Does car insurance cover damage caused by hail?

Q:

Does car insurance cover damage caused by hail?

A:

Great question. The answer depends on what type of insurance you bought. In most jurisdictions, auto insurance is typically broken down into four coverages:

  • Third party liability
  • Accident benefits
  • Uninsured, underinsured, and unidentified motorist protection (UMP)
  • Own damage coverage

Third party liability is mandatory in most jurisdictions and exists to pay for any bodily injury or property damage you cause to others. Accident benefits is also mandatory coverage and pays for any bodily injury you sustain as the insured. Finally, UMP protects you if the at-fault driver is uninsured, underinsured, or unidentified (as happens in many hit-and-run accidents).

But the coverage we're really concerned about here is the own damage coverage. This coverage section is optional and offers protection if your own vehicle was damaged in an accident. Generally, there are two kinds of own damage coverage available on the market: collision and comprehensive. You have the option to purchase either of these coverages, or even both if you wanted to.

Collision coverage is pretty straightforward: it pays for damages your own insured vehicle sustains during a collision with another vehicle, a building, or almost anything else it collides with (interestingly, collisions with animals aren't covered under this section).

The comprehensive coverage, however, pays for damages that result from things other than collisions. This includes hail damage.

In summary, yes, hail damage to you car is covered under your automobile insurance policy provided you purchased something called comprehensive own damage coverage.

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About the Author: (Director of Education at PNC Learning)

Jacques grew up around the insurance industry and began actively participating in 2013. Since then, he has gotten a Level 2 license, won Insurance Council of BC awards in 2015 and 2020 for academic excellence in the insurance licensing courses. He educates insurance professionals through PNC Learning and as a Thought Leader at ReFrame Insurance.

In his day job as an insurance broker, he helps businesses with creative risk management solutions and strategic advice when it comes to insurance.

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