While weather forecasting is more dependable today, you can never fully predict the weather. Hail storms can happen when you least expect them and give you no chance to move your vehicle to a safe place. As you may already know, hail damage can cost a lot of money to fix. Large hailstones, for example, can cause large dents and even damage your car windows.
Although car hail damage can be fixed using paintless dent repair in Hamilton and Burlington, the costs can still add up, especially when multiple dents are involved. Luckily, by choosing the right policy, you can file a hail damage car insurance claim.
Is Hail Damage Covered by Insurance?
This is the question motorists ask following hail damage to a car. The fact is that not all insurance policies offer hail coverage for cars.
However, in many cases, when you have comprehensive vehicle coverage and a declaration for storm damage on your insurance policy, you might have hail insurance coverage. This is because most comprehensive insurance policies in Canada include hail coverage. It is, however, important to read the fine print or contact your insurer about this.
Even with insurance coverage for hail damage, it is good to note that some complications can keep you from making a claim. A good example is when there are expected natural disasters in the near future. In such cases, insurance providers can place a hold on their policies. Placing a hold is where an insurer prevents coverage from taking effect until after a set date. This is usually done to ward off persons that may want to upgrade their policies due to an impending natural disaster and then revert to their old policies after the disaster. A hold is meant to protect the insurer by reducing the number of claims made following a disaster.
With the understanding of what a hold is, you need to be careful when upgrading your policy. The upgrade might not take effect until after a specific date. If that is the case, you cannot file hail damage claims even with a comprehensive policy. This means you will be responsible for any physical damage your vehicle incurs following hail storm damage.
Many insurance companies will be upfront with you regarding any hold on their comprehensive policies. However, it is good to always ask before buying a policy. Even if you are a careful driver, you have to make sure your vehicle has the best coverage in case you are affected by a disaster.
Another important point to keep in mind is that if you only pay for a liability insurance policy and end up with hail damage, your insurer will not pay for the damages. With liability insurance policies, you are only covered for damages you cause to property or other vehicles. Damages to your vehicle will not be covered.
What Are Auto Insurance Deductibles?
The auto insurance deductibles are what you pay out of pocket on a claim before the insurance covers the rest. The deductible is determined when purchasing a policy. How much the deductibles are will depend on the insurance company you are using.
Comprehensive insurance may also require a deductible. All the same, it is not uncommon to get zero-deductible policies. You can also get a hail damage insurance claim for car repair as a ‘no fault’ claim that has no deductible. This is common when you pay higher insurance premiums.
At the end of the day, whether you pay deductibles and how much you pay will depend on the terms and conditions of your selected policy.
In many cases, when you carry a comprehensive insurance policy and make hail damage claims, you will be required to pay the deductibles when the vehicle is repaired. However, regardless of the amount you pay in deductibles, the auto insurance deductible will always be less than the cost of hail damage repairs.
Do Insurance Hail Damage Claims Increase Premiums?
The fear of most motorists is an increase in their insurance premiums following a car insurance claim due to hail damage. The truth is that the impact a claim will have on your premiums will depend on your insurance provider and the province you are in.
As with most insurance claims, your premiums will not increase after making the first hail damage insurance claim. Your premiums may also not increase after the second or even third claim in a span of two years. However, even if you have already made several claims before, it is never unreasonable to file a hail damage claim whenever the need arises. The key is to ensure the claim is reasonable.
However, if you frequently make claims on hail damage or other damage claims, your premiums will be re-evaluated. You might soon find yourself paying more premiums for the same coverage. Your coverage may even be adjusted if you make claims frequently.
A good example is when a motorist makes over three hail damage claims within two years. In this case, the motorist will be classified as a high-risk policyholder. As a result, their insurance premiums will go up. In some extreme cases, an insurer may choose not to cover hail damage for a motorist that keeps filing hail damage claims.
The best way to avoid an increase in insurance premiums is to only make a claim when it is worthwhile. For example, if your deductible is $500 and the incurred damages will cost $300 to repair using paintless dent repair, you should consider taking care of the damages on your own. Making a claim on such minor damages will only increase the chances of your premiums going up.
Can Hail Damage Cause a Vehicle to Be Written Off?
It is possible for hail damage to cause your vehicle to be written off. This happens when the insurer determines that the cost of repairing the damages exceeds your car’s total value. When this determination is made, the insurer will pay you the value of your car at present so that you can replace it. It is, however, good to note that this only works when you have comprehensive insurance coverage.
A good example is when the hail damage car repairs cost $6,000, whereas the current market value of your car is $5,000. In this scenario, the insurance company will compensate you for the present value of your vehicle rather than pay for the repairs.
Are Insurance Companies the Same?
The answer is a resounding NO. Insurance companies are businesses whose primary goal is to make a profit. As a result, they have different policies that govern how they operate. That is why insurers differ in how they adjust premiums and handle forgiveness after receiving insurance hail damage claims. Additionally, different provinces have laws and regulations that govern insurance providers and how claims are handled.
As mentioned earlier, some insurance companies provide zero-deductible policies, while others require a sizeable deductible. It is important to remember these facts before settling on an insurance provider. Taking time to read and understand the fine print will help you know how your preferred insurer operates. It also doesn’t hurt to compare policies to understand the average insurance payout for hail damage.
As attractive as zero-deductible policies may be, keep in mind that you may be paying higher premiums to get this. The case is similar to insurance providers offering claim or accident forgiveness. Always do the math to make sure paying larger premiums makes sense.
How Do You Know If You Have Hail Damage Coverage?
If you are not sure if your policy covers hail damage, the best way is to open your policy online from the insurer’s website and check the declarations to see if there is comprehensive coverage.
Even if comprehensive coverage is included, it is always good to check what is contained in the comprehensive cover. Some insurers require additional packages or declarations for natural disasters.
If you can’t find your policy or don’t understand the fine print, contact your insurer directly or go through your insurance broker.
Why Choose Car Hail Damage Repair with Insurance at Precision Dent?
Traditional dent repairs are quite expensive and take much time to complete. That is why at Precision Dent, we advocate for paintless dent repair. The process removes dents faster, without tampering with the original paint, and costs less. Unlike traditional repair techniques, you don’t have to file an insurance claim whenever you need a dent repaired. In most cases, our paintless dent repairs are affordable, so you can pay out of pocket without straining your finances.
If you need hail damage repairs for your car, contact us now for a free estimate. We will thoroughly inspect the damage and give you a detailed quote so that you can determine whether to file insurance claims or pay out of pocket.