Weather has a way of wreaking havoc on your vehicle with no advance warning. In an ideal world, we would all pull our cars into a garage each night before turning in to rest soundly. Unfortunately, all too often, we find that the moment a storm hits is when our vehicles are in the direct line of fire. Hail storms can come by surprise, causing severe damage to your windshield and to the body of your vehicle. As devastating as hail damage can be, knowing the costs your insurance covers and the steps to take once your vehicle has been hit can provide some relief.
Tips on Handling Hail Damage to Your Vehicle
After the storm, it is important to assess the damages and take appropriate steps to restore your vehicle to working order and get you back on the road, safely. First thing's first, if your car has incurred damages due to hail, such as dents and dings, take it in to a body shop to get an estimate for any necessary repairs. If the harm done was mainly to the front windshield or the rear window glass, also known as back glass, you will want to find a windshield replacement and repair business like Glass America. Next, assess the repair costs and compare the total cost to the deductible on your policy to see if you should file a claim. Minor damages may come out to be less than your deductible, and in that case, filing a claim will not help. If you do file a claim, your insurance company will request an estimate and will likely send you a check for the total cost minus the deductible. Basic information required to make a claim includes the following: policy number, VIN, details regarding the damage, personal information (i.e., name and date of birth), and vehicle information (i.e., make, model and year). Keep in mind, if you are leasing or have an outstanding loan on your car, repairs may be required.
Common Questions on Windshield Repair and Replacement
Hail damage is handled in different ways per your policy and insurance provider. Whether or not you are protected depends on the extent of coverage offered by your policy. If you purchased comprehensive coverage as opposed to liability, chances are you're covered. However, speaking with your insurance agent will confirm this. Below we've listed some frequently asked questions, regarding hail damage repairs.
Will my insurance cover the damage or do I have to pay a deductible?Deductibles are determined at the time you purchase your insurance policy. A comprehensive car insurance policy covers hail damage, whereas liability insurance will not accept a hail damage claim. If you have comprehensive car insurance you may have a deductible which is applied at each occurrence rather than yearly. Some comprehensive policies offer optional glass coverage that will cover the repair costs without you having met your deductible but you will need to check with your insurance provider to see if your policy includes this option.
Does my car insurance premium increase if I submit a claim?Any claim has the potential of raising your premiums but often times, a hail damage claim alone will not increase your insurance premiums.
Will the damage require a replacement windshield?The best way to identify if your windshield needs to be replaced, as opposed to repaired, is to measure the crack with your credit card. If the damage is smaller than the length of your credit card and not in the driver's line of sight, then you may just need a quick repair. Click here to find out if your damage warrants a repair or requires a windshield replacement.
Does my repair or replacement come with a warranty?This depends on the replacement and repair business you choose. Glass America offers a lifetime warranty for windshield repairs and replacements.
Will I need to take my car into the shop or can I have a technician come to me?Some glass repair shops will require you to bring the car in or they may charge an additional fee to come to you. Glass America understands you are busy and offers free mobile services so we will send an expert repair technician to your office, home, or wherever your vehicle is parked.
It's never a bad time to consult your insurance agent about what your policy covers. Educating yourself on your car insurance policy can help to prepare you for the unexpected situations life sometimes presents. Whether or not your costs are covered, even the smallest windshield crack can grow into a costly fix, so it's always best to seek repairs sooner rather than later. Call "The Best in Auto Glass" at (877) 220-1724 today to schedule your appointment!