“Does a hail damage claim raise car insurance rates?”
This question comes up a lot.
As a person that works in the hail damage repair business, I can say, with real testimony, that most of the people whose doors we have knocked on, do not know or are not aware of the difference between the types of auto insurance coverage and insurance claims.
There are three types of coverage that a vehicle can have:
- Liability insurance coverage
- Collision coverage
- Comprehensive insurance coverage
These three coverages constitute what is commonly known as “full coverage.”
Does liability insurance cover hail damage?
Short answer is no.
The liability coverage is must-have insurance by law in Colorado. If you have a lienholder, collision and comprehensive coverages are also REQUIRED.
Why doesn’t the libility insurance cover hail damage?
The “bank” wants to protect their asset from being devalued, so if you get into an accident that is your fault, the collision coverage will pay for the damages so that the bank’s asset (a.k.a. your car) has its value restored.
When you have a car accident in which you’re not at fault, the other party’s liability insurance will pay for the damageon your car. If they have collision coverage, that policy determines what will pay for the damage to your car.
If the insurance totals your car after an accident, you will receive your vehicle’s value, minus the deductible if one applies. If you’re not at fault in the accident, then no deductible will apply when the other party’s insurance is paying for the vehicle. If you are at fault and your collision policy comes with a deductible, then the insurance will pay you for the value of the car minus your collision deductible.
Insurance companies in Colorado vary at what percentage of the value they will total vehicles at. Some will even total a vehicle if the repair estimate is only 40% of the car’s value.
The typical percentage at which an insurance company will consider a car a total loss is around 60% of its value.
So this means if your car is worth $10,000 and has sustained damage that will cost over $6,000 to fix, your insurance will “run value” on the vehicle.
When they run value, they assess the car’s full value based on the options it is equipped with, how many miles it has on it, and the overall condition of the vehicle’s interior and.
Once they have the “true” value of the vehicle, they will refer back to their policies regarding what percentage it must reach to consider the car a total loss and make an assessment at that time.
Does comprehensive insurance cover hail damage?
The answer is yes, hail damage is covered by a comprehensive claim.
The comprehensive insurance covers anything that is an “Act of Nature,” such as a flood, a fire, a hail storm, tornado damage, etc. – anything that you have zero control over that’s due to nature.
A civil disturbance – imagine you are visiting a new city and you decide to go to the city park. While you’re at the park, you see people protesting aggressively, and the police are trying to contain them. In the middle of the protest is your car gets smashed by the protesters. This is no worry to you, as long as you have the comprehensive policy on your account, which covers damage caused by a civil disturbance.
Falling objects – for example, while you are on vacation, and you want to travel to the mountains. While you aredriving, you see a beautiful mountain view on your right, and out of nowhere, a branch falls from a tree on your car roof and makes a huge dent… comprehensive coverage will cover that repair, too.
Hitting an animal – Unfortunately, hitting or being hit by an animal is fairly likely to happen in a state like ours in Colorado. We share our habitat with all types of animals. It does not matter how good a driver you are; animals can run out in front of you at any minute. If a deer (or another wild animal) hits your car, the damage is covered by the comprehensive insurance.
Theft – this too is something that’s out of our control, and could happen anywhere, and at any time. Comprehensive insurance covers that as well.
Vandalism – let say you leave your car parked outside a football field, and the team that lost the game gets mad and starts a huge disturbance, breaking windshields, or scratching panels of opposing fans’ cars, slashing tires, etc. That’s terrible! But your comprehensive insurance will cover fixing your car as vandalism should that occur.
Weather (including hail damage)– a hailstorm, flood, hurricane, and other disastrous weather conditions are considered “Acts of Nature” or an event that no one can predict. These types of claims are considered “comprehensive” claims.
In all these scenarios above, the cause of the damage was made by other forces that you have no control of.
It’s for this reason that insurance companies WILL NOT increase your rates due to a comprehensive claim.
Most people do not know about this information and can get scared when any of the situations explained above regarding comprehensive claims.
Many of our customers were initially concerned that their rates will increase if they file a hail damage claim.
We hope we were able to help you with this explanation!
Call us at 720-439-9533 for any questions.
If you decide to repair your car from hail damage, we will be happy to assist you in the entire process: from filing a claim, scheduling an appointment with an adjuster, properly repairing your car, and returning your vehicle in its like-new, pre-storm condition.
Let us get your car looking brand new again! We are professionals and will be glad to serve you. 😊