Australia’s weather can be unpredictable, and many choose to protect their vehicles from the elements with car insurance. Hail damage, in particular, can be a huge concern, especially come storm season in certain regions more prone to hail events.
While hail damage is usually superficial, repairs are often costly and – in more severe cases – vehicles are written off. So, does car insurance for hail damage exist?
What you’ll find in this article:
Car insurance can cover your car if it’s damaged by a hail storm, but the extent of cover depends on the type of policy you take out. For instance, you’ll need comprehensive car insurance – the highest level of car cover available – to cover hail damage. A comprehensive policy will also cover you for many other weather-related damages caused by fire, storms and floods.
Conversely, Third Party Property and Third Party Fire and Theft insurance are intended to pay for damages you cause to other vehicles and property. As such, these types of policies won’t cover hail damage.
Our comprehensive car insurance comparison tool can help you compare a range of cover options from some of Australia’s top insurers. Our handy tool is free to use and only takes a few minutes.
Insurance companies are often reluctant to cover already hail-damaged cars – particularly with a comprehensive policy (which covers damages to your and others car, whether or not you’re at fault).
Only some insurers will take on hail-damaged cars, and you may be required to pay an increased rate compared to vehicles that aren’t damaged. In some cases, and depending on the damage, insurers may offer you a market-value policy for your car. This means your policy would cover what your hail-damaged car is valued at when you make a claim.
So, your car may have been worth $5,000 when you purchased or insured it, but the market value may dip to $3,000 when you make a claim. This is the most you’d receive from your insurer to fix or replace it.
Be aware that even If your policy does cover your hail-damaged car, it doesn’t always mean your car will be repaired. If the cost of repairs is more than the car is worth, insurers may offer a payment instead.
You can usually take out a Third Party Property policy to cover your car. This policy won’t cover hail damage. Rather, it’s designed to only pay for the damages you might cause to third party vehicles and property.
You generally will need to pay an excess to claim for hail damage; this amount will depend on the excess you agreed to pay when you first purchased your policy.
You may have the option of not paying an excess when you claim, but this will often result in you paying higher premiums. As a general rule, the more money you agree upon as your up-front excess, the less your insurance premiums will be.
How paying excess could work when claiming hail damage
You decide to pay a $900 excess to make a claim when you take out your policy. You get caught in a massive hail storm, causing $5,000 worth of damage to your car. Because your excess is $900, that’s all you’ll need to pay your insurer. Meanwhile, your insurer will foot the bill for the remaining $4,100. Of course, this is just an example and what you pay depends on the excess you agree on and the amount of damage your car sustains during a hail storm.