Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health insuran...

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Chris Harrigan has an economic degree from Limestone College and an MBA from Clemson University. He previously managed auto insurance claims for Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Currently, he is using his business and insurance expertise to provide insurance data analysis and visualizations to enhance the user experience.

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Reviewed by Chris Harrigan
Former Auto Insurance Claims Manager Chris Harrigan

UPDATED: Sep 28, 2020

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Here's what you need to know...

  • Car insurance protects vehicle owners when the unexpected happens
  • There are different types of car insurance for different types of damages
  • Research your policy’s benefits and compare multiple auto insurance plans before you buy

Most drivers carry auto insurance to protect them in the event of an accident, but there are plenty of other damages to look out for too. Take the weather: Hail losses are completely beyond your control and can happen whenever Mother Nature so desires.

Take the weather: Hail losses are completely beyond your control and can happen whenever Mother Nature so desires.

When a storm comes and balls of ice capable of breaking windshields and making softball-sized dents in your car fall from the sky, you better hope that you look for cover in time.

If your car is caught in the middle of a hailstorm, there is a chance that your insurer may cover the damage.

Read on to learn more about the types of damages car insurance can cover. Then start comparing car insurance rates now! Enter your zip code above to get started!

Does a basic auto insurance policy provide hail damage coverage?


A basic car insurance policy that was built strictly to satisfy the minimum state requirements will not provide you with the coverage that you need to pay for hail damage.

The primary reason why these standard policies do not cover damage to your car that was sustained in a hailstorm is that the policy will only pay for third-party claims when you are negligent for damage to property that you do not own.

You do carry both Bodily Injury and Property Damage coverage options, but each of these is paid when you are liable for injuries and damage to someone else who does not live in your home.

If you would like your policy to provide you with protection for damage that is sustained to your own vehicle in the event of a claim, you must add optional physical damage cover.

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What coverage does a policyholder need to cover hail damage?


If you would the physical damage caused in a hailstorm to be covered, you must have a form of physical damage coverage called comprehensive coverage.

Comprehensive is one of the two forms of coverage that will pay to repair or replace your vehicle when it is damaged due to a covered peril.

Comprehensive coverage typically covers the following:

  • Glass breakage
  • Collision with live animals
  • Damage caused by falling objects (such as a tree)
  • Flood damage
  • Fire damage
  • Damage caused by a civil riot
  • Explosion
  • Vandalism
  • Theft
  • Hail damage

Is a hail damage claim subject to a deductible?

If you have comprehensive coverage on your policy and hailstones have damaged either to the body of your vehicle or your auto glass, you are eligible to file a claim.

Before you file a claim, you should review your policy to see what deductible you carry.

Physical damage claims are subject to a deductible based on the type of claim you are filing.

A deductible is the amount of money that you are obligated to pay before the company is obligated to make a payment.

If the cost to repair the damage exceeds your deductible, the deductible is subtracted from your payout. If the damage does not exceed this amount, you will be left to deal with the payment on your own.

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Is a lower deductible better?

It is very important to understand how your deductible works before you face a scenario where you need to file a claim.

You could pay anywhere from $50 to $1000 for the repairs based on the way that your policy is built.

In most cases, comprehensive deductibles are lower than the deductibles for collision claims.

If you do not need to file a claim at this moment and you feel like your deductible is too high, you should consider paying an additional premium and selecting a lower amount.

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How much damage will your comprehensive coverage pay for?


It is possible for a hailstorm to cause a significant amount of physical damage. The damages can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand.

There is not just a fixed limit as to how much your insurer will be willing to pay.

Instead of having a fixed limit, the policy states that comprehensive coverage will pay up to the fair market value of the car based on comps and recent sales in the area.

What happens if the damage exceeds the fair market value?

If the cost to repair the damage exceeds the value or is above the total loss threshold that has been set in the state, the company may deem that car to be a total loss.

In this case, you will be paid the value of the car to replace it or can elect to keep it and have the salvage value subtracted from the claims check.

If you are not happy with your current insurer, it is time to shop for value-priced coverage. Start comparing car insurance rates now! Enter your zip code below to get started!