Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health in...

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Reviewed by Jeffrey Johnson
Insurance Lawyer

UPDATED: Jul 14, 2021

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In a nutshell...

  • If you live in an area where hail is likely, then a comprehensive policy is wise to have, no matter the age of your car
  • Comprehensive coverage covers more than just hail damage
  • Make sure to check in with your agent before filing a claim

If you’re a good shopper, you know that it’s a good idea to periodically check your auto insurance policy to make sure you have the proper amount of coverage at the best possible rates.

However, even the best shoppers do not necessarily understand how car insurance works.

If you have a comprehensive auto insurance policy, the answer is a reassuring yes, and you’d best get on the phone and inform your car insurance agent about what’s happened.

Collision and liability-only insurance coverage are less expensive to carry, but there’s a reason for that, it covers fewer mishaps, so you’re less likely to file a claim on the policy.

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What is comprehensive car insurance coverage?

Comprehensive auto insurance is, as the name implies, a policy that covers just about everything that could happen to your car, short of a collision.

It’s merely, broad insurance protection, according to the definition supplied by InvestorWords.

Its purpose is to cover physical damage and other financial losses that you incur due to something other than an accident, which is covered by the collision portion of your policy.

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What does comprehensive insurance cover?

Comprehensive insurance covers the other things that can happen to your car, usually when it’s not being driven.

Depending on your car insurance policy comprehensive coverage could also include damage from events such as:

  • Fire
  • Theft
  • Flood
  • Malicious damage
  • Riots
  • Windshield damage
  • Earthquakes
  • Windstorm
  • Falling or flying objects
  • Explosions
  • Loss due to hitting an animal or bird
  • Hail

If you live in an area where hail is likely, then a comprehensive policy is wise to have, no matter the age of your car.

If you recently purchased or leased a new or used car, then you probably have a comprehensive insurance policy in place, as required by the lender.

The policy’s provisions allow you to have the car repaired to factory new condition, protecting the lender by ensuring that the car remains operational with sufficient coverage to pay for any damages.

How do I file a claim for hail damage?

The first thing to do when filing a claim is to get in touch with your agent who will likely walk you through the process.

If the damage happened during a severe hailstorm, your insurer might have special operations or claim center set up for to handle the many claims that their policyholders will file.

Next, you’ll have to take the car to one or two repair shops for estimates, and then submit it to the agency for approval.

Hail damage can be costly to repair, and it’s possible that your insurance agency’s risk assessor will come up with a different number than the repair shop came up with, so you may have to use your powers of friendly persuasion to reach an agreement that’s satisfactory to you.

Don’t be afraid to disagree, but arm yourself with a thorough understanding of the facts, it’ll go a long way toward getting the company to see it your way.

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