Who Is Responsible For Hail Damage On A Rental Car?

Let’s understand who is responsible for hail damage on a rental car. Renting a car can become expensive if it gets damaged by hail, which is icy balls falling from the sky. Rental companies might try to make you pay for the damage, but if you have pictures proving you did not cause it, you can show them to the company.

Hailstorms can be new for some drivers who may have never seen them before, and they usually happen in certain seasons, mainly between May and September.

Even small hailstones can cause big damage to cars, so it’s essential to be careful, especially during these times.

What Happens If Rental Car Gets Hail Damage?

Who Is Responsible For Hail Damage On A Rental Car?

If your rental car gets damaged in a hailstorm, your rental car insurance, including comprehensive coverage, should cover the repair costs.

Rental car companies provide comprehensive coverage and can protect you from various non-collision-related mishaps like hail damage.

It is important to have this coverage before any damage happens, as adding it after a hailstorm warning or damage is not possible.

This insurance covers damage from weather events like storms, snow, hail, and falling debris or trees, and it is often required if you have a car loan.

Inform Car Rental Company About The Hail Damage 

When you see hail damage on the rental car, tell the rental company immediately. They will guide you on what to do next and may need you to fill out forms.

It is important to inform them quickly to protect yourself and there’s a time limit for reporting the damage. After contacting them, you will get more instructions and might have to fill out a report.

You can also check if your insurance covers the rental car and get a free assessment of the damage from a local repair service.

Evaluation of The Hail Damage

If your rental car gets hit by hail while you are driving, pull over safely and check if anyone is hurt, especially from broken glass if the hail is severe.

After the storm has passed and you’re in a safe spot, look at the rental car to see if there is any damage. Safety comes first, so make sure everyone is okay before assessing the damage.

Necessary Documents & Proofs

You must assess the damage carefully before you look for insurance coverage for scratches or windshield damage on a rental car. Document and measure any new damage, like cracks in the glass or dents on the body, and take photos of everything, no matter how small.

When reporting hail damage, provide clear photos and documentation to support your claim, including pictures of the dents, scratches, or other visible damage caused by the hail.

These steps will help establish the extent of the damage and support your claim for insurance coverage.

Look Fort Roadside Assistance

If you are not sure about the rental car, like whether it is safe after a hailstorm or not, it is best to call for roadside assistance. You might be able to drive it back to the rental place if the damage is not too serious, but if it is serious like the windshield is cracked, it is good to get help.

You might have roadside assistance through a membership like AAA or AARP, or your credit card. There are also pay-per-use services like Urgent.ly or the Honk app. Also, you can call the rental company for help, even if you did not buy their roadside assistance plan.

Insurance Claim

After hail damage to a rental car, contact your insurance company to make a claim. They will send an adjuster to assess the damage. Check your insurance coverage for rental cars and comprehensive coverage for hail damage.

If you have a collision damage waiver (CDW) from the rental company, it covers repair costs unless the accident was reckless. Personal auto insurance usually covers rentals, but check your limits and deductibles.

We or car rental companies can treat Hail damage like any other claim, but things should be according to the companies’ policy.

Personal Auto Policy

Before renting a car, customers must check their auto insurance policy to see if it covers rentals. Some policies might cover rentals automatically, but others might need an extra add-on.

Contact your insurance company to understand your coverage better, including any exclusions or limitations.

Check Credit Card Advantages

When you book a rental car with a credit card, check the benefits it offers. Some credit cards provide rental car insurance, including coverage for hail damage.

Read the details carefully to understand any restrictions or limitations. If you have questions, contact your credit card issuer for more information.

Check Out Travel Insurance

If your personal auto policy or credit card benefits do not cover enough for rental car hail damage, consider travel insurance. It often includes coverage for rental car damage, including hail damage.

Read the policy carefully to know what it covers and any deductibles. It is essential to understand your coverage before renting a car to avoid unexpected costs.

If you are not sure, ask your insurance provider, credit card company, or travel insurance company for clarification.

Consider Supplemental Insurance

While renting a car, you can consider supplemental insurance for extra protection against hail damage or accidents. While it costs more, it gives you peace of mind and helps avoid unexpected expenses later on.

Types of Insurance Coverage

Car insurance has different types like liability, medical, and physical damage coverage. To get help with hail damage repairs from your auto insurer, you need comprehensive coverage. Comprehensive coverage is optional and helps repair or replace your car in certain situations, unlike liability insurance which covers expenses for others if you cause an accident.

Liability Coverage

Liability covers expenses if you cause an accident, medical covers medical costs, and physical damage covers your car’s repair or replacement.

Comprehensive Coverage

Comprehensive coverage, also known as ‘other-than-collision,’ pays for repairs not caused by accidents. It covers damage from things like storms, hail, and falling debris. While your state does not require it, your lender usually does if you finance your car.

Even if your loan is paid off, it’s worth considering this coverage to avoid big repair bills for non-accident damage.

How to Avoid Hail Damage On A Rental Car?

  • To avoid a hail claim, take precautions, especially if you live in a high-risk area.
  • Park in a garage instead of outside if you know a storm is coming.
  • Find shelter during a hailstorm by parking under a covered structure or bridge.
  • Consider getting a hail car cover or setting up a carport at home to protect your car.
  • Check the weather before leaving home to avoid driving in a storm.
  • Some states have more hail storms than others, like Texas, Nebraska, Minnesota, Kansas, and South Dakota.

What Happens If Hail Damage A Rental Car?

Hailstorms can severely damage cars, causing cracked windows, dented roofs and sides, water damage inside, broken mirrors, and chipped paint.

  • Hail can cause severe damage to cars depending on how strong the storm is.
  • Cracked windows and windshield.
  • Dented roof, hood, and sides of the car.
  • Water damage inside the car.
  • Broken or missing side mirrors.
  • Chipped paint.

Are You Responsible For Hail Damage On A Rental Car?

Usually, if a rental car gets damaged by hail while you are using it, you are responsible for paying to fix it. But it depends on the rental company’s rules and the insurance you have.

Some rental companies offer insurance to cover hail damage, so you might not have to pay for it yourself.

It is important to read the rental agreement and understand what’s covered. If you are not sure, you can ask the rental company about their policies.

So, be careful and make sure you know if you are responsible for hail damage before renting a car.


Well, booking a rental car makes your journey budget-friendly and trouble-free, but things do not go as planned. Sometimes we face some unexpected incidents, like Dealing with rental car hail damage can be stressful, but taking the right steps can help.

Inspect the car before and after renting, and report immediately if you find any damage. Also, use insurance coverage wisely. With proper preparation, you can travel worry-free, even in hail-prone areas.

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