Car Hail Damage? Follow these 6 tips from an auto hail repair expert when fixing your car.
Each year automobile owners in the U.S. file more than 600,000 hail related insurance claims, adding up to over $2.5 billion in total damages. While most people never think about hail damaging their vehicle until after it has happened,
Each year automobile owners in the U.S. file more than 600,000 hail related insurance claims, adding up to over $2.5 billion in total damages. While most people never think about hail damaging their vehicle until after it has happened, for insurance companies hail accounts for around 40% of annual claim exposure.* As you might expect after hearing these statistics, what was once a very niche market for hail repairs has grown into its own subsection of the economy over the past decade. While there's no doubt consumers benefit from increased competition, as with any service industry, less than reputable players do turn up from time to time. One thing to keep in mind is that, with a few exceptions, it typically does not hail in the same places on a regular basis, meaning it is practically impossible for the professional PDR hail repair technicians and skilled tradesmen who do these types of repairs to work out of a permanent location. (Find out What Causes Hail To Form?) Put simply, most PDR dent repair companies travel around, following the storms and performing their work where it is needed, which can be a turn off to people with an aversion to working with someone from out of town. The majority of auto hail repair companies are small, independently owned businesses operated by people who take great pride in what they do, unfortunately there are also vendors who are only interested in making a fast buck, usually at the expense of their customers. The Hail Storm Catastrophe Response Team at Dealer's Hail & Specialty has put together these 6 tips below that will help to insure your hail damage car repair experience is a pleasant one.
1. Call your insurance company and inform them of the hail damage to your car, this begins the hail damage insurance claim process. Make sure to notate the claim number you're given.
2. Your insurance company will schedule a time for an adjuster to inspect your vehicle or will direct you to get a PDR dent removal auto hail repair estimate from a repair shop of your choice. The insurance adjuster will inspect your car's hail damage and will issue a preliminary estimate of the vehicle's hail damage repair cost. (Double check your insurance companies' estimate with this free online auto hail repair cost calculator).
3. Do some research before selecting a paintless dent repair company and handing over your keys. A simple Google search is usually enough to show you which PDR dent repair shops are well reviewed by previous customers and which ones are not. Make sure that they are experienced with the using the paintless dent removal process to repair hail damage on cars. In the practice of PDR or paintless dent repair, there is a huge difference in the level of skill needed to repair an entire hail damaged car, versus that needed to fix more common PDR work like door dings and side panel dents.
4. Once the adjuster has inspected your vehicle, you should be free to schedule PDR dent repair with the Paintless dent removal facility of your choosing. Most reputable dent repair shops will be very busy after a hail storm so schedule as soon as possible for the shortest turnaround time. (Find out why waiting to have your hail damaged car fixed could cost you).
5. Beware of any "preferred vendors" recommended by your insurer. These shops give big discounts to the insurance company in exchange for referrals and, as you might expect, generally perform subpar work. Many consumers are not aware of their right to have their hail damaged vehicle repaired at any facility they choose. Insurers take advantage of this on hail damage car insurance claims, directing work to whichever shop offers them the biggest discount. Don't make the mistake of being pressured into taking your vehicle to one of their "network shops", especially for hail damage repairs.
6. Inspect your vehicle thoroughly once the PDR dent repairs are completed. Make sure to get copies of the auto hail repair invoice, the final insurance adjuster's hail repair cost estimate as well as written proof of any warranties.
*Verisk Claim Services
For more information, check out the most common auto hail repair and insurance claim frequently asked questions.
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