Natural disasters and phenomena occur all the time. Whether it is storms, blizzards, or hail, the underlying factor is that they are unpredictable; they can strike or happen at any time. The important thing however is that you don’t get caught unawares location or insurance-wise.
You should have the right insurance coverage for your car in the event of hail. Most car owners naturally assume that once they have standard auto insurance, they are also covered for damages caused by hail.
This is not true. You need a comprehensive insurance plan to be able to cover hail damage. Also known as the “other than collision” car insurance package, this insurance policy also covers vandalism, storm damages, thefts and hail damages.
Important Hail Damage Questions and Answers
Do I Need to Pay Any Deductible?
Yes, you will. This is where you need to check the extent of the damage caused by the hail. If the damage is minor and the repair costs less than your deductible, you may want to reconsider filing a claim. However, if it is significant damage, it might cause the insurance company to declare the car as totaled. So, before filing for your claims, be ready for either of these scenarios.
Do I Have to Fix My Car if it Has Some Dings?
Fixing or repairing the dings is your choice. What many people do is take the money from the insurance company to repair any hail damage. However, it is important to note that if the car gets involved in an accident in the future, the insurance firm will deduct the cost of the hail damage from the coverage and pay you the rest.
This applies when you have paid for the car and own it. However, if the car was financed by a loan, you will need to pay for the repairs out of your pocket. Alternatively, the insurance company might decide to pay your creditor first and then pay you whatever is left.
Will Filing for Hail Damage claims Affect My Premiums?
This depends on your state of residence, its laws and the insurance company. In most cases, however, filing for your claims will not increase your premium rates. In fact, some states do not approve of any extra charges when a driver is involved in an accident that isn’t his fault or files a comprehensive claim.
As a result, hail damage claims fall in the category of you not being at fault. Whatever the case, find out everything you can from your insurance company or agent about this first. You should also know that while the insurance company will not raise your premium rates if you are involved in the occasional accident, frequent or multiple claims may cause them to increase the rates. This is because clients with numerous claims are seen as high-risk clients.
Is There Any Penalty for Still Keeping the Hail Damaged Car?
This depends on whether the damages are minor or totaled. If the car is declared totaled by the insurance company, but you still want to keep using it, you can check to see if the insurance provider will be willing to buy the car – they probably will.
What may happen, however, is that they will pay you the difference between the value of your car pre-hail damage and its salvage value afterwards. So, let’s assume your car was worth $18,000 before the hail pelted and totaled your car, and the salvage value is put at $5,000, the insurance company will pay you the difference of $13,000 after subtracting the deductibles.
So, there’s everything you need to know about hail damage. If you have even more questions, contact your insurance company, and they’ll do their best to clarify any questions you have.
The writer, Oscar King, is a freelance writer as his primary job, but is also a part-time insurance agent. He helps people with finding the best rates for their services and making sure a wide variety of damage is covered. To help find an insurance agent near you he highly recommends heading to insuranceland.org. You can learn more about Oscar by visiting him on Google+.