Car Insurance Policies For Hail & Storm Damage

Mother Nature doesn’t discriminate, as many Australian drivers who have been stuck in a freak storm are aware. As storm season rolls in across many parts of the country, the dread of paying for repairs on a hail-damaged or flooded car is no doubt on the minds of many car owners. Thankfully, there are some car insurers that offer cover for hail and floods.

Typically, many car insurance providers offer hail, storm and flood cover for people as part of a comprehensive car insurance policy. This is the top-level insurance cover option and can be more expensive. However, opting for fuller cover could give you greater peace of mind.

Which car insurance policies cover hail and storm damage?

According to Canstar’s research, there are a number of comprehensive car insurance policies that will offer cover for accidental damage including hail, storm and flood damage, among other things.

When looking for a car insurance policy that covers accidental damage from hail, storm or flood, you might want to consider the policies rated by Canstar that also reward you when you don’t otherwise claim – offering a no-claims bonus (NCB) on hail or flood claims. You can see a snapshot of them in the table below, sorted by Star Rating for men and women aged 30-39 living in New South Wales, with no extra driver under the age of 25 and links to the providers’ websites.

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Be sure to read the full terms and conditions of each deal before signing up.

It’s a good idea to have a read of the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) of a car insurance policy to double check your provider will definitely cover you for hail and storm damage. If you have a comprehensive policy, it will generally cover you up to the maximum amount shown on the insurance certificate, although bear in mind that many policies may have an excess which will be subtracted from this amount.

You may also find your provider will pay the “reasonable cost” of towing, recovery and storage of your vehicle if it is unsafe to drive as a result of the storm damage. Of course, not every car insurance provider is the same, so be sure to check out what exactly is included in your policy.

What are the different types of car insurance?

Comprehensive car insurance is the most likely to cover you for hail and storm damage, but what are the other types of car insurance out there? Understanding the different policies available is important when deciding which is best for you.

Here are the four types of car insurance you might come across:

  • Compulsory third party (CTP): as the name suggests, this insurance is compulsory. It covers you against claims for compensation in the case of injury or death of another person in a motor vehicle accident you are involved in.
  • Third party property: this is the most basic, optional type of car insurance. It covers damage caused by your car to other people’s property and also your legal costs if you get caught up in legal proceedings as a result of the damage.
  • Third party, fire and theft: this policy covers damage to other people’s property and also some cover for your own car if it’s damaged or lost due to fire or theft.
  • Comprehensive car insurance: this policy covers everything mentioned in the previous insurance types, plus accidental damage to your own car, irrespective of who is at fault. There is also usually a range of optional extras available.

To learn more about these types of car insurance and what they do and don’t cover, it might be a good idea to check out Canstar’s detailed overview of the four types of car insurance.

6 tips to protect your car from storm damage

According to RACQ, the repair bill for hail damage can typically exceed $5,000 and even minor damage can take a week or more to repair at a garage. Plus there’s the risk your car could be completely written off, which happens to 25% of storm-damaged vehicles when the cost of repairs exceeds the value of the car.

Regardless of whether or not you have comprehensive car insurance to cover storm, hail and flood damage, it’s worth considering these few tips from RACQ to help keep your car out of harm’s way in storm season.

  1. If a storm is forecast, try to make plans to store your car undercover and use other means of transport. If your home is flood-prone, try to organise a safe parking alternative.
  2. Don’t place yourself or others at risk – try to find safe shelter if you are caught in a storm. Trees are generally a bad idea due to falling branches.
  3. Avoid speeding up to beat a storm as this can easily lead to a crash.
  4. Turn on your lights to improve visibility on the road.
  5. As the common warning goes: “if it’s flooded – forget it”.
  6. Consider investing in a padded car cover to prevent or reduce hail damage. According to RACQ, these can typically cost from $200 to over $500.

For more ideas about how to protect your car in a storm, have a look at Canstar’s list of 6 ways to protect your car from hail and storm damage.

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