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Hail Damage Car Insurance

If your car’s not under cover, a shower of icy pebbles from the sky can wreak havoc on your vehicle. And the bigger the hail, the bigger the damage. In some cases, cars have been written off due to storm damage.
Hail on a car, car insurance hero

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Does Car Insurance cover hail damage?

If you have a Comprehensive Car Insurance policy, you’ll typically be covered for hail damage but it’s worth checking with your insurer. In some cases hail damage may come with its own set of conditions. For example, there may be a waiting period before it comes into effect after you take out a new policy.

If you have a lower level of cover, such as Third Party Fire and Theft, hail damage is unlikely to be insured. As always, whatever insurance you have, read your Product Disclosure Statement or double-check with your provider and make sure you know what you’re covered for.

The table below is a quick reference to Car Insurance. See what each option typically covers:

Car

Insurance Type

Injuries to other people

Damage to other people’s car or property

Damage caused by fire or theft

Accidental damage to your own car

Hail Damage usually covered

Compulsory Third Party

Yes

No

No

No

No

Third-Party Property Damage

No

Yes

No

No

No

Third-Party Fire and Theft

No 

Yes

Yes

No

No

Comprehensive

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Usually(check your policy)

How do I make a claim for hail damage?

As with any insurance claim, it’s a fairly simple process, made simpler if you do it correctly. Start by taking photographs of the damage right away. Take close-ups if necessary, so that the extent of the damage is clear. Then contact your insurer as soon as possible. You’ll need to provide all the details of when, where and how the damage occurred. In the case of a storm you may even provide a screenshot of the weather map or radar.

  • From there, your insurer will guide you. If the hail was severe, many drivers may have submitted claims which could slow the process as they deal with an onslaught of claims.
  • Your insurer could ask you to have the damage assessed and to get estimates of the repair costs. From there they will decide whether to repair the car or write it off as a total loss.
  • Some insurers have preferred repairers or you may have a policy which allows you to nominate. Whichever it is, don’t carry out any repairs without your insurer’s go-ahead, even urgent ones.
  • If your policy covers you for a hire car while your car is being repaired, make sure that you remember to claim for it. Check with your insurer beforehand in case any restrictions apply.

Can I still drive my car with hail or storm damage?

If the hail damage to your car is minor, (ie: cosmetic), and it doesn’t obstruct vision, then it’s normally still considered roadworthy and you’re allowed to drive it.

But if the hail has broken your windscreen, side mirrors, or light lenses on your car, it’s no longer roadworthy and you won’t be allowed to drive it until those parts are fixed.

If the hail damage is so severe that it’s not worth replacing individual parts, your insurer may decide to write your car off after you submit your claim. You can check to see if your car has been written off on the Personal Properties Security Register (PPSR).

Will claiming hail or storm damage on my car affect my premium?

This will depend on the insurer and your policy. It’s important to check with your insurer or read through your policy’s Product Disclosure Statement to understand the details of your chosen policy.

What other types of storm damage does Car Insurance cover for?

‘Storm damage’ usually refers to lightning, hail or snow, rainwater damage from runoffs, roads flooding, and wind storms which bring tree limbs onto your car or cause other damage. Check with your insurer for specifics

How do I protect my car from hail storms?

Just like our health, prevention is better than cure when it comes to hail damage. There will be times when a hail storm comes out of nowhere and damage is unavoidable, but there are steps you can take to minimise your risk.

  • Keep an eye on the radar: If there’s a big storm forecast, it generally makes the news. Be aware. If there’s one coming your way, consider moving your car to a safe spot, either under cover or out of the area of the storm. Or just don’t go out and keep your car safe in its garage.
  • If you haven’t got a garage, buy a cover: There are special padded covers available to protect your car against hail which could give you peace of mind. If you don’t want to buy a cover, you could try using a few thick blankets for added protection.
  • Avoid driving in a storm: If a storm arises while you’re out on the road, find cover (in an underground car park, for example). It’s not safe to shelter under trees as they can drop limbs in a storm and cause serious damage.
  • Find shelter: If you are caught in a storm, drive with your lights on and find a safe place to park until the storm passes.

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Last updated: 28/10/2021

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