Hail Accidents

Hail is among the most destructive weather conditions. If you get caught in a hailstorm while driving, the chances are that your car will suffer some level of damage. Last year alone, insurance claims stemming from damage caused by hail increased by 48 percent in the United States, according to the Insurance Services Office (ISO). Sometimes, the damage is merely cosmetic, but it’s wise to determine whether you should have your car repaired. Here are some of the most common questions regarding car insurance claims for hail damage.

Am I Covered if My Car is Damaged by Hail?

You are only covered for hail damage if you purchased comprehensive coverage as part of your car insurance policy. This is occasionally referred to as “other than collision” and is meant to cover issues like theft and vandalism. If hail damages your car, you must pay your comprehensive deductible. Minor damage from hail isn’t worth claiming because the costs of repairs usually don’t exceed your deductible; however, if the hail was severe, it could total your vehicle.

I Have a Few Small Dents. Do I Have to Fix My Car?

If you are leasing your car and it gets damaged by hail, even if there are minor dents, you may want to get repairs done. If you own the car, it’s your choice whether to have repairs made. It’s important to note that if you get into an accident in the future, the hail damage from the past would be deducted from any settlement you receive.

Will a Hail Claim Increase My Insurance Premiums?

Depending on the laws in your state and your insurance company’s rating system, comprehensive damage claims typically do not affect your insurance premiums. Since hail is a natural disaster, a claim for hail isn’t held against the driver because it’s beyond your control. Keep in mind, however, that many other claims placed against your policy can potentially affect your rates.

Does Hail Damage Affect My Car’s Title?

Hail damage can only affect your vehicle’s title if the insurance company deems it a total loss and your state allows hail damage to be the sole reason for a salvage title. If the vehicle isn’t declared as salvage, then its title remains clean, but if you decide to sell the car, the damage may show up on systems like Carfax.

What Happens if I Keep the Car After Hail Totals It?

If hail totals your car and you choose to continue driving it, you may want to request your insurance company buy the vehicle at salvage value. You will receive a check for the difference between what it was worth before the damage minus its salvage value and your deductible. Keep in mind that you will need your car inspected before it’s allowed back on the road after such damage.

Does Gap Insurance Cover the Loss of Value of a Car?

Gap insurance doesn’t cover the lower resale value of a car. It only pays if your vehicle is totaled and only covers the difference between what you owe on the car and what the car was worth before the damage, minus the deductible.
Do you have more pressing inquiries? Car accident cases can get you in touch with an attorney in your area who can make you aware of your options following a hail accident. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.