The only type of coverage that will protect you from hail damage is comprehensive coverage. Comprehensive coverage is optional coverage that you can add onto your auto policy
If you lease your car or bought it with a loan, your lessor or lender may require you to purchase a minimum of comprehensive and collision coverage
Hail can dent your vehicle or crack your windshield, however comprehensive claims require you to pay a deductible, so if the repairs for the hail damage are less expensive than your deductible, you’re better off paying out of pocket
Car insurance protects you from financial liability of damage that you cause to another person’s car or an injury you cause to another person with your vehicle. Car insurance can also cover theft or damage to your vehicle from other covered perils, like certain weather damage, fire, or falling objects.
If your car is damaged by hail, the repairs to your vehicle could end up costing thousands of dollars. That said, whether or not your auto insurance protects you from hail damage all depends on what types of coverage your auto policy contains.
A car insurance policy is made up of multiple components that offer different types of coverage. Almost all states require drivers to have at least a minimum amount of liability insurance, because it covers damages and injuries that you cause and are financially responsible for. However, in order to be protected from unforeseen events like hail storms or other weather-related damages, you need more than just your state’s required amount of car insurance coverage.
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The type of coverage you need if you want protection from hail is called comprehensive coverage. Comprehensive coverage goes hand-in-hand with collision coverage, and together those are the types of coverage that pay for repairs to your own vehicle. Collision coverage pays for damage to your car after an accident, no matter who was at fault, and comprehensive coverage pays for damage that is not caused by a collision.
Comprehensive coverage will cover all damages due to hail. For example, if your hood is severely dented by a hail storm, then you can file a comprehensive insurance claim. You can also file a claim if the hail cracks your windshield or destroys your car’s paint.
Comprehensive coverage also covers these common perils:
Storm damage (like lightning strikes)
Animal damage (like if you hit a deer)
If your auto insurance policy does not contain comprehensive coverage, you will not be protected from hail damage or any of the other perils that comprehensive covers. That means if hail does badly damage your car, say it causes severe dents, you’re going to be left paying out of pocket for the dent repair.
If you live in an area of the state that experiences extreme weather, it’s a good idea to add comprehensive coverage to your insurance policy to avoid having to pay out of pocket for expensive repairs.
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Unlike with other types of car insurance coverage, like liability coverage, you have to pay a deductible when filing comprehensive insurance claims. That means you have to pay the deductible amount out of pocket before your coverage can kick in. In general, you should file auto insurance claims if the cost to repair or replace your car exceeds your deductible. When it comes to hail damage, if the hail doesn’t damage your car’s paint then you can pay for paintless dent repair, which is relatively affordable to pay for out of pocket.
That said, hail storms can result in cracked windshields, severely dented roofs and car hoods, chipped car paint, and potentially the total loss of your vehicle. Repairs can add up fast and can quickly become more expensive than your deductible, so if you have comprehensive insurance you should file a claim with your insurance company. In certain states it could be illegal to drive with a broken windshield (if it impairs your vision), so it’s important to file a claim with your insurance company right after the damage occurs in order for your car to be repaired as quickly as possible.
Kara McGinley is an insurance editor at Policygenius, specializing in home, auto and renters insurance. She previously worked as a freelance writer and copywriter, and has been writing about insurance since 2019. Kara is an expert at making complicated topics like property insurance simple to understand. Her work can be found in Teen Vogue, The Culture Crush, and more.
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