Insurance claims for hail damage are rising, and hail claims are especially problematic in states like Texas.
Texas had the most hail events in 2022, followed by Nebraska, Minnesota, Kansas and South Dakota. See the number of hail events in 2022 in the top 5 states below.
How does car insurance work when it comes to hail claims?
If your vehicle is dinged by ice balls falling from the sky, you can decide to live with the cosmetic damage or you may want to file a hail damage claim to have it repaired. Before you reach for your car insurance card, here are five must-know considerations:
- You must have comprehensive insurance coverage. This protection covers theft, vandalism, water damage and animal strikes.
- You will have to pay your deductible amount. Assess the repair costs – if you have just a few dents, the cost to fix your car will not exceed your deductible. Major hail damage could be several thousand dollars and can total a car, in which case a claim makes sense. But for minor damage, you might want to visit a paintless dent repair shop and avoid a claim.
- Your car insurance rates typically won’t increase if you make a hail claim, as car insurance companies typically won’t hold you accountable for damage caused by severe weather. If, however, you’ve had other recent claims on your policy, your insurer may hike your rates.
- If you file a claim, have the insurance adjuster inspect your car in the shade or a garage because bright sunlight can obscure dents.
- Once your insurance company completes its estimate, take your vehicle to a repair shop and get a comparison estimate. If there’s a big discrepancy, the repair shop can contact your insurer and ask for a revised estimate or approval of its estimate.
If you need to add comprehensive coverage to your vehicle, check with your current car insurance company and comparison shop to make sure you have the best rate.
Historical data for hail events
A total of 784,814 hail damage claims were filed in 2019, according to a National Insurance Crime Bureau analysis of insurance claims from the Insurance Services Office (ISO) ClaimSearch database. The NICB published a three-year study of hail damage claims for 2017-19 when there were nearly 2,800,000 hail claims.
Homeowners policies had the most claims — more than 1.7 million from 2017-19 — but auto insurance was second with nearly 750,000 claims.
Insurance Information Institute. “Facts + Statistics: Hail.” Accessed February 2023.
— Michelle Megna contributed to this story.