Hail Damage Insurance Claim Information
There are many things to consider when you get hit with hail on your vehicle.
Am I covered?
Will this raise my premiums if I claim it?
How much will it cost?
Should I fix it myself?
I will attempt to answer all these questions and provide you with the right insight to make the correct decision for you particular situation. Hail damage is a very costly thing to fix so if you have comprehensive insurance and the damage is over $1,000, you should probably make the move if your deductible is $500 or less.
If you think you have $1,000 in damage, you probably have more like $3,000 in damage.
If your deductible is at least half of the damage then it’s a no brainer as if you don’t fix it, it will come back to haunt you in the near future. Like when you either sell your vehicle or you get into some other damage problems. If you get into some other type of damage you end up claiming then they will deduct the amount of the hail damage from your settlement and you will end up loosing big time.
Will a hail claim increase my insurance premiums?
It will depend upon your state’s laws and insurance carrier’s ratings system, but generally comprehensive claims of this nature don’t affect your rates. There are even some states that don’t allow surcharges for comprehensive claims or claims where you are not at fault.
Claims for damages caused by natural events typically are not held against you, since they are unforeseeable and out of your control. But you should check with your insurer to be certain.
Keep in mind that even if your rates can’t be raised due to a hail claim, the number of claims placed against your policy can affect your rates. If you have recently placed other claims, the total amount of claims made could cause you to be seen as a higher risk, and thus you’ll pay more.
First Question: Am I covered for hail damage on my vehicle?
This is a very common question when it comes to hail damage as many people think that it’s not covered. On the contrary, most insurance policies that have comprehensive and above will cover you for hail unless otherwise stated. You can look at your insurance policy and if it says anything about storm coverage or disaster coverage then you will be just fine.
You’re covered for hail damage only if you’ve purchased comprehensive insurance coverage or better. Sometimes this is known as “other than collision,” which also covers theft, and disasters.
For this you will have to pay your comprehensive insurance amount but we can cover this for you so you pay nothing out of pocket. Or if you do pay your deductible we will remove any and all prior damage that is repairable by PDR.
Very minor hail damage, like $1000 or less is probably not worth claiming unless your deductible amount is less than $250. This way you will get your vehicle repaired for nothing at all.
We understand that hail dent damage puts a problem in front of you that you would rather just sweep under the rug. Many people could live with dings and would rather just not go through the claim process. We are here to tell you that it’s a better idea, just to get it fixed, because it can come back to haunt you in the future. . Others have no problem in filing a comprehensive insurance claim as they know it will not affect them in any way. Just as long as your deductible isn’t crazy expensive we will cover all the costs including car rental.
Should you fix your car? YES you should, unless the deductible is too high without enough damage to merit doing the claim.
Should you keep a hail-damaged car that’s been totaled? Well this depends if you can live with a hail dented car. If they totaled it then it might mean that the damage was way severe and in this case you can keep the car and use some of the remaining money to get many of the unsightly dents repaired with our pick and choose approach.
Do I have to repair my vehicle?
If you are the full owner of your vehicle, meaning there is no lean holders then you have the choice to do what you will with the insurance settlement. You can fix the full car, fix half the car or not fix any of it at all.
If you are thinking of doing this it’s best to have us or some other company on your side when you are dealing with the insurance company. If the insurance company knows you are not going to fix it or knows there is not any body shop or dent repair service involved they will take advantage of you. We can help you maximize your return and you will pay us much less than you will gain then going through it on your own.
It’s a good idea to fix your vehicle because if you are involved in another hail storm or if you are in an accident they will deduct what they gave you from the previous hail damage if you didn’t fix it. This is why it’s a good idea to have someone on your side that can fix it and say it was fixed by providing a receipt of repair.
If you have a loan outstanding on the car, yes, you probably will have to fix your car. Any settlement check will arrive made out to both you and your lien holder, which will want the value of the asset it still owns protected.
Does hail damage affect the title of the car?
Hail damage will be noted on your car’s title only if the following are both true:
- The insurance company has declared it a total loss.
- Your state allows hail damage as the sole reason for a salvage title.
Many states have a “hail” designation to distinguish hail-totaled cars from wrecked or flooded ones. Others simply mark the title as “salvage.”
If the car is not declared salvage, the title is still clean which is the case with over 90% of the vehicles out there with hail damage. . The damage may show up on electronic notification systems such as Carfax, if you don’t fix it.
Can I keep my totaled hail car?
You can totally decide to keep your totaled car if you want but there are some things to consider before you do. If your car is declared totaled and you love the vehicle and it’s a good vehicle then it might be best to keep it and fix it little by little and live with some of the rest. If your car was worth $12,000 before the hailstorm and your insurance company places its salvage value at $7,000, it will send you a check for the difference — minus your deductible, of course then you buy it back and keep the rest of the money and use it to fix the vehicle.
This only makes sense if you have a good vehicle and you get payed more than you would by just settling and getting a new car for a better cash price then the car you have.
You may need an inspection before the car is allowed back on the road. The title will be “branded” — forever reflecting the car’s declaration as a total loss. Some states have a hail-damage notation for titles.
A car with a branded title is difficult to insure for comprehensive and collision coverage’s because its value is difficult to determine.
Will gap insurance cover the loss in my vehicles total value?
Gap insurance will not cover the diminished resale value of your car. Gap insurance pays only in cases where a car is totaled, and it pays only the difference between what is owed on the car and what it was worth before it was damaged, minus any deductible.
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