Out With The Old (Hail Damage) & In With The New
What is covered by my insurance policy?
So, you’ve purchased your very first NEW car and made the mistake of not ensuring it on the same day that you bought it. Why? Because a big hail storm came through and left behind thousands of little hail dents all over the new vehicle while you ran into the supermarket to pick up some milk.
AND by the time you got to your car and called your insurance company to get coverage, the damage had already been done.
Months later, back to the store – there was yet another major storm (only in McKinney, TX, right?) that came through with a vengeance and caused even more hail damage.
The next day, you call in the hail damage claim to your insurance company. The Hail Shop USA lists important filing phone numbers and online filing options from multiple national insurance companies here.
Is My Previous Hail Damage Covered By Insurance?
Here are the questions:
1) Can I file a hail damage claim on the hail damage that happened between purchasing the vehicle and the hail damage that happened BEFORE the vehicle was covered?
Yes and no.
If you already have a vehicle(s) covered by a comprehensive insurance policy, many insurance companies will automatically give a 30-day coverage on new vehicles purchased. In any case, you should call your insurance company and ask about the specifics of your policy and what is covered.
Alternatively, if you do not have a current comprehensive policy on an existing vehicle with your insurance company, let’s say you only have liability, you will not be covered for the cost of hail damage repair.
2) Can the insurance company deny your new claim because there was previous hail damage, even though this storm did cause additional damage?
Going back to question 1 – if the insurance company was not made aware of the prior damage caused by a previous storm, their job will become a lot harder. There are multiple tiers of teams for catastrophic or weather-related claims. Your insurance company has seen it all. If you file a new hail claim and an adjuster suspects prior un-repaired hail damage, your claim will become a “case” and be escalated. Your insurance company WILL NOT pay for the pre-existing damage. They will determine what part of the damage was caused by Hail Storm A and Hail Storm B – then cover the damage from Hail Storm B.
3) How does the insurance company compute my previous hail damage to the new damages?
Please refer to our article, “Do I have to get my hail damage repaired or can I keep the money?” to learn more if you are in a situation where you chose to keep the money instead of getting the hail damage repaired.
If you purchased a vehicle with pre-existing auto hail damage – you should make your insurance company aware of this damage. If and when another hail event occurs, the insurance adjuster that comes to do the damage estimate will know the difference between the new damage and the existing damage.
Your comprehensive insurance policy will only cover the new damage.
Most hail storms last only about 3-6 minutes, but the damage caused in that short span of time can be extensive. A majority of the damage is cosmetic, causing only a few small dings and dents. But in a catastrophic hail storm, dents will cover an entire vehicle and windshields and other auto glass may be shattered.
Remember – no one will look out for you as well as YOU can!
Always cover your bases and make sure you always report hail damage, no matter the type of coverage you have. You will never fool an insurance agent and even if you try, you run the risk of getting dropped by your insurance company.