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6 Steps to Take if Your Vehicle Is Damaged by Hail

Hail Damaged Car? 6 Steps to Take if Your Vehicle Is Damaged by Hail

Hail can cause extensive damage to a vehicle and costly repairs. Check out our guide about repairing a hail damaged car and the steps to take today.

Hailstorms can be terrifying and can cause serious damage to your home and other property. In particular, cars that are not protected by garages or carports can take a heavy blow from a hailstorm. When you’re staring at your dented car after the storm passes, you may not even know where to begin with getting it fixed.

Fixing your hail damaged car will be mostly a matter of working with your insurance provider and getting a reliable quote. Read on to learn more about how to deal with a hail damaged car and what your first steps should be.

Dangers of Hail Damage

Before we dive into the steps you should take to repair hail damage to a car, let’s talk about some of the devastation hail can cause. The most immediate hail damage many people notice is small dents all over the body of your car. These dents can be extremely unsightly and can get very expensive to repair.

In some cases, hail may break your windshield, which opens up a host of other problems. If your car gets water in it, it can start to mold or mildew, and there may be damage to the electrical components of your dashboard. Hail damage can also lead to rust that can compromise the structural integrity of your vehicle and permanently devalue it.

road with overcast dark sky

1. Take Pictures

If your car has been damaged by hail, the very first thing you should do is take pictures. Your insurer will need documentation of the damage, including the original state you found the car in. This will help you prove that all the damage to your car was caused by the hailstorm and was not the result of other incidents.

As soon as it is safe to do so, go outside and take pictures of your car from every angle. Include wide shots that show the whole car, as well as close-ups that document the sort of dents you have in your vehicle. If your windshield has broken, make sure to take pictures of that, too, before you begin cleanup.

2. Contact Your Insurance Provider

Once you’ve documented the damage to your car, you need to reach out to your insurance provider. Let them know that your car was damaged in a hailstorm and that you’ll be filing a claim soon. The sooner you start this process, the sooner you can get the payment you need to start making repairs.

Ask your insurer what steps you’ll need to go through during the claim filing process. They may want to come take pictures of their own, in which case you’ll need to leave your car as is until they can come get those images. It’s also a good idea to start gathering any documentation they request so you’ll have it ready to go when you file your claim.

3. File a Claim

If your insurance policy does, in fact, cover damage from hailstorms, your next step in repairing the damage will be to file a claim. In most cases, comprehensive insurance plans will cover this sort of natural disaster damage. If you have a liability policy, however, you may be on your own when it comes to paying for repairs.

Many insurers these days have mobile apps you can use to report a claim and check in on its status. You may be able to upload photos and manage deductibles and appraisals through this platform. If your insurer doesn’t have an app like this, talk to your local agent to find out what evidence you need to submit for your claim.

4. Clean Your Car

Depending on whether your insurer wants to come get their own pictures of your vehicle damaged by hail, you may be able to start cleanup before you even begin the claim filing process. Of course, if your windshield was broken, your first priority should be to cover your car so no more water gets into it. You can also begin cleaning up the broken glass and drying out carpets and electronics as soon as possible.

It’s also a good idea to clean up the outside of your car before you get an estimate for damage repair. Things like dust and dirt can actually do a lot to obscure the full extent of the damage to your car. The last thing you want is to get an approved estimate for your insurance and then find out you have to pay for more extensive repairs.

5. Get an Estimate

Once your claim process is started, you’ll need to get an estimate for how much it will cost to make the repairs. Reach out to your local trusted hail repair damage service and schedule a time for them to evaluate your car. They may need to submit a claim to your insurer directly, or you might be able to forward it to the company.

Keep in mind that it’s possible your car will get totaled during this process. Hail damage repair can be expensive, and depending on how old your car is, it might not be worth the costs to repair it. However, you can still choose to repair a totaled car – you might just have to do it without help from your insurance.

windshield cracked in 2 places

6. Schedule Your Repair

Once your insurance claim is settled one way or another, you’ll need to schedule your hail damage repair. During this time, you’ll need to make arrangements for someone to help you get to work or school and back home. Hail damage repair usually only takes a day or two to complete, depending on the extent of the damage.

Start Fixing Your Hail Damaged Car

Fixing a hail damaged car can seem overwhelming when you’re staring down a dented vehicle after a storm. Remember to take pictures before you begin any cleanup and to talk to your insurance provider as soon as possible. File your claim, clean up your car, get an estimate, and schedule a time to get your car repaired. Take your Free 3-Minute Estimate to assess your hail damage repair.

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