Weather is something that could wreak havoc without any pity. If your car suffers damage due to drastic weather changes such as snow or hail then it could be quite widespread. There could be many dents and the extent of hail damage may need expensive repairs to get your vehicle back in shape.
The right level of coverage could save you from spending a huge amount from your pockets. Sometimes you may want to repair minor dents that do not bother you much and not claim on your policy. But if you just try to patch up a dent then it could reduce the resale value of your car and even a small blemish could then matter.
How Do Hail Forms And Why Does It Hail?
When there is a thunderstorm it creates updrafts that are capable of bringing water droplets to a freezing point. The temperature drops and eventually forms hailstones that getter bigger with more water. As these grow heavier the updrafts are not able to support and they start falling down at a great speed. It could be as fast as 80 to 100 mph but small hailstones may melt away while big ones could cause severe damage due to impact. If you see hailstones in summer then don’t be surprised as it is possible. The science behind this process is that while it may still be warm at ground level, at higher levels, the air could be colder.
What Size Hail, Can Damage A Car Roof?
A hailstorm may cause damages to your car roof but if you are the kind of person to overlook minor dents then you won’t bother much. But for someone else, it could be a severe damage that needs repairs. The size of the hail stone does matter when it hits a car roof but at the same time, there are other variables too. Usually, a hailstone larger than a quarter coin or 1 inch is good enough to make a dent in your car roof. The bigger the stone, greater will be the gravity and hence more impact due to force. The speed of the thunderstorm is also an important factor as it is not consistent and could change. Another aspect is that not all hailstones are the same size and nobody is measuring them ‘upstairs’ before they fall down.
You must also consider the angle that the hailstone hits your car roof at and it mostly depends on the wind speed too. If hailstones fall in a straight line angle then it could impact in a different way than if it fell sideways. In most cases when hailstones fall straight down, they damage the car roof more than the sides. You must also consider the roof quality of the car and know that thinner roofs are more prone to damage. The thickness of metal and other materials used on cars vary much and the grade may determine the strength to withstand impact.
What Type Of Car Insurance Covers Hail Damage?
You must have comprehensive coverage to claim for hail damage to your car and that is an optional coverage. If you bought your car outright, with no lease then you may very well have skipped that option and now regret. Hail damage is not covered under your basic car insurance and for that, you need to get more coverage. Getting comprehensive coverage not only helps you to claim for hail damage but anything else other than a collision. When the hailstorm calms down then you must inspect and estimate the extent of damages to your car. Then you may claim for necessary repairs and get your car back in good condition.
Do Insurance Rates Go Up After Hail Damage?
If you claim for hail damage on your car insurance for the first time then as per your insurer, they may not raise your rates. But if this happens frequently along with other claims too then they would make some changes to your policy. Either they could deny you coverage altogether or charge your higher premiums. In case you filed 3 or more hail damage claims in a couple of years then your insurer may surely consider you a high risk.
So, before you claim you may think about the outcome on your insurability. For example, if the repairs cost is $1500 and you have $1000 comprehensive deductible then it is not worth claiming for $500. Or, if you drive an old car worth $1500 then you might as well not claim or fix it. When your car is severely damaged by hailstones then your insurer may also declare it a total loss.
How Much Does It Cost To Repair Hail Damage To A Car?
The cost to repair hail damage to your car could depend on the extent of the damage and 4 factors. These include the total number of dents, their location, depth, and size. If the damage is minor then you might be lucky and the dents may fix on its own when you leave the car out in the sun. It is just how nature works! But if not then you may get estimates from your trusted body shops and compare the quotes. You also have a choice to get used parts or aftermarket replacement parts instead of OEM if your insurer is fine with it. You will save some money and also get the job done with no difference in functionality.
For small superficial dents in the hood, trunk or roof it might cost around $30 to $50. Medium sized dents in the same areas may cost around $40 to $55 whereas large ones may be around $75 to $80. For huge dents on hoods, the repair cost could range from $150 to $375. Roof damages could be most expensive ranging from $300 to $600 and trunk damages ranges from $125 to $300. You may replace windshields within a budget of $150 to $300. You may also check some repair shop websites for their cost breakdown for hail damage.
Tips To Protect Your Car From Hail Damage
- It does not hurt to check the weather in advance; especially when there is a storm warning and you may set reminders for storm alerts.
- Protect your car with thick coverings if you park in the open
- Whenever possible you may park your car in the garage or in a safe enclosure. It is worth paying for the garage at least during hail season which could be from April to September.
- If you are driving when there is a hailstorm then you could go inside the nearest car wash
- When you travel away for a few days, ensure that your car is safely parked and protected