Will Filing a Hail Damage Claim Raise My Insurance Rates?
Short Answer: Absolutely Not
Long Answer: Maybe In The Future
We get this question many times per day, as many people are very concerned about their insurance premiums raising as a direct result of them filing a claim. Filing a claim will not raise your personal insurance premiums but it might however raise the areas premiums from new customers. If an area has had many hail storms in the last few years it might raise insurance premiums all together but your personal claim has very little to nothing to do with that. They will not raise your premiums because they can’t, by law. It is considered an act of nature and cannot count against you.
There is some very complex algorithms that the insurance companies use
Insurance companies use a methodology called risk assessment to calculate premium rates for policyholders. It is based on solid data and does not include a single claim or multiple claims that are totally out of your control. They use a specific type of software to determine the risk factor of a particular individual and the overall area. Using software that computes a predetermined algorithm, insurance underwriters gauge the risk that you may file a claim against your policy. These algorithms are based on key indicators about you and then measured against a data set to weigh risk. Insurance underwriters carefully balance the insurance company’s profitability with your potential need to use the policy. With all this said, comprehensive coverage that was totally out of your control, such as an act of god does not fall under these pretenses and is not accounted for in their algorithm. However if it becomes a very frequent thing and they think that you might be doing the claims fraudulently they will look at your individual case a little further, but if you are legit then you have nothing to worry about.
Filing a claim is the reason we have insurance in the first place, so not filing a claim is unfair to you, the policy holder. If you are scared to file a claim when the damage is over $2,000 then we should question even having insurance in the first place as it does not lessen the risk of driving as most insurance claims are bellow a substantial amount.
So, should I file an insurance claim?
Does the damage exceed the value of the car?
If the damage exceeds the value of your vehicle then you have to ask yourself this question: Do I want a salvage title and fix some of the unsightly damage and/or keep some of the settlement?
Is the hail damage amount less than my deductible?
If the hail damage does not equal at least 2 – 3 times the amount of your deductible then it does not make sense to file a claim. If you think this might be the case, contact us or go to a reputable paintless dent repair technician and find out how much damage you have. Don’t just guess. You might think there is very little damage but in fact most damage you can’t even see can be above $2,500 to fix.
Do I own the vehicle or is it a lease or is it under a loan?
If the vehicle is not yours then you don’t have a choice and by law you will have to pay for the repairs before you turn your lease in or you will be charged top dollar for the repairs. If you are buying your vehicle, then you will have to fix it as well as it is not your property.
Should I wait for it to be hailed on again?
Absolutely not! Get a quote for your current damage and have it repaired if it makes sense. Don’t think that you can go around and get hit with multiple hail storms and then you are going to file a claim. This does not work for 2 reasons. It’s dishonest and the insurance companies are not dumb. They will be able to assess the damage and find out that it was in multiple storms and will force you to pay 2 or more deductibles if you are lucky. They might just toss out your claim all together and say you are SOL. It is very important to get the damage repaired or professionally assessed with an estimate on hand so that later if there is another storm you can show how much the previous damage was and they can deduct that from the current settlement on hand. Without proof it’s your word against theirs and they are only after their bottom line.
The following videos are a general information base and not exactly about cars but it can give you some insight as to filing an insurance claim or not. Much of the mechanics are the same for a home owners insurance as they are for car insurance.
Other commonly asked hail insurance questions:
Should I just fix the damage out of pocket?
Should I try to fix the hail myself?
Should I fix the hail damage out of pocket?
Absolutely not! Unless the damage is less than your deductible then it’s time for them to pay and it should not come out of your pocket. This is why we have insurance in the first place. If you have a natural disaster that damages your vehicle you should not have to pay anything accept your deductible (not with DentPass tho). We will help you with your deductible so you don’t have to pay anything out of pocket.
Should I try to fix the hail damage myself?
If you have months, and months of spare time, enough to conciser a hobby and your vehicle is quite old and not worth much then why not. If your vehicle is newer and the damage is extensive, you will not be able to fix it, in a timely manner. You must gauge what your time is actually worth before you undertake this massive undertaking. Even little tiny dents can be impossible to fix without the right training and tools.
This form is to help you decide if you have enough damage to file a claim. There is many factors that you might not know or be able to add but this will help you get a idea if you have a claim on your hands or not. Just go through every panel and mark on this form where your damage sits, and then total it up and double it for things you might have missed. There are many factors that you will not be able to know right of the bat but this video might help you determine some of the factors to get a good estimate.
Or if you like apps and would rather just try to use our app to determine the potential cost of your hail damage insurance claim use this tool. It is still under beta but the just is there and you should be able to get somewhat of a good idea about if you should file a claim or not.
So just to overview
If your hail damage is too small and it will not equal your deductible then it might not be a good idea to start a claim but don’t take your word for it – visit a professional and get a full estimate. Many companies will do this for a small fee or if you are lucky you can get it done for free. However if you don’t plan on using that professional it’s always polite to tip like $50-$250 for the estimate.
If your vehicle is not worth very much and you think it might total out the vehicle then you have to ask yourself if it is worth the hassle. Come in for a quick assessment at a reputable paintless dent repair shop to see if your damage might go above what your vehicle is worth and see the procedure it might take to actually total it out and get yourself a settlement to fix your vehicle (at least what amount you will afford with the settlement) Also keep in mind that you will not have a clean title after you do this so your re-sale value will go down.
If you have a fair amount of damage do not be afraid of your insouciance premiums going up at all for just your claim. It can however influence the future premiums of future customers. Don’t be afraid to file a claim as it is under your comprehensive insurance and does not count against you because it is considered an act of God/Nature.