This spring 2022, the hail is particularly violent with episodes of strong heat followed by the arrival of cold and humid fronts and agglomerated hailstones the size of falling lemons. In addition to crops, animals, and roofs, this hail causes great damage to vehicles: sprockets, bumps, shattered windows and windshields, etc. Not necessarily aware of these kinds of events, many car owners are caught off guard.
Hail is part of what are called climatic events, or natural disasters and therefore has a special status for insurance in the same way as a mudslide, a hundred-year flood, etc. To hope to be compensated for your car, there are several criteria.
If you are in “all risks” insurance, no worries, you will be compensated regardless of the status of the hailstorm. Otherwise, you must have a “weather event” clause in your cover. Even a “third party” insured can have it and some insurers put it systematically. This can go through a glass breakage guarantee, or even a “weather event”. Check on your contract or with your insurer. If you have the glass breakage guarantee, then only damage to the glass and mirrors is covered, not bumps and damage to bodywork.
If you have the weather event clause, phew. If you haven’t…ouch! Or else, as a last resort, this event must be declared a natural disaster by the State and the administration. If so, then you could still be compensated…
Pay attention to the value of the vehicle
If a decree is published in the Official Journal declaring the state of natural disaster, then even those who are insured only to the responsible third party (minimum legal guarantee compulsory in France) may be covered for these hailstorms.
Note that whatever your insurance cover, a deductible of €380 will be retained if the state of natural disaster is declared by the State via the interministerial decree. With the damage to the windshields, the headlights, the side windows, the rear window, and not even counting the dent removal, the bill will very quickly climb (we have more than 800 € or even much more for a windshield). This could quickly exceed the market value and even the use value of your vehicle. In this case, the insurance will only offer you the estimated amount of your vehicle, minus the deductible, and you could find yourself a pedestrian.
These rules are general. The best is still to see directly with your insurer, even if they are overwhelmed at the moment. Some insurance companies have “vehicle loan” guarantees for the time it takes to repair yours, and even “roadside assistance” if your vehicle cannot go to the garage by road. Finally, be patient, the glazing and windshield centers are, as you can imagine, overwhelmed at the moment. As a reminder, you have 5 days to contact your insurer and notify him of the claim. Before any intervention on your vehicle, warn him and see with him the procedure to follow.
Finally, with the increase in these phenomena, our automobile (and home) insurance should experience a sharp increase in the coming years. More and more increases. Concerning housing, it is something else because multi-risk housing normally includes a hail or natural disaster clause.
Hail is one of the natural disasters when it is of the magnitude we currently know. However, all the damage it does to your vehicle is not necessarily covered.
This will depend on the classification by the state in natural disaster, and your contract. But, no matter what, a deductible is always applied.