Is my car covered for hail storm damage?
The bodywork of a reader's car has been severely damaged in a hail storm. Can he claim for repairs on his insurance or get a payout if the car is scrapped?...
Hail stones the size of golf balls came down and the car has sustained extensive damage to every panel with around 200 dents on the roof alone.
Even though the car is only 17 months old, there is a good chance it will be written off. Where do I stand in this situation?
What Car? says...
Incidents caused by the elements are often considered an 'act of God', and this means it’s generally accepted that any damage incurred was unavoidable. So, provided you have a fully comprehensive car insurance policy, you should be able to make a claim for the damage to your car on this.
You will only be covered if you have a comprehensive insurance policy, however; third party and third party, fire and theft (TPFT) policies only cover damage caused to other cars and property, and will only pay out for damage to your car if it was caused as a result of fire or theft.
A comprehensive policy will enable you to claim either to get the car repaired or to cover the cost of replacement if it’s deemed an uneconomical repair.
You are likely to have to pay the excess on your policy and, unfortunately, your premiums are likely to increase slightly after making the claim – or you could lose your no claims bonus if it’s not protected.
This is because most weather damage falls under the ‘at-fault’ claim category – not because you are to blame for the damage, but because your insurer will not be able to recover its costs from elsewhere as it would if you’d been involved in a collision that was another driver’s fault.