What Should I Do About Hail Damage To My Car?
There’s no helplessness quite like the helplessness of being caught in a hail storm in your car. Sure, the car’s lovely exterior is protecting you from the barrage, but at what a cost! When the precipitation ends, cars are often left pockmarked and dented.
Paint damage is rare, instead most cars are left with shallow dents spread across multiple body panels. In seconds, you can find yourself with thousands of dollars worth of damage.
When the storm stops, or you make your way to an enclosed area, it’s time to plan your next move. Hail damage may seem like just an aesthetic problem, but it can cause you serious issues if left untreated. Even the slightest chip in your paint job is all that water needs to get into the crevices of your auto body and begin the rusting process.
Dealing with hail damage may seem overwhelming, but evaluating your next steps is actually fairly easy. These are the three things you should do if you sustain hail damage to your car.
Step One: Contact your insurance company
Hail damage is a regular occurrence, so your insurance company likely has a streamlined procedure for dealing with it. The key in these situations is to take photographs and call your insurance agent as soon as possible! Insurance agents are assigned accounts by region, and your local auto body shop only has so many dent removal specialists. You’re not the only one in town whose car is covered in dents! Submit your claim and get your car to a shop so you don’t end up stuck in line and waiting on hold.
Step Two: Figure out your deductible
First, the good news: hail repair is rarely expensive. Even damage to multiple body panels is usually fixable with a few hours of work, particularly if you choose a shop with a skilled expert in paintless dent repair (PDR). This means that your main concern is going to be your deductible. While you’re on the phone with your insurance agency, be sure to ask what the repairs will cost you out of pocket.
Step Three: Wash Your Car
Hail is often accompanied by rain and other bad weather. When your car is damaged, the last thing you want to do is take it for a detailing, but it’s actually the best thing you can do. Dirt and debris make it hard for your insurance adjuster to accurately determine the amount of damage that your car has sustained. If the adjustor can’t tell how much damage has been done, they may dispute the assessment sent by the auto body shop. All this confusion means more time without your car and a higher bill when it’s finished. Save yourself some trouble and clean the car.