If you live in an area that is prone to storms, it is very important to check to see if your policy provides coverage that will help you pay for damage repair costs if your car sustains damage while it is parked. This guide is designed to help you learn how to spot a policy that does provide hail damage coverage and how to build one if you are not currently insured.
How to Find Out if your Policy Provides Hail Damage Coverage
A basic car insurance policy will not afford you with any type of coverage for damage to your vehicle. This is because a basic policy includes only personal liability coverage that will pay for third-party expenses that you are responsible for or negligent for. If you know that you have selected to carry strictly liability cover, when a hailstorm hits you need to be sure to find cover for your vehicle because you will not have cover for damage unless you decide to add the appropriate form of optional physical damage coverage.
Physical Damage Coverage
If you have elected to carry additional forms of coverage on your policy that protect your own vehicle and assets, there is a good chance that you have hail and storm coverage. There are two forms of physical damage coverage that can be added on your personal insurance policy that will protect owners from two very different types of losses and these are comprehensive and collision.
While collision is important and can be selected when you carry comprehensive, it does not provide coverage for damage in a storm. Comprehensive, however, can be purchased on its own or in combination with collision to provide coverage for a long list of perils. These perils include:
- Fire losses
- Flood losses
- Glass breakage
- Falling objects
- Theft and vandalism
- Civil riot
- Hail or storm damage
How does comprehensive coverage work to pay for hail damage?
Now that you know your policy must include comprehensive in order for the dents and dings to be covered by your insurer, you might be wondering just what your company will cover. The company is willing to pay up to the value of the vehicle to repair it when there is body damage or glass damage caused by high-speed falling pieces of ice.
There is not a fixed dollar amount or limit listed on your policy for a comprehensive claim like there is for a liability claim.
The company will review your coverage at the time of the loss, research the fair market value of your car at the time, assess the cost to repair the vehicle, and then offer a settlement. It is then up to you to decide if the offer is fair and if you would like to close the claim. There is a chance that your car could be deemed a total loss just from the damage caused, especially if the vehicle has a low value.. If you have a comprehensive deductible, this amount will be subtracted from the check that is cut to fulfill your obligations as a policy holder.
How will hail damage claims affect your insurance?
You buy insurance to help you pay for unexpected costs but many policyholders choose not to file claims out of fear that their rates will go up. It is scary to think that a single claim could affect your ability to pay insurance expenses for up to 3 years after the claim is closed, and this is why you need to research how a claim will affect rates and also your eligibility for insurance before you pick up the phone.
Comprehensive Claims Are Not Typically Chargeable
In most states, a company is not legally allowed to surcharge a client’s rates simply because they filed a comprehensive claim. A single at-fault liability claim or at-fault collision claim can result in rate increases of 20 to 40 percent, but as a whole studies show that a single hail damage claim results in a modest 2 percent increase. Since the average cost of a comprehensive claim is $1,585, most experts state that comprehensive claims are the ones that make the most sense to file.
Comprehensive Claims Can Affect Underwriting in the Future
Comp claims may not be chargeable, but if you have a tendency of filing these non-fault claims, it could be a red flag to the insurer. This is why you should be smart in deciding which claims are worth filing. If you have multiple claims on your Comprehensive Loss Underwriters Exchange report, you could fall into a standard or high-risk classification which will affect your premiums.
Insurance is a financial product that is both required and necessary for financial protection. It is very important that you build a custom policy that really does act like a barrier of protection. If you would like to price the cost of hail damage, use an online rate comparison tool and check the rates with multiple companies. Start comparing car insurance rates now by using our FREE tool below! Then, you can decide if carrying comprehensive cover for non-fault claims is a practical decision.