Comprehensive coverage should cover hail damage to your car, but you will need to assess the damages before deciding to file a claim.
Nothing prepares you for the way your car looks after hail damage. Dents, creases, and even smashed glass are a real possibility. And worse yet, hail damage repairs aren’t the same as
collision repairs—as you're likely the only driver involved.
So, do you take your car to a collision center, or is there someone else who can fix it? And will your insurance even cover the hail damage repairs or will you have to pay for it out of pocket? Well, that depends on a number of factors, but it all starts with your insurance.
Read on to find out more about hail damage and your
car insurance. And to get the best rates, try out car insurance comparison and broker app
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Does car insurance cover hail damage?
If you hate seeing those little dents all over your vehicle, there’s good news. Many car insurance policies will cover a hail damaged car. But that’s assuming you’ve purchased
comprehensive coverage for your vehicle.
Comprehensive insurance covers damages that aren't a result of collisions, including vandalism, glass damage, theft, wildlife accidents, and yes,
Acts of God, including a hail storm.
If you’ve elected to save some cash by picking a liability policy only, you’re out of luck. Although
liability insurance coverage is the bare minimum for most states, it only helps with the other party’s expenses or property damage in an accident, not yours.
Key Takeaway: Comprehensive insurance can cover you in case of hail damage.
Is it worth claiming hail damage to a car?
While insurance may cover even minor hail damage caused by chunks of ice falling from the sky, determining whether it’s a good idea to file an insurance claim is a different matter. There are things to consider, such as:
How extensive is the car hail damage? If you’ve lucked out with only a handful of dents across your whole car, making a claim through your insurer may not be a good idea. Like most insurance claims, you’re responsible for paying your
deductible for your hail damaged vehicle, and your premiums may increase as well. The total cost of the claim could well be higher than paying for the body shop repairs yourself.
Do you have an older car? If your car has depreciated a lot due to age or high mileage, the repair costs could exceed your car’s worth and result in being deemed
a total loss.
Your car value will be diminished. Having an insurance claim on your car shows up on a vehicle history report (VHR). Damaged cars are immediately reduced in appeal compared to ones that haven’t been damaged. However, if you fix it on your own without making a comprehensive claim through your insurance agent, it won’t show on a VHR and the resale value won’t be affected.
Is my hail-damaged car a write-off?
It is possible for your car to be a total loss or write-off due to hail damage. Car value prior to the damage and the cost to repair the hail dents are two of the most important factors, as well as any rental costs.
Like a collision claim, the point at which it becomes a total loss is when the cost to repair equals around 70 to 75 percent of the vehicle’s pre-loss value. So, for a $5,000 car, an insurance company would typically write it off if the repairs were $3,500 or more.
So how much does it cost to fix hail damage? The cost is usually per dent. For small dents, expect it to be around $30, whereas medium-sized dents are around $50 each to pop out. Large dents are around $80 each, depending on the dent removal service chosen.
At an average of around $50 per dent, 50 dents would be around $2,500. But a hail storm can leave hundreds of dents behind, which is why some cars may be written off by hail damage.
Key Takeaway: A car will be written off if repair costs are 70 to 75 percent of its pre-damage value. Since repairs are usually about $50 per dent, enough hail could make your car a write-off.
How to fix hail damage on a car
If you’re wondering
how to fix hail damage on a car at home, the answer is: don't. You probably shouldn’t try it. Paintless dent repair, or PDR, is a very precise process that takes hundreds, even thousands, of hours to master.
The PDR dent technician will access the back of the dented panel through small factory holes. Sometimes, they have to drill holes of their own that later need to be covered or repaired.
Dents are gently massaged out with tools that look like long picks or stiff coat hangers.
The exterior is often heated with a heat gun that looks like a hairdryer to make the metal more malleable and prevent the paint from cracking.
Dents routinely need to be tapped gently from the outside with a hammer to help make them perfectly smooth.
If the paint is chipped or cracked, the affected panel usually needs to be refinished after the dent is removed.
If you’ve purchased comprehensive coverage for your car, insurance will pay around 70 percent of your car’s value to fix hail damage. But if you’ve opted for cheaper liability-only insurance, you’ll be picking up the tab for hail damage yourself.
How much do you get for hail damage?
If you have comprehensive coverage and your car is indeed covered from hail damage, your car insurance carrier will pay for the repairs. The money that you can expect to pay for this is the total bill from the mechanic minus the deductible that you pay.
The average cost to fix a hail damaged car is about $2,500, so you can expect the average payout for hail damage to be around that value after you pay the deductible.
Will claiming hail damage increase my car insurance premium?
Yes, filing a claim will increase your car insurance premium. Before claiming hail damage, see if the total cost of repairs is much higher than your deductible.
If you already have to pay for most of the repair through your deductible, it may not be worth it to have your carrier pay the rest if it's going to result in higher premiums and you're already paying for most of the repair anyway.
With how much money that can cost, you'll want to save money elsewhere.
Jerry can automatically look for the cheapest insurance options for you, saving you money either before or after the hail comes.
How can I find the right deal of car insurance?
Whether you're suffering from hail damage or not, you still need to have the right car insurance to make repairs affordable. To find the right deal, try
Jerry. If you want to save money on car insurance, the Jerry app is a good place to start.
A licensed broker, Jerry does all the hard work of finding the cheapest quotes from the top name-brand insurance companies and buying new car insurance. Jerry will even help you cancel your old policy.