Hail Damage and Car Insurance: How It Works and What You Should Know

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Fortunately, car insurance covers hail damage — but only if you have comprehensive coverage on your auto policy. Hail damage occurs when ice balls become heavy enough to fall from the atmosphere, causing damage to objects they land on, like your vehicle. Hail can break your windows and dent your doors, trunk, hood, or fenders.

The United States saw almost 7,000 major hail events in 2023, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Essentially, the more severe the hailstorm, the larger the hail and the greater the damage it can inflict on your car. So if you’re worried about hail damage, you’ll want the best auto coverage to take care of it.

Keep reading to learn about how hail damage coverage works, including how to file a claim for hail damage and the cost of hail repairs and comprehensive coverage.

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Does Car Insurance Cover Hail Damage?

Car insurance typically covers hail damage if you have comprehensive coverage. This optional coverage pays for non-collision damage to your vehicle, including from weather events like hailstorms, animal damage, broken glass, theft, vandalism, and falling objects.

You must have comprehensive coverage on your insurance policy at the time of the hailstorm to file a hail damage claim. If you don’t have it when the damage occurs, you’ll have to pay out of pocket to fix the hail damage on your vehicle.

Although almost all states require liability insurance, this alone won’t cover hail damage. Neither will the following coverages:

Is It Worth It to File a Hail Damage Claim?

hail damage on the hood of a car

It may be worth it to file an insurance claim for hail damage, but you should consider a few things before doing so. Comprehensive coverage usually has a deductible — the amount you pay out of pocket toward a claim. If you file a hail damage claim, the insurance company will only pay for repair costs that exceed your deductible amount.

Severe storms can cause larger hail to form, which can cause significant damage to your vehicle. But keep in mind that even if the hail causes damage to personal items inside the vehicle, your auto insurance policy won’t cover them. You’d have to file a separate renters or homeowners insurance claim for those items.

You should also consider your car’s age and condition. If your vehicle’s actual cash value (ACV) is less than the cost of repairs, your insurer might declare your car totaled and provide a payout instead of paying the repair costs. Your car insurance company probably won’t cover existing damage on your vehicle either.

If you’re ready to file an auto insurance claim, we’ll walk you through it in the next section.

How to File an Auto Insurance Claim for Hail Damage

If your car has been damaged by hail, don’t fret. Filing a claim with your insurance company is as easy as these five steps:

  1. If you have comprehensive car insurance coverage, notify your insurance company as soon as possible to start the claims process.
  2. Take photos of all sides of the vehicle, including the areas with hail damage. The images can help your insurance adjuster see how extensive the damage is and how to process the claim.
  3. Provide all relevant information when submitting the claim, including the date and time the hail damage occurred, the vehicle’s location when it was damaged, and where the damage is on the car.
  4. Once your insurer assigns an adjuster to your case, they’ll reach out to go over the claim details and discuss the next steps.
  5. The adjuster will provide an initial estimate based on the hail damage and probable cost of repairs. You can use your insurer’s preferred body shop network or choose your own car repair shop to complete the work. Keep in mind that while a few dents and a broken windshield can usually be repaired, serious hail damage might mean your car could be declared totaled.

Before filing a claim, check to see if you have a comprehensive deductible so you’re prepared to pay your portion to the body shop after your car is fixed. Make sure you stay in contact with your insurance company and meet with the adjuster as needed.

How Much Does It Cost to Repair Hail Damage?

car with hail damage

The cost to repair hail damage depends on the severity and type of damage, your insurance policy, deductible, and the total cost of repairs. If the damage is only to the vehicle’s body and the paint wasn’t compromised, the body shop can usually use paintless dent repair (PDR), which pushes the dents out from underneath without needing to repaint any damaged body panels.

But if the paint is chipped or cracked, or there’s extensive damage, they may need to use conventional vehicle repair, which could cost more.

In 2021, the average auto claim for hail was $5,000, according to State Farm data. Claims increased to $7,000 in 2022, with Minnesota, Texas, Arkansas, Illinois, and Nebraska as the top five states for hail claims. Here are the top five states for hail events in 2023, according to the NOAA hail data:

  • Texas
  • Kansas
  • Nebraska
  • Missouri
  • Colorado

How Much Does Comprehensive Insurance Cost?

The national average cost of comprehensive insurance is $174, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). Factors like weather, accident rates, traffic density, vehicle theft rates, and auto repair costs influence comprehensive insurance rates.

The table below shows the average monthly comprehensive insurance premium in each state.


Average Comprehensive Premium

























































New Hampshire


New Jersey


New Mexico


New York


North Carolina


North Dakota










Rhode Island


South Carolina


South Dakota














Washington, D.C.


West Virginia






National average


The cheapest states for comprehensive coverage are California and Idaho. Both states have mild climates and few severe weather events, contributing to low average premiums.

Colorado and Wyoming are the most expensive. These states typically see numerous extreme weather events, which can increase the average cost of repairs and comprehensive premiums.

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FAQs About Hail Damage and Your Car Insurance

It’s important to know how car insurance works when hail damages your vehicle. Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about hail damage and auto insurance.

Will a hail damage claim cause your insurance to go up?

Possibly. Any claim you file goes into your claims history, which can affect your insurance rates. If your area is prone to hail, your insurer may raise your comprehensive coverage premium because of a greater chance of weather-related claims. Parking your car under an overhang can help protect it from hail damage if a severe thunderstorm is in the forecast.

What if you can’t drive your car because of hail damage?

If your car is inoperable after hail damage and you don’t have access to another vehicle, consider adding rental car reimbursement coverage to your car insurance policy. This coverage can help you pay for a rental car until you can drive yours again.

Does homeowners insurance cover vehicle hail damage?

Homeowners insurance covers damage to your home and personal property, not your vehicle. But if hail damages items inside your car, your homeowners policy might cover things like electronics, a laptop, or other valuables not permanently attached to the vehicle.

Can a car be totaled by hail damage?

Yes. Major hailstorms can cause severe damage to your car and even total it. A vehicle is considered totaled when the cost to repair it is greater than a certain percentage of the car’s actual cash value.

How do you protect your car from hail damage?

You can protect your car from hail damage in a couple of ways. Moving your car to a parking garage or under a carport can protect it from hail damage, according to the National Weather Service. If you’re driving and can’t find a garage or carport, you can park under a bridge or overpass.


Data scientists at Compare.com analyzed more than 50 million real-time auto insurance rates from more than 75 partner insurance providers in order to compile the quotes and statistics seen in this article. Compare.com’s auto insurance data includes coverage analysis and details on drivers’ vehicles, driving records, insurance histories, and demographic information.

All the quotes listed in this article have been gathered from a combination of real Compare.com quotes and external insurance rate data gathered in collaboration with Quadrant Information Services. Compare.com uses these observations to provide drivers with insight into how auto insurance companies determine their premiums.


  1. National Association of Insurance Commissioners, “2019/2020 Auto Insurance Database Report,” Accessed February 1, 2024.
  2. National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, “2023 Annual Preliminary Hail Summary,” Accessed February 1, 2024.
  3. National Weather Service, “Severe Thunderstorm Safety Rules,” Accessed February 2, 2024.

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