Are drivers protected in the event of a hailstorm?
- Hail can seriously damage a vehicle or make the car useless by its owner.
- Many drivers can not afford to pay out of pocket to fix the hail problems.
- Car insurance can cover hail damage, but it depends on the type of contract.
Hailstorms are a common weather phenomenon in many parts of the country. Unfortunately, hail can cause serious damage to a vehicle – especially if the hail is heavy, if the storm lasts for a long time or if the hail is accompanied by strong winds.
There are actually myriad types of problems that hail can cause when a storm occurs. Obviously, it can hit a vehicle as well as cause damage to the car paint. It can break car mirrors, windshields and headlights. And it can move the mirrors from their place or even hit the mirror completely from the vehicle.
Unfortunately, solving hail problems can be quite costly – especially if the damage was extensive. In fact, in some cases, the hail causes so much damage that the whole car is declared a total loss.
Drivers who have been damaged by hail may find it difficult to cover the cost of repairing or replacing a car, and they may wonder if car insurance provides coverage. Here’s what motorists need to know about the rules for when car insurance pays for hail issues.
When does car insurance cover hail damage?
Car insurance will provide protection against hail damage only if the driver has the correct type of coverage. Drivers who buy only the required car insurance will usually find that hail damage is not covered at all.
In many states, the only type of coverage required is liability protection. This pays compensation to other people if the counterparty causes an accident and injures someone or destroys their property. Hail damage to the driver’s vehicle will never be covered by liability policy, as this only compensates victims for damage caused by the contractor.
Some states also require drivers to purchase various other types of coverage, such as uninsured or underinsured car insurance or medical insurance coverage. But none of this will pay off for a driver whose vehicle was damaged by hail.
In order for a driver to receive insurance coverage for damage to his own vehicle due to a hailstorm, the driver would need something called full coverage.
How does comprehensive coverage work?
Comprehensive coverage is an important type of car insurance for those who want to ensure that their policy protects them from hail damage and other non-accident-related causes. While states do not require it, lenders usually do it for drivers with car loans and dealers usually charge it for rental vehicles.
Comprehensive coverage pays for any damage to a car that does not occur in a collision and is not caused by another person whose insurance can be held liable for payment of damages. This includes hailstorms, but also thefts, vandalism and incidents such as falling trees in the vehicle.
Drivers with full coverage can file a claim for repair or replacement of their vehicle when hail has caused damage. The insurer will pay any additional money required to repair or replace the car after the insured has paid the discount.
Most drivers, other than those with very old and cheap vehicles, should consider this optional type of protection, as they may never know when a hailstorm or other disaster will occur. Purchasing it could potentially prevent financial ruin when things go wrong, ensuring that a driver does not have to pay out of pocket to solve all the problems his car could face.
RELATED: See The Ascent guides for best cheap car insurance and best car insurance companies.
Make sure you choose the right car insurance coverage
Car insurance is something that most people do not think about very often. While there are several factors that lead people to seek out car insurance change, it is important to educate yourself to ensure that you choose the right coverage for you. Proper coverage means not paying for coverage you do not need and not skipping coverage that would make sense for your personal situation. Although price is an important factor, we also take into account other factors, such as customer service and the compensation process, when choosing who we believe to be the best car insurance providers.