The winter season is more than a little bit of Christmas snow and some New Year’s snow showers. Hail is just as much of winter as anything else. So while you might not be ready for winter, it will be here whether you’re ready or not.
Does liability cover hail damage? Look over your car insurance policy for hail damage coverage. It’s very important to have the best insurance possible because hail damage affects the value of your vehicle just as much as other types of damage.
If you plan to sell your vehicle in the future, you want to do everything you can to preserve your car’s future value. That’s where good insurance comes in: Most comprehensive coverage will cover hail events.
Understanding the Different Components of Car Insurance
Are you having trouble figuring out whether a car insurance policy covers a specific event? You’re not alone. Did you know that there’s no such thing as “full coverage?” Indeed, complete coverage looks a little different between insurance companies.
What most people refer to as “full coverage” is simply having two different insurance components on their policy: collision coverage and comprehensive coverage. Collision coverage is just what you would expect: protection after you’ve hit another vehicle or if you hit a pole or another object that isn’t an animal.
Comprehensive coverage is everything else, from rodents chewing through wires to a deer hitting your vehicle, all the way up to hail damage. Every policy is different, but hail damage coverage is a crucial part of comprehensive coverage.
Comprehensive Coverage and Your Deductible
Comprehensive coverage is known for covering “acts of God” such as flooding and hail, but how do you use it? In the case of hail damage after a winter storm, you would simply go about filing a claim with your insurance company.
Most companies make this easy by letting you file your claim online. You’ll fill out some basic information about what happened, including the date the hail storm occurred.
Taking your own photos of the hail damage is fine, even if your insurance company wants to send someone out to take a look at the damage firsthand. Hail damage claims don’t require police reports like other claims, thankfully.
Your deductible applies in terms of the claim because it represents how much you’ll pay to the shop and how much the insurance company will pay. For example, let’s say that the cost to repair the damages is $3,500. This means that if you have a comprehensive deductible of $500, you will pay $500 to the repair shop of your choice, and the insurance company will take care of the other $3,000.
If the total of the damages is under your deductible, the insurance company will not pay anything. Think of your deductible as having proverbial skin in the game.
Protecting Your Vehicle From Hail Damage
Hail storms can come without warning, but if you really want to protect your vehicle to the best of your ability, checking the weather report is still a good idea. If a winter storm is on the horizon, staying home is the best bet possible.
If you must go out, try to minimize times where you’ll be out on the highway when the chances of hail are high.
When storing your vehicle at home, placing it inside a carport or garage is the best way to keep the elements from damaging your vehicle. Unfortunately, not everyone has the space for a garage or carport. If you’re parking on the street, getting a cover for your vehicle is a great idea. This will protect you from not just hail but snow cover as well.
The covers designed for hail are more expensive than ones just designed to shield your car from the rain, but that’s because the hail-specific ones are thicker and better at preventing the dents and dings that pop up after a winter storm.
Searching for Great Car Insurance Before Hail Damage Occurs
Remember that insurance can only be used if you have coverage before the hail damage occurs. This means that now is the best time to ensure that you’re searching for the best insurance coverage possible.
Insurance rates change all the time, so even if you’ve had your insurance for a few years, it might be time to shop around for quotes.
Going online is still the best way to hunt for great car insurance. Modern technology allows you to get information not only from one insurance company but multiple insurance companies as well.
It isn’t just about the monthly premiums, of course. You have to make sure that you are getting the right coverage. Comprehensive coverage is often purchased on its own, but some companies require that you purchase both collision and comprehensive.
If you are financing a vehicle, you must have both collision and comprehensive coverage. Most car loan companies also require reasonable deductibles, such as $500 instead of $1,000. This is to ensure that you will get the vehicle repaired in a timely fashion to prevent further damage.
Other Insurance Add-Ons to Consider
No one wants to file a claim and go through the process of working with the insurance company, but it’s the only way to get the repairs handled. One additional coverage to consider adding to your insurance policy is rental coverage. This is coverage that provides a rental vehicle while your vehicle is in the shop getting repaired.
It usually doesn’t cost that much to add rental coverage to an insurance policy, but unfortunately, this gets overlooked in the name of saving money on the monthly premium. The truth is that rental cars become a costly out-of-pocket expense, making it a better option to get rental car coverage on your insurance policy instead.
Drive With Peace of Mind by Protecting Yourself
Dealing with hail damage is just one more part of owning and operating a vehicle. However, as long as you’re willing to put in some of the tips in this guide and get quality car insurance coverage, you’re going to be able to enjoy the winter weather without too much worry.
Luke Williams writes and researches for the car insurance comparison site, QuoteInspector.com. His passions include writing about personal finance, car insurance, and other ways people can drive with peace of mind.