Does your Car insurance cover you for storms, floods and hail?

Intense weather events, such as storms, bushfires and more can be bad news for your car. Hail, fallen branches and trees, and flood water can all damage your ride.

Fortunately, most insurers typically include storm damage cover in their comprehensive motor insurance policies. But limitations may apply, so it pays to read the small print and understand exactly what you’re paying for.

Key Points

  • Storms, hail and floods can all cause costly damage to your car. 

  • Many insurers include storm damage cover in their comprehensive motor insurance policies.

  • However, some limitations may apply. Compare Club can help you cut through the confusion.


How can I protect my car in bad weather?

It’s well worth trying to protect your car when bad weather is coming. Intense weather events include:

  • Storms

  • Flooding

  • Bushfires

  • Hail

  • High winds or any wind event

  • Vehicles overheating from the sun

  • Vehicles freezing from cold weather snaps

The good news is most comprehensive motor insurance polices do cover car damage caused by storms, hail and floods. However, taking steps to protect your car in bad weather will help to keep your car on the road and away from a lengthy stay at your local smash repairs.

Here are some things you can do to protect your car from intense weather events:

  • Know what’s coming your way. The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) issues extreme weather alerts that give you some notice when bad weather is on its way. You can download the free BOM app, or there are many other weather apps you can use to track incoming storm activity. Some road navigation apps can also alert you in real-time if there is a severe weather warning issued for any point on your route.

  • Park smart. Obviously a secured under cover garage is the best place to park your car to protect it from storms. If you don’t have a garage, look for a space away from large trees that could drop branches or fall over in high winds. There are also car covers available on the market that aim to protect your car from hail damage.

  • Avoid storm water drains. Try not to park next to or near storm water drains in severe weather events. Flash flooding can take you by surprise, and a high volume of water rushing into storm water drains can cause damage to your car. If possible, park your car off the street on high ground.

  • Find a port in the storm. If a storm unexpectedly hits while you’re on the road, pull over to protect your car — and yourself! Service stations can provide some cover in an emergency, or head to the nearest shopping centre or multi-storey parking facility to find under-cover parking to weather the storm.

  • Get the right car insurance. Most comprehensive motor insurance policies typically cover damage caused by storms, hail and floods. However, it’s important to understand the limitations, exclusions and restrictions that insurers might impose. Compare Club’s team can help you steer through the confusion. We compare a range of insurers to find the right car insurance for you.

Does car insurance cover flooding?

In many cases, your comprehensive car insurance policy will cover flood damage. However, not all insurers cover floods so it’s important to do your homework before signing up for any car insurance.

There are also some important caveats to note. Driving into flood water is not only incredibly dangerous, but it may also void any flood damage cover you have.

 And keep in mind that doesn’t just mean avoid rushing rivers of water. According to the Victoria State Emergency Service, water to a depth of just 15cm flowing at a snail’s pace of 3.6 km/h may be enough to move a small car^.

 Where you live also plays a factor in whether or not your car insurance will cover you for flooding. If you live in a postcode that is a flood-prone area due to the insurers flood zoning maps, they may not insure your vehicle.

 You can rely on Compare Club’s team to help find the right comprehensive car insurance for you in just a few minutes.


What type of car insurance covers bad weather or storms?

Comprehensive motor insurance is your go-to policy for bad weather coverage. However, while most comprehensive motor insurance policies typically provide a broad level of cover for storm, hail and flood damage, not all policies cover everything you might need.

That’s where optional extras come into play. You can choose to add optional extra to your comprehensive car insurance policy to provide a higher level of coverage. Some optional extras relevant to bad weather events include:

  • Windscreen cover. Hailstones, falling branches and other debris can chip, crack or completely smash your windscreen during a storm. However, some insurers don’t include windscreen replacement cover in their comprehensive car insurance policies or if they do there is an excess deducted from the costs. In that case, you may be able to choose to add it as an optional extras. Some insurers also allow you to reduce the excess you’ll pay for window glass replacement as an optional extra.

  • Emergency travel. If a storm damages your car while you’re on holiday, you may need to get you and your family home while it’s repaired. Some comprehensive car insurance policies will pay for your travel home or for emergency accommodation. Other insurers offer it only as an optional extra, so you’ll need to figure out what works best for you.

  • Personal effects. Even if your car is insured for storm or flood damage, any personal property inside your car at the time might not be covered under your comprehensive car insurance policy. Personal effects insurance is typically offered as an optional extra that will cover any property inside your car that is damaged during a storm or flood.

  •  Hire car. Repairs can take quite a while after major storm events. That’s because it takes insurance companies and repairers time to work through all the claims. Some insurers will provide a hire car while you wait for the damage to be repaired, but — depending on the terms of your comprehensive car insurance policy — this may need to be added as optional extra.

  • Budget alert! Optional extras can be great for improving your storm and flood coverage, however they come at extra cost. If the comprehensive car insurance premiums you’re already paying are a drain on your budget, Compare Club’s team can help. We compare quotes, insurers and can adjust your excess and reduce your premiums in just a few clicks.

Should I drive in stormy weather?

Wherever possible, it’s always best not to drive in stormy weather. Wet roads and other bad weather hazards can increase the chance of an accident. However, it’s not alway possible to avoid driving in storms. 

Good car maintenance can help to ensure your ride is prepared for stormy weather. Be sure to regularly: 

  • Replace your windscreen wipers. The rubber used in windscreen wipers can deteriorate over time. This can affect their function and leave you with less visibility in heavy rain.  

  • Check your headlights. Make sure your headlights, tail lights, brake lights and indicators are all working before you drive in stormy weather. Also consider equipping your car with after-market fog lights to improve visibility in low-light conditions.

  • Don’t skimp on tyres. Get your mechanic to check the tread on your tyres, and replace them when recommended. It’s also worth pulling into a service station to check your tyre pressure and fill your tyres if needed for the best performance in wet weather.


The bottom line

The bad news is that car storm damage is a common problem, and can be costly to repair. 

The good news is that storm cover is typically included in many comprehensive car insurance policies. 

However, it’s important to understand any limitations your insurer may impose. Compare Club’s team can help you find the right car insurance for your needs and budget.


This guide is opinion only and should not be taken as financial advice. Check with a financial professional before making any decisions.

GENERAL ADVICE WARNING: General Advice is advice that has been prepared without considering your current objectives, financial situation or needs. Therefore, before acting on this advice, you should consider the appropriateness of the advice having regard to those objectives, situation or needs.

If the advice provided relates to the acquisition or possible acquisition of a new insurance policy you should consider the insurers PDS prior to making the decision to purchase their product.  Information regarding the income we have been paid by the insurer for this transaction is available upon request.

^Victoria State SES, 15 to Float, accessed 28th July 2022.