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Hail damage is one type of damage that nature can throw your way, often without enough warning to prepare. Hail not only contributes to dangerous driving conditions, but it can be a danger to your vehicle even when it’s parked at your home or office. It’s vital that you understand how your car insurance may provide protection for your car in the event of a hailstorm and any resulting damages.
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Does your policy carry the right coverage for hail damage?
Damages caused by hail are most often covered under the comprehensive coverage option in your car insurance policy. Comprehensive coverage, which is sometimes called “other than collision” coverage, is an optional coverage option that protects your car in the event of damages that are not related to a collision with another driver or object.
Within the umbrella of your comprehensive coverage, natural disasters and the damages caused by them are usually covered. This traditionally includes tornados, fires, falling tree branches, and ice and hail damage.
What this may mean for you is that your hail damaged car may be covered by your insurance policy.
When you are searching for insurance coverage, or if you already have coverage, it’s important to determine what your provider covers. Each provider may have different guidelines on what they cover under the comprehensive coverage option, and there may be time limits on when you need to have the coverage on your policy for it to apply.
In addition to having the coverage on your policy, your comprehensive coverage may come with a deductible. The deductible is the amount of money that you will have to pay before your insurance policy limits take effect.
It’s important that you understand your provider’s guidelines on the deductible and what happens if you cannot pay it up front; some insurance providers may have alternative options available.
Have you met all the conditions needed for coverage to apply?
Hail damage, like many other naturally occurring incidents, often causes multiple damages to a person’s property in a single event. This may mean that your provider puts special coverage conditions into place, which could limit when they will provide coverage or conditions that you must meet before coverage applies.
It’s important to take into consideration that your state required insurance policy will often be inadequate when it comes to covering hail damage.
In the case of hail damage, the cause of the hail or hailstorm may play a role in your provider’s conditions. If the hail is due to a series of devastating storms or winter weather in your area, then your provider may place a hold on writing new policies or altering existing policies until the storms have passed.
Make sure to contact your provider if you have any questions about temporary restrictions of this nature.
Is filing a claim the right option for you?
Your car insurance is here to give you a way to recover from unexpected losses to your vehicle. While this does not include your deductible amount, your insurance provider is still there to help you make the right choices for your needs. In the event of hail damage to your car, there are a few steps to take to get the
In the event of hail damage to your car, there are a few steps to take to get the claim process started.
Your first step should be documenting the damage to your vehicle, as long as it is safe to do so. Your insurance provider may have different requirements, but many times this includes taking photographs of your vehicle and the damages and then sending those photographs to your provider. This may help you determine if filing the claim is the right option for you or if you should cover the damages yourself.
Your next step is going to be reducing the possibility of future damages to your car. In the event of hail damage, this could mean moving your vehicle to a covered location such as a garage. If you have broken windows, or your car’s body is damaged, you may need to cover your car with a tarp to reduce further hail or water damage.
Many insurance providers want their policyholder to take reasonable and necessary steps to reduce any future damages. If you fail to do this, your insurance provider may be unwilling to cover these additional damages. Also, insurance providers may be unwilling to cover losses that occur after the hail, such as water damage or theft, if you do not attempt to protect and secure your car.
Your final step is to speak with your insurance provider. In the event of damages caused by hail, there may be specific conditions that are put in place that you need to follow. If the hail is an isolated incident, then you may not have to worry about this. However, if there are a lot of people affected in your area, then there may be unique claim handling procedures or a specific claim office that you need to work with.
Hail damage is not something that may always be predicted, but you can prepare for the worst. The first thing to do is to review your insurance policy and determine what your policy terms provide coverage for. If you cannot find comprehensive coverage on your policy, or are unsure of what your insurance policy covers, then contact your insurance provider.
Also, if your vehicle is damaged by hail, or hail is imminent in your area, make sure to take steps to protect your property. If you can, store your vehicles in a garage or other secure location that will protect them from the elements.
Document any damages caused by hail in photographs, and be sure to cover your car with a tarp and do what you can to reduce the likelihood of any further damages during a storm. Do not go outside to protect your car if there is a heavy storm active. Your safety is always top priority.
Compare comprehensive car insurance quotes today using our free tool and make sure you’re covered for the next storm!