AUSTIN (KXAN) — Severe storms hit Central Texas this week, bringing large hail — some up to the size of golf balls.
Texas leads the nation in insurance claims for hail damage. According to the Insurance Council of Texas, the majority of insurance claims in 2021 came from Travis and Tarrant Counties this week.
Here’s what you can do if you woke up to a car pummeled by the hail.
Car insurance will cover damage made to your car’s body, windshield and interior as long as you have comprehensive coverage. Liability insurance will not cover hail damage in most cases.
Comprehensive coverage pays to replace a stolen vehicle or repair damage not caused by a collision. The Insurance Council of Texas said to check your auto policy for hail coverage, because about 75% of vehicle owners also purchase comprehensive insurance.
You will then work with your insurance company and an auto body shop to get a repair estimate. Hail damage claims made on auto insurance policies are added to your insurance record. According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, claim frequency may affect what you pay for car insurance.
Insurance providers will have a list of recommended body shops in the area, but you are free to pick the mechanic of your choosing. The Insurance Council of Texas suggests to keep a log of all your conversations with your insurance company and contractors to keep track of the process.
Be careful of fraud during this time. The National Insurance Crime Bureau has the following suggestions if you find a contractor:
- Get everything in writing
- Require references and check them out
- Ask to see the contractor’s driver’s license and write down the number and the license plate on his or her vehicle
The Insurance Council of Texas said it is illegal in Texas for contractors to offer to pay deductibles, and this should be reported to the Attorney General’s Office. They advise to pay in small increments as the job gets done to ensure satisfaction of the contractor’s work.