ORLANDO, Fla. - Strong storms moved across Central Florida this week, pummeling portions of the area with large and destructive hail. In some spots, piles of hail blanketed roadways, freeways, roofs, and peoples' yards. There is the potential for more storms to return on Thursday, bringing with them the risk of large hail (1"-1.5" in diameter).
Many residents whose cars or homes were damaged by hail may be wondering if insurance will cover it. Here's what we know.
Does car insurance cover hail damage?
According to Allstate, if you carry comprehensive coverage, your car insurance policy may help pay to repair auto body, windshield and interior damage caused by hail.
Comprehensive coverage helps pay to replace or repair your vehicle if it is damaged in an incident that is not a collision such as storm damage and falling objects, including hail.
If your vehicle has been damaged by hail, officials say to report the claim to your insurer as soon as possible. Comprehensive coverage typically comes with a deductible, which is the amount you'll have to pay out of pocket when you make a claim, according to Allstate.
The Kelley Blue Book (KBB) suggests comparing the repair cost to your deductible before filing a claim.
MORE WEATHER HEADLINES:
- TIMELINE: Strong storms could bring large hail, heavy rain, damaging winds to Central Florida on Thursday
- Photos, videos show hail storms moving across Central Florida
Does home insurance cover hail damage?
If you have an HO-3 policy, which Credible says is the most common type of home insurance, it typically covers 16 perils, including windstorms and hail.
Coverage A, or dwelling coverage, covers hail damage to a home's physical structure, like the roof, siding or chimney and protects structures attached to the home, like a garage or backyard patio. Detached structures on a homeowner's property, like gazeboes or sheds, are typically covered in Coverage B, or other structures coverage.
While basic home insurance typically provides coverage for hail damage, Credible says there are some exceptions. If your insurance policy lapsed before the hail damage happened, you will have to pay for the damage yourself.
Some home insurance providers do not cover cosmetic damage, damage that affects how a structure looks. In certain hail-prone areas, Credible says some insurance policies list hail damage as a home insurance exclusion.
How to protect your car from hail damage
To protect your vehicle and minimize dents and dings hail may cause, KBB officials say to park your vehicle inside a garage or another covered location. They also suggest draping moving blankets or a comforter over your vehicle's roof, windshield and hood, as it can soften the strikes of hail, or purchase an inflatable car cover, hail blanket or a mobile car tent.
How to protect your home from hail damage
According to the Disaster Safety website, homeowners can take the following steps to protect their home from hail:
- Ensure roof is in good condition
- Replace the roof when necessary
- Choose steep-sloped roofs
- Close drapes, blinds, or window shades