Hail storms are not that common in California, but last March, the sunny state was hit with massive rains and a hail storm that shocked both residents and tourists. Even when this is not common, weather is unpredictable, and hail can be particularly harmful and cause serious damage to our cars. Therefore, we need to review our insurance policies and see whether we are covered or not, and to what extent that coverage will help us.
First, we need to understand that there are two types of car insurance that might come at play in this type of scenarios. On one hand, we have personal liability and property damage coverage, which would not cover the damages caused by storms or hail. On the other hand, if our car insurance policy includes comprehensive coverage, chances are damages caused by storm or hail would be covered. However, we need to purchase this coverage policy before the damage is done, and when there are no storm alerts in our area.
Once we know what kind of coverage our policy provides, we need to look at the deductibles to which we are subject. Deductibles are a portion of repair costs that we will have to cover from our pocket, as insurance might not cover the entire costs. Most comprehensive coverage policies will require a deductible for us to cover. However, some companies might offer zero deductible comprehensive coverage for an additional cost. Therefore, we should ask our insurance company about the deductibles in our policy, including percentages and possible limitations.
Now, hail and storm damage shouldn’t be taken lightly, as it can seriously damage our care, to the point of turning it into a total loss. This means that hail damage might be so extensive that repair costs would be so expensive that it wouldn’t be worth fixing. If this were the case, and insurance adjuster representing our company would be the one to determine whether or not your vehicle will be repaired. This is why it is important that we file any damage claim as soon as it happens, so that our insurer can take care of the issue in a timely manner.
If our car has been damaged by hail or storm but our insurance policy will cover the expenses, or a portion of the costs, we should expect one of two possible scenarios. Nowadays, many insurance companies tend to send you a check once the repairs have been taken care of. Others prefer to send the amount of estimated repair costs minus your deductible, case in which you would be required to make the payment directly to your insurance company.
You can choose not to repair your car if you think the repairs needed are not that important, or simply not worth it. However, keep in mind that this might decrease the value of your vehicle, and reselling it in the future might be more difficult.