Certain auto insurance policies can cover you when hailstorms strike.
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Depending on where you live, hailstorms can be a regular occurrence. Should you get caught in one while out driving, your vehicle could suffer some pretty serious damage. However, if you have the right insurance policies, you could be saved from spending thousands of dollars on repairs.
Did you know that hail events affected 1 in 5 properties in Oklahoma in 2020? How about that hail damaged an estimated 1.5 million properties in Texas the same year? Hailstorms, which come as a result of thunderstorms, are extremely common, particularly in the Midwest. If your car is left out, you could get hail damage, but will car insurance cover it?
Yes, car insurance covers hail damage if you have comprehensive coverage. If you lack comprehensive coverage, you’ll have to pay for your hail damage repairs out of pocket.
Comprehensive insurance covers damage from weather-related events, including hail, floods, and sinkholes. It also covers most events other than collisions, such as auto burglary and vandalism.
If hail cracks or shatters your windshield, comprehensive coverage could reimburse you for the repairs. However, some drivers buy separate windshield coverage, also known as glass coverage. You can find glass coverage with and without its own deductible.1
The cost of comprehensive coverage, which includes coverage for hail damage, varies by state. On average, though, comprehensive coverage costs $171.87 per year. Here’s how much this auto insurance costs on average by state:
|State||Average yearly spending on comprehensive coverage in 2019 (most to least)|
It is important to note that comprehensive coverage differs from liability insurance. Liability insurance includes bodily injury coverage and property damage coverage, neither of which apply to hail damage. Instead, liability coverage, in the event of an accident you caused, pays the other party’s medical and property damage costs. In contrast, comprehensive coverage covers damages to your car from events other than collisions (for that, you’d need collision coverage).
In the event you do have a covered comprehensive claim for hail damage, you can be reimbursed for the cost of a rental car while your car is being repaired if you have rental car coverage. If you lack rental car coverage, you’ll have to pay for your rental car out of pocket.
You don’t need to purchase any additional insurance for your rental car, as your regular insurance covers any car you drive, not just your owned or leased vehicle.
Some people prefer not to file insurance claims. Why? Because insurance claims can take a long time to be resolved, make your rates go up, and often force you to pay an out-of-pocket deductible. Here are several factors to consider when you’re deciding whether to file a claim for hail damage.
Hail damage on a car is repairable with these methods:
While you can try to make these repairs yourself, especially if the dents are minor, we recommend filing a claim and going to a professional.
The average hail damage claim is around $3,000 to $4,000, based on these average repair costs.
If you haven’t already met your comprehensive deductible, you’ll have to pay it before your insurance provider pays anything. The deductibles are around $500 on average. Once you pay the deductible, your insurance provider will cover the rest of the costs up to the comprehensive coverage limit you’ve selected. Learn how deductibles work and read our deductible frequently asked questions for more information.
If your hail damage is covered, you’ll get a dollar amount between your deductible and limit back. So, if you have $10,000 worth of comprehensive coverage, $3,000 worth of hail damage, and a $500 deductible, you’d pay $500, and then your insurance company would pay the remaining $2,500. After that, it’ll cover up to $7,500 worth of comprehensive claims if you have any other damage, beyond which you’ll be responsible for additional repair costs out of pocket.
The good news? Filing a hail damage claim won’t affect your car insurance premiums as negatively as at-fault accidents.
The bad news? A hail damage claim will still likely cause your premiums to rise. The truth is that any comprehensive claim, even if the damage wasn’t your fault, suggests a higher likelihood of future claims, which impacts premiums. You’d do best to ask your insurance agent how much your premiums would rise after a hail damage claim.
When insurance companies value cars, they take factors like these into account:
If you have hail damage, even if it doesn’t cause any issues with operating the vehicle, it can seriously devalue the car. If the damage is not fixed, the car’s actual market value (AMV) will be less the cost of the damages.4 So, if your car has $3,000 worth of hail damage, you can subtract $3,000 from its pre-hail AMV.
The most important thing to do before, during, and after a hailstorm is to prioritize your safety. Then, you can think about protecting your car as well.
No state is impacted by hail more than Texas. Of course, if you live in Texas or anywhere in the Midwest, you’re probably already aware of the physical damage that hail can cause.
The state with the most properties damaged by hail events in 2020 was Texas, where over 1.5 million hailstorms damaged an estimated 17 percent of all properties. Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, and Missouri rounded out the top five.
|State||Estimated number of properties affected by damaging hail events in 2020 (most to least)||Percentage of properties affected|
Texas also had the most hail loss claims in 2019 (the last year this data was available), comprising nearly a quarter of the total hail loss claims in the U.S.
|State||Number of hail loss claims in 2019 (most to least)||Percentage of total hail claims in U.S.|
Texas had 208 severe hail days in 2019, which meant that severe hail occurred 57 percent of the time somewhere in the state.9
Learn more about the cost of auto insurance in Texas and the minimum car insurance required in Texas.
Here are the basics of what hail actually is.
Hail is solid ice that precipitates. It forms inside the updrafts of thunderstorms, causing damage to homes, cars, and aircrafts, as well as people and livestock.10
Hailstorms are thunderstorms that involve hail — solid ice precipitation.
While walking in a winter wonderland may seem like a dream, if there’s hail, it quickly becomes a bit of a nightmare. But with the right precautions, you can protect your car from hail damage. And even if you get a few dents or cracks, comprehensive coverage will pay for your repairs — after you pay your deductible, that is.
Learn more about hail damage and car insurance in our answers to these frequently asked questions.
If you have comprehensive coverage on your vehicle, your policy covers hail damage. Comprehensive coverage includes hail damage and all weather-related events. If your policy lacks comprehensive coverage, though, your insurance will not cover hail damage.
It is worth it to claim hail damage to a car. If you have comprehensive coverage, you can receive compensation based on the extent of the damage caused by hail (after you’ve met your deductible). The average hail damage claim is around $3,000 to $4,000, and the average comprehensive deductible is about $500. So yes, claiming hail damage to a car is usually worth it.
However, if the dents are very minor, you could fix them yourself or pay for repairs out of pocket. You could also do nothing, if you’re not concerned with your car’s actual market value for a sale or trade-in.
Comprehensive coverage covers hail damage, along with damage from weather-related events like floods and sinkholes.
Unfortunately, your insurance may go up if you file a claim for hail damage. Although hail damage isn’t anyone’s fault, any comprehensive claim indicates a higher risk of future claims, so your premiums may rise. However, they won’t rise as much as they would have if you were in an at-fault accident.
Insurance Handbook: Auto Insurance Basics. Insurance Information Institute. (2022).
2018/2019 Auto Insurance Database Report. National Association of Insurance Commissioners. (2022).
A Guide to Car Hail Damage Repair: DIY vs. Auto Body Shops. Key Collision Centers. (2022).
Will Hail Damage Show Up on Carfax? Ez Dent Repair. (2022).
How to protect your car from hail. Progressive. (2022).
How to protect your car from hail this spring. Germania Insurance. (2021, May 1).
What To Do When Your Car Is Damaged By Hail. CARFAX. (2021, Aug 31).
The Hail Hazard and Its Impact on Property Insurance. Verisk. (2021).
Top 5 States for Hail Claims: 2017-2019 Data. National Insurance Crime Bureau. (2020, Apr 28).
Severe Weather 101: Hail Basics. NOAA National Severe Storms Laboratory. (2022).