How to Handle Hail Damage on Your Car

Here in Central Texas a hailstorm can strike just about any time of year. You’ve probably seen the hail sales at car lots after a big storm. It’s a good opportunity for car shoppers to get a deal, but a bad circumstance for everyone else.

hairHail can put a dent in the value of your vehicle along with a lot of literal ones all over the body. If your car or truck got caught uncovered during a hailstorm here’s how your Texas auto insurance can help.

Do You Have Comprehensive Coverage?

The first thing to do is check your car insurance policy if you’re uncertain whether or not hail damage is covered. If you only have liability coverage then you’ll be out of luck. This only covers damage related to an automobile accident.

If you have comprehensive coverage there’s a good chance that hail damage is covered by your insurance. Go ahead and call your insurance agent to let them know the situation. You’ll need to file a claim with the insurance company. It’s best to take pictures of the damage so you can submit them when you file.

What Kinds of Hail Damage Car Insurance Will Cover

The good news is that the damage caused by hail is cosmetic. It won’t affect the operational use of your car. You’ll be able to drive it around, it just won’t be pretty.

The most common types of damage that occur to cars during a hailstorm is paint and body damage as well as cracks to the windshield. You’ll probably notice small to large dents mostly on the roof and hood. This may or may not be accompanied by chips and scratches to the paint. Depending on the extent of the damage, there are a number of fixes that can be utilized to get your car back to looking like it did before.

You’ll need to begin the repair process by finding a reputable body shop. Check to see if your insurance company has preferred shops or if the choice is completely up to you. The shop can give you an estimate and discuss the repairs with you and your insurance company. You can also opt to take the car by more than one shop and compare offers.

Typically the shop will use Paintless Dent Removal (PDR), hammer out the dents and repaint the metal or completely replace sections of the car.

If the dents aren’t too severe and the paint isn’t already damaged PDR will be used. With this method dents are corrected from underneath and the paint isn’t affected. However, for large or numerous dents PDR won’t be a viable option.

In extreme cases the car may be deemed totaled. Hail damage repair can cost thousands of dollars and if it costs more than the value of your car brace yourself for a total loss.

Related Out of Pocket Expenses

While the cost of the repairs will be covered by your car insurance, you’ll have to first pay the deductible. It will likely be much less than the repairs, but something worth considering if you have a high deductible.

You may also have to pay out of pocket for a rental car. Repairing hail damage isn’t extremely time consuming, but because a number of cars get damaged during a storm it may take the shop longer than normal to get to your car.

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