Hail Coverage for Your Car

If you've ever been caught in a hailstorm, you'll be familiar with its intensity and the potential dangers it can bring to your property and your car. What you may not be familiar with, however, is how hail forms and when to expect it. Hail can form during thunderstorms and can range in size (anywhere from half a centimetre in diameter up to 10 centimetres) depending on the conditions.1 Hail occurs throughout Canada from June to September2 and is more prominent in areas such as Alberta, the southern Prairies and in southern Ontario.3 With hail season lasting approximately four months, and not knowing when it can strike, you'll want to learn how you can prepare and protect your car from potential damage.

What types of damage can hail cause to my car?

Considering the size of hail pellets and how fast it falls, the potential to cause damage is high, especially during a more severe storm. That's why it's crucial to pay attention to any special weather alerts and take the necessary precautions to protect your car from possible damage.

If your car does happen to be exposed during a hailstorm, these are potential damages you may see:

  • Cosmetic damage: These are damages caused to the body of the car and affects the car's appearance more than its functionality. (E.g., dents, scratched/cracked windshield or window, chipped paint, etc.)
  • Structural damage: This is damage to the car itself that affects the car's functionality. (E.g., damage to backup cameras, blind spot detection, etc.)

What type of coverage do I need to ensure my car is protected from hail damage?

You might be surprised to learn that coverage for hail damage isn't included in a basic car insurance policy — that's because hail coverage isn't mandatory to have. To be protected from hail damage, you'll need an active car insurance policy that either has Comprehensive coverage, All Perils coverage, or Specified Perils coverage added to it. By opting into one of these additional coverages, you'll be protected from specific hazards — such as theft, fire, hail, etc. — which will be outlined on your policy. With this additional coverage, if your car was to experience any cosmetic or structural damage from a hailstorm, your insurer should be able to cover some repair costs.

How much will it cost to repair my car from hail damage?

The cost of repair would vary depending on the extent of the damage to your car and the coverage included in your car insurance policy. If your car insurance policy doesn't have coverage to protect you from hailstorm damage, you would have to take your car to an auto body shop and pay for any damage out of pocket. If, on the other hand, you do have the extra coverage that covers hail damage, you'll be responsible for paying your deductible amount once you file a claim and your insurers will cover the rest of the damage cost.

Make sure to consider the extent of damages caused to your car first prior to filing a claim. If you have a higher deductible amount and the damage to your car is minimal (e.g., a few minor dents on the hood of your car), it may not be worth filing a claim — the cost of your deductible may exceed the cost of repairing your car out of pocket. If the damage is more extensive and costly, filing a claim through your insurer may be worth considering. But, if your car's repair costs exceed the value of the car itself (factoring in depreciation), your insurer may declare the car as a Total Loss.

Tip: If you're looking to file a claim and you're a TD Insurance customer, you may have the option of choosing our one-stop TD Insurance Auto Centres or our network of preferred vendors for repairs. From helping guide you through the claims process to getting your car repaired by a certified repair technician, we'll help get you back on the road.

How else can I protect my car from hail damage?

The easiest solution is to watch out for special weather alerts so you can avoid exposing your car to any damage, whether on the road or at home. If you're a TD Insurance customer, you can sign up for Severe Weather & Safety Alerts via the TD Insurance app which will help alert you of any possible weather-related events coming to your area that can put you in danger.

If you're alerted to a potential hailstorm in your area, park your car in the garage (if possible) and try to avoid driving. If you're caught in the middle of a hailstorm, try to find the nearest covered parking lot or gas station to shelter your car away from any possible hail damage. Then wait for the storm to pass before heading off to where you need to go.

If you don't have a garage at home, you're probably wondering what you can do to protect your car from hail, or any weather-related damage. Here are some options you can consider:

  • If the space in your driveway allows, you can build or purchase a carport or portable shelter to shield your car from potential damage.
  • Purchase a car cover that can protect your car from hail and other elements.

Don't wait for the next hailstorm to verify your coverage. If you're a TD Insurance customer, review your policy details via MyInsurance or through the TD Insurance app. Or, if you're not yet a TD Insurance customer, get a quote in minutes to find a car insurance policy that covers all your needs.



SOURCES:
1 & 3: https://www.publicsafety.gc.ca/cnt/mrgnc-mngmnt/ntrl-hzrds/hl-en.aspx
2: http://www.ibc.ca/ns/disaster/ice