Hail can be very damaging to a vehicle. In most situations, hail doesn't seem to be a big deal. You see it happening outside of your window, and it looks like small bits of snow. Then you hear it hitting against the metal of your vehicle. Ping, ping, ping ... shatter! In some cases, hail can cause a significant amount of damage to a vehicle even if it is relatively small. If your vehicle does have pock marks from hail, contact your auto insurance company to find out if they can help you.
Do You Have Coverage?
If you maintain a comprehensive auto insurance plan, it likely has coverage for hail damage. Comprehensive insurance protects against such weather events as well as theft, vandalism and other types of losses impacting the vehicle's condition through no fault of your own.
How Does Hail Damage Get Repaired?
If you have hail damage and you have comprehensive auto insurance, your next step should be to call a local body shop that you trust. Some insurance companies will recommend local providers who they have worked with in the past and trust. However, you have the right to choose any provider you want. The body shop will provide an inspection and determine:
- What type of damage is present
- If it was caused by hail
- What type of repairs are necessary
- How much the repairs will cost
In some cases, a paintless dent removal process is all that is necessary, but it should be done by a trained professional experienced in this method. This method does not invalidate any paint warranties on your vehicle. If the dents are too large or the paint finish itself is damaged, other methods can be used to repair the vehicle including the use of bonding materials and plastic fillers. In other cases, such as when there is damage to glass, replacement of those parts of the vehicle may be necessary.
The good news is that, most of the time, your auto insurance is there to help you with these types of losses. Just do not wait too long to contact your insurance agent. There is often a time-frame from which you can claim the hail damage occurred.