Severe storms can damage your car, leaving you wondering if your insurance will keep you covered. What if it hails and your vehicle receives extensive damage?
What to do if Your Car is Damaged by Hail
If you’re caught in a hailstorm and it damages your car, you may not know what steps you need to take to properly file a claim. When you’re dealing with hail damage and getting ready to file a claim, make sure you do these three steps:
- Contact your insurance provider – Determine what coverage you have and explain the situation.
- Get the damage appraised – Take your vehicle to a repair shop or your insurance company’s claim drive to determine the cost of repairs.
- Take your appraisal to your insurance adjuster – Take your appraisal to your insurance adjuster and then file a claim in order to determine how much cost your insurance covers.
The problem you may face with filing a claim is that the process can take some time before you’re given a decision – especially if your vehicle wasn’t the only one affected by the storm. If your claim is approved, you then are given a check by the insurance company. You’re either given the check after repairs are made, or before. If the check comes in before repairs are done, the amount is usually determined by the estimated repair cost minus your deductible.
Determining if You’re Covered
There are two types of car insurance you can have: liability and comprehensive. While both are valid insurance options, the one you pick does affect the cost needed to repair your vehicle after a hailstorm.
Liability insurance is the most basic of required car insurance needed. If you have liability insurance, you’re covered if damage is done to another person or property involved and you’re at fault. But, in the event of damage done by a hailstorm or event not caused by you, you’re responsible for all repairs needed.
If you have comprehensive insurance, you’re covered for events outside of your control, such as a hailstorm. You’re required to pay the deductible, and the insurance company will typically either pay for, or reimburse you, the cost of repairs. One important thing to remember is unless you have a zero deductible plan, you may not be able to avoid costs due to a hailstorm when you file a claim to the insurance company. If you decide to purchase comprehensive coverage after the damage has been done, you won’t be able to use it for any existing hail damage. So, if hail is a concern for you, make sure you have coverage for it before it’s too late.
As for deductibles, they’re determined when you purchase insurance. Depending on the policy, you may need to pay a deductible on comprehensive insurance. In some cases, you can purchase no deductible plans for an additional cost, but this isn’t always an option. With most comprehensive coverage plans, if hail damages your car you’re only required to pay any deductible out of pocket.
The Bottom Line
Always make sure your car is covered. Weather constantly changes, and unexpected accidents can occur at any moment. If you recently lost your vehicle due to severe weather damage and are ready to buy a car, but don’t know where to turn because of your credit, Auto Credit Express wants to help.
We work with a nationwide network of special finance dealers that have the lenders available to help people that are struggling with credit issues. Get started by filling out our online auto loan request form, and we’ll get to work matching you with a local dealer today!