hail damage can be a frustrating experience. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to file a claim:

1. Evaluate your policy coverage and deductible

Consider your car insurance policy coverage and deductible before filing a claim. Review your coverage details, deductibles, and any limitations or exclusions. For instance, a liability-only policy won’t cover hail. Additionally, submitting a claim to your insurer wouldn’t make sense if the only damage is to a single headlight and your deductible is $1,000.

2. Assess the hail damage

Carefully examine your vehicle to determine the extent of the damage. Look for dents, dings, cracked windshields, and other visible signs of harm from the hailstorm. Take photos to document your car’s condition — your insurer might ask for evidence of the loss.

3. Contact your insurance agent

Once you decide to proceed with a claim, contact your insurance company. You might be able to jump-start your claim using a mobile app. Either way, it’s important to reach out as soon as possible. Although most policies don’t outline a specific deadline, insurers generally require you to file “promptly” or “within a reasonable time.”[3]

4. File a claim

Insurance companies can have different procedures for how you file a claim.[4] If your insurer offers a mobile app, you can submit the claim form, upload photos, and check your deductible from your phone.

5. Gather documents to support your claim

Even if you submit incident details, a description of the damage, and photos with your claim form, your insurer will likely ask for additional documents for proof of claim — a copy of the police report is standard for car accidents. But for hail damage, you may need to submit repair estimates from a garage, body shop, or car dealership.

6. Assess rental car coverage

Repair timelines depend on the amount of damage to your vehicle. A few dents might take a day or two to repair, while panel replacement and paintwork could take two to three weeks or longer. In the meantime, you’ll need a way to get around. Ask your insurer if your policy has rental car benefits to arrange for a temporary replacement vehicle.

7. Arrange for vehicle repairs

An insurance adjuster will survey the damage to your car and may recommend a repair shop. You don’t have to use the shop they suggest — you can choose where to take your car for repairs. However, your insurance company can require you to get more than one estimate to compare the costs against the repair shop it prefers.[5]

See More: Why Do Car Insurance Companies Deny Claims?

See More: Why Do Car Insurance Companies Deny Claims?

Factors that affect hail damage coverage

How much coverage you have against hail damage depends on a few factors. Understanding how each affects your policy can give you a clearer picture of how your insurance company will handle your claim.

Deductibles

A deductible is the amount you contribute toward an auto insurance claim. Higher deductibles mean you’ll pay more in repair costs. Check your policy or ask your insurance agent how much your deductible is for hail damage.

Personal belongings inside the vehicle

It’s important to note that comprehensive insurance doesn’t include personal belongings left inside the vehicle. If the hail damage was severe and caused damage to items inside the car, your claim payment won’t cover repairs or replacement. You’ll need to file a separate claim with your homeowners or renters insurance.

Vehicle age and condition

Your car’s age and condition affect how insurance companies handle hail damage claims. When repairs are more expensive than a car’s value, the insurance company may determine that your car is a total loss and offer you a payout instead of covering the repair costs. Additionally, if your vehicle has existing damage, the hail damage claim may not cover those repairs.

Will a hail damage claim increase your insurance rates?

Car insurance premiums tend to increase if you file claims. However, a hail damage claim isn’t likely to increase your rates since you can’t control or prevent hailstorms. If there’s an uptick in hailstorms in your area, your insurance company may charge higher rates for the policyholders in the region as a whole.[6]

How to get comprehensive coverage

Here’s how to get comprehensive coverage:

  • Contact your insurance company. Contact your existing insurance agent or shop around for quotes from different companies to explore comprehensive coverage options.

  • Review policy options. Review the deductibles, coverage limits, and any additional features or benefits to better understand what each policy covers.

  • Assess your coverage needs. Consider your unique circumstances, such as your vehicle’s value, budget, and risk tolerance, to pick the deductible and coverage limits.

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Learn More: Natural Disaster Statistics

Learn More: Natural Disaster Statistics

Hail damage FAQs

Hail damage is a common concern for vehicle owners. Here’s some additional information about how insurance works and what steps you can take to protect yourself and your car.

  • How do you protect your car from hail damage?

    During severe thunderstorms, when hail is likely, the National Weather Service suggests parking your car in a garage or under a carport to protect it from damage.[7] You could also drape blankets, a comforter, or collapsed cardboard boxes over your car roof, windshield, and hood to soften the impact.

  • Which insurance covers hail damage to a car?

    Comprehensive auto insurance is the key to coverage from hail damage. It safeguards against hailstorms by helping cover the repair or replacement cost if the vehicle damage is severe enough. With a comprehensive policy, you’ll also get protection from other noncollision events, such as fire, vandalism, and falling trees.

  • Will your homeowners insurance cover your car for hail damage?

    Homeowners insurance covers your home and personal property from hail damage, but it won’t cover hail damage to your vehicle. However, if a hailstorm causes damage to personal belongings inside your car, such as electronics or valuables, you may be able to file a claim with your homeowners insurance.

  • Does full-coverage insurance cover hail damage?

    Full-coverage car insurance typically covers hail damage. A full-coverage policy includes liability, collision, and comprehensive coverage, ensuring coverage for your vehicle in various situations, like car accidents, vandalism, theft, hailstorms, fire, and more. It’s essential to check the specifics of your policy to understand deductibles, coverage limitations, and exclusions.

Sources

  1. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. "Storm Prediction Center."
  2. FEMA. "Natural Hazards."
  3. NOLO. "Car Insurance Deadlines: How Long After an Accident Can You File a Claim?."
  4. Insurance Information Institute. "How to file an auto insurance claim."
  5. Insurance Information Institute. "Determining your car's value and cost of repair."
  6. Columbia Climate School. "With Climate Impacts Growing, Insurance Companies Face Big Challenges."
  7. National Weather Service. "Hail Safety Rules."
Amy Beardsley
Amy BeardsleyInsurance Writer

Amy is a personal finance and technology writer. With a background in the legal field and a bachelor's degree from Ferris State University, she has a talent for transforming complex topics into content that’s easy to understand. Connect with Amy on LinkedIn.

Danny Smith
Edited byDanny Smith
Photo of an Insurify author
Danny Smith
  • Licensed auto and home insurance agent

  • 4+ years in content creation and marketing

As Insurify’s home and pet insurance editor, Danny also specializes in auto insurance. His goal is to help consumers navigate the complex world of insurance buying.

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Konstantin Halachev
Data reviewed byKonstantin HalachevVP of Engineering & Data Science
Headshot of Konstantin Halachev, VP of Engineering at Insurify
Konstantin HalachevVP of Engineering & Data Science
  • 7+ years experience in data analysis

  • Ph.D. in Computational Biology

Konstantin has led data teams across multiple industries, including insurance, travel, and biology. He’s led Insurify’s engineering team for more than three years.

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