Does Car Insurance Cover Wind Damage?

Wind damage to vehicles is an unfortunate but common occurrence, especially for car owners living in areas prone to storms and severe weather. The high winds can whip up debris, knock down trees and power lines, and cause all sorts of chaos resulting in dents, scratches, and other exterior damage to your car.

So does car insurance cover wind damage repairs? The short answer is yes, most car insurance policies will cover wind damage. However, there are some important caveats to be aware of when it comes to filing wind damage claims and getting your car repaired.

What Type of Car Insurance Covers Wind Damage?

You’ll need to have comprehensive coverage as part of your auto insurance policy for wind damage to be covered. Comprehensive coverage is optional but highly recommended as it protects against events out of your control like:

  • Wind damage
  • Hail damage
  • Flood damage
  • Fire
  • Vandalism
  • Falling objects/trees
  • Theft
  • Collisions with animals

So if a tree branch falls on your car during a windstorm or your vehicle gets pelted with hail, comprehensive coverage will pay for the repairs.

Liability coverage, which is mandatory minimum coverage in most states, does not cover wind damage or any other non-collision event. You’d be fully responsible for covering the cost of repairs without comprehensive protection.

Steps to File a Wind Damage Claim

If your car suffers wind damage, here are the steps you’ll need to take to file an insurance claim:

  1. Document the damage – Take plenty of photos showing the damage from all angles. Also photograph any fallen trees, branches, or other debris that may have caused the damage.

  2. Call your insurance company – Notify them of the wind damage and start the claims process. Provide details on what happened and the extent of the damage.

  3. Take your car to an approved shop – Your insurer will provide a list of auto body shops in their network. Get a repair estimate from a shop on the list.

  4. Pay your deductible – For a claim to be approved, you’ll need to pay the comprehensive deductible, often $500-$1000.

  5. Get the repairs done – The shop will complete the work covered by your policy and bill the insurance company directly.

  6. Submit any supplementary claims – If there are damages discovered later, submit a supplementary claim with additional documentation.

What Kind of Repairs Are Covered?

Comprehensive coverage is quite broad when it comes to wind damage. Just about any repairs needed to get your car back to pre-storm condition will be covered, including:

  • Removing dents and creases caused by flying debris
  • Repairing deep scratches that go down to metal
  • Addressing paint damage from hail
  • Replacing side mirrors ripped off by wind
  • Straightening out body panels battered by debris
  • Fixing door frames bent by gusts of wind
  • Replacing windshields cracked from objects carried by winds

Any type of exterior body damage attributable to the windstorm will be covered under a comprehensive claim.

Damage Not Covered by Insurance

While comprehensive insurance covers most storm-related damages, there are a few exceptions:

  • Normal wear and tear – Dents, scratches, chipped paint, etc. that built up over time unrelated to the storm will not be covered.

  • Pre-existing damage – Damage that occurred prior to the wind event will not be covered. The insurance company will only pay for new damage caused by the storm.

  • Damage below your deductible – If the total cost of repairs is less than your comprehensive deductible amount, the insurance company will not pay anything. You’ll have to cover the full cost out-of-pocket.

  • Damage exceeding your coverage limits – There are limits to how much an insurance policy will pay for a single claim. If repair costs exceed those limits, you’ll be responsible for the overage.

Factors That Affect Wind Damage Claims

Several factors come into play that can impact the outcome of a wind damage claim:

  • Where you live – Car owners in areas more prone to wind events like hurricanes may see higher premiums or deductibles for comprehensive coverage.

  • Where the car was parked – If the vehicle was parked in a garage or otherwise shielded at the time of the storm, your claim may be denied.

  • Severity of the storm – Wind damage from a tropical storm is more likely to be covered than minor damage from gusty thunderstorm winds.

  • Timing of the damage – Your claim has a better chance if the damage can be tied directly to a known storm event rather than generalized windy conditions.

  • Tree/property maintenance – If your own poorly maintained trees or property damaged your car, the claim could be denied.

The key is being able to definitively tie the vehicle damage to the wind event and having documentation to back up your claim.

Tips for Wind Damage Prevention

While insurance can help pay for car repairs, preventing wind damage in the first place is ideal. Here are some tips:

  • Park your vehicle in a garage when storms are expected. If no garage is available, get it as far away from trees as possible.

  • Avoid parking near billboards, construction sites, or other structures that could blow over.

  • Invest in hail protection covers for your vehicle if you live in an area with frequent hailstorms.

  • Maintain trees on your property – trim dead branches and minimize overgrowth.

  • If a major hurricane or tornado is imminent, consider temporarily relocating your vehicle out of the storm’s path.

  • Add comprehensive coverage to your policy. It’s a relatively inexpensive way to protect your car investment against wind damage.

Using Insurance to Repair Wind Damage

In the event your vehicle does suffer storm damage, comprehensive insurance takes much of the financial sting out of the repairs. Without it, you’d be stuck with the full bill.

Be sure to act quickly after any wind event to file your claim and document damage. Taking the right steps can streamline the claims process and get your car looking as good as new.

Does car insurance cover storm damage?


What is wind damage to a car?

Wind speeds may pick up during a storm, which can lead to debris damaging your car. Following the incident, you could be looking at anything from minor scratches to broken glass and side panels that need to be replaced.

What is wind damage considered?

What Is Considered Wind Damage Under a Homeowners Policy? Generally, most damage caused by wind in any type of storm is considered wind damage and is covered under a homeowners policy. Damaging winds can cause destruction to roofs, windows and more.

Does car insurance cover natural disasters?

Car insurance will cover damage from natural disasters if you have comprehensive coverage. Comprehensive coverage is the type of auto insurance that typically covers damages to your vehicle caused by events that are beyond your control, such as natural disasters.

What type of insurance would cover the damage to your vehicle during a storm a tree falls on your vehicle?

If you only carry liability coverage on your auto insurance policy, then you won’t be covered if a tree falls on your car. If you have comprehensive coverage, however, your insurance can cover the damage caused by a tree, branch, or limb falling on your car, minus your deductible.

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