Auto Loan Guide Vehicle How Much Hail Damage to Total a Car

How Much Hail Damage to Total a Car


Title: How Much Hail Damage is Required to Total a Car?


Hailstorms can wreak havoc on vehicles, causing significant damage and leaving car owners wondering whether their vehicle is still salvageable. While the extent of hail damage varies depending on multiple factors, it is important to understand when the damage reaches a point where the car is considered totaled. In this article, we will explore the factors that determine the severity of hail damage and when it becomes necessary to total a car. Additionally, we will address some frequently asked questions related to hail damage and car insurance.

Factors Affecting Hail Damage Severity

1. Hailstone Size: The size of hailstones is a crucial factor in determining the extent of damage. Larger hailstones can cause more substantial dents, cracks, and shattered windows, which may lead to a higher likelihood of totaling a car.

2. Impact Velocity: The speed at which hailstones strike a vehicle also plays a significant role in determining the severity of damage. Higher impact velocities can result in more extensive dents, scratches, and broken parts.

3. Vehicle Material: The type of material used in the car’s construction affects its vulnerability to hail damage. Vehicles with stronger materials, such as steel, are generally more resistant to hail damage compared to those made of lighter materials like aluminum. However, no car is entirely immune to hail damage.

Determining When Hail Damage Totals a Car

1. Insurance Company Evaluation: Insurance companies typically assess the cost of repairs compared to the car’s market value to determine if it is more economical to repair the vehicle or declare it a total loss.

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2. Repair Costs: If the estimated cost of repairing hail damage exceeds a certain percentage of the car’s value, typically ranging from 70% to 100%, insurance companies may consider the car totaled. This percentage varies between insurance providers.

3. Safety Considerations: Insurance adjusters also take into account whether the hail damage compromises the vehicle’s structural integrity, making it unsafe to drive. Severe hail damage that affects essential components such as the engine or suspension may render the car unsalvageable.


Q1. What should I do if my car is damaged by hail?

A: If your car sustains hail damage, document it by taking detailed photographs before contacting your insurance company. They will guide you through the claim process and advise you on the next steps.

Q2. Can I still drive my car if it has hail damage?

A: Depending on the severity of the damage, you may still be able to drive your car. However, it is essential to have it inspected by a professional to ensure its safety and functionality.

Q3. Will my insurance cover hail damage?

A: Comprehensive insurance policies typically cover hail damage. However, it is recommended to review your policy or contact your insurance provider to confirm the coverage details.

Q4. Can I choose not to repair my hail-damaged car?

A: Yes, you can choose not to repair your car if the damage is purely cosmetic. However, it is important to consider that future accidents or incidents may result in reduced compensation due to pre-existing damage.


Determining when hail damage totals a car depends on various factors, including hailstone size, impact velocity, and the vehicle’s material. Insurance companies evaluate repair costs and consider safety concerns to decide whether a car is totaled. If your car sustains hail damage, it is crucial to document the damage, contact your insurance provider, and have the vehicle inspected by a professional. Remember, comprehensive insurance policies typically cover hail damage, but it is advisable to review your policy for specific coverage details.

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