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If you're in a state that experiences a lot of hail, you'll know all about vehicle hail damage. In fact, for vehicles operating in the United States, damages paid out by insurers totaled over $5.37 billion between 2008 and 2014.
So what do you do if your vehicle sustains hail damage after a storm? Auto hail damage repair can get quite costly if you don't know what you're doing. You’ll want to make sure that you're not making these avoidable mistakes, even if you're fully insured.
If you're looking to avoid these costly mistakes, keep reading to learn what not to do after sustaining vehicle hail damage.
Top Hailstorm-Prone Areas in the US
According to an April 2020 analysis, State Farm paid out more than $3.1 billion in hail claims in 2020. Texas suffered the most loss from hail in terms of coverage for autos and homes, with $474.6 million in claims.
Illinois was a close second with $394.2 million, Minnesota came next with $259.2 million, and Missouri came fourth with $236.9 million in claims.
With there being 4,611 hail events across the US in 2020, when we look at the top five states ranked by the number of major hail events, they are the following:
South Dakota: 377
Remember, hailstorms are not limited to those particular states, so there is always a chance you could be caught in a hailstorm..
Once you have vehicle hail damage, there are some pitfalls that you can avoid:
Depending on the hailstorm you were caught in, your vehicle could have anything from minor, almost-imperceptible dents to massive craters that totaled your car. Of course, if the hail was the size of golf balls, you'll need to get it fixed immediately. It would be otherwise undrivable.
When the hail damage is minor and perceived as insignificant, however, most people don't bother to get hail damage repaired. While this might be saving you some time now, it can end up costing you more money from rust in the long run.
Metal has a memory. That means the longer you wait to repair your hail damage, the harder it will be to fully restore your vehicle’s value and structural integrity.
You might be tempted to repair the after-hail damage yourself. But repairing vehicle hail damage requires specialized tools that bodywork specialists use after years of training. Trying to DIY the repair on your vehicle without the proper tools and know-how could cause extra wear and further weaken your bodywork. It's not recommended.
While you need to file an insurance claim, you don't have to trust your insurance company to suggest the best repair shop. Your insurance company benefits by having bodywork shops do work for them at a reduced cost in return for the consistent business from many insurance claims they receive.
To avoid being taken for a ride, spend some time doing your own research, getting your own quotes and second opinions, and trusting your own research.
Many people are under the impression that their monthly premiums will increase if they claim vehicle hail damage. You'll be glad to know that this is not true. In most insurance cases, vehicle hail damage falls under Comprehensive coverage, not Collision coverage. It's what is considered a "no-fault" claim.
Understandably, premiums may already be higher in states with regular hail storms, which means you may as well claim for what you're already paying for.
Postponing your claim until the end of hail season might seem reasonable to you. You may as well make only one claim as opposed to making many throughout the season, right? But, you'd be wrong.
Aside from the potential of insurance fraud charges (it's vital to know that you can't file one claim for several events of hail damage), your car body will already be weakened from the initial hail damage. Any further hail storms could cause significant vehicle issues when compounded with each other.
We're always on the lookout for a bargain, and most often, that's ok. But don't always settle for the cheapest quote when it comes to hail damage repair.
The adage "you get what you pay for" generally applies in this industry. Unfortunately, there are some unscrupulous repair shops or "roadside warriors" out there that charge you next-to-nothing but often end up doing more damage to your car's bodywork.
If you were caught in a hailstorm and sustained auto hail damage like a broken windscreen, or busted tail light, you are considered non-compliant with vehicle regulations according to the NHTSA.
If you don't have the repairs done promptly, you could be charged with a hefty fine if (and when) you get stopped by the cops. Unfortunately, it won't help to blame the hailstorm - charges will still be applied.
You can trust Express Auto Hail Repair when it comes to quality repairs for auto hail damage. We take the hassle out of getting your vehicle hail damage fixed.
We pride ourselves on our free 3-min Express Estimate online, 48-hour repairs, no wait times, high-quality service, excellent communication, and lifetime warranty.
Claiming through Express Auto Hail Repair is a simple and easy process. Take these easy steps to get your auto hail damage repaired:
Book your free 1-Hour Custom Express Estimate (value of $580)
Take your vehicle home: Unlike other shops, we don't keep it hostage.
Bring it back for repairs once we've handled your insurance claim.
48-hours later, you'll drive away with your vehicle fully restored. Plus, you'll pay nothing out of pocket if you have full coverage insurance.
If you are one of our first 200 customers we see after a storm, we will fully pay your deductible.
We help busy people repair their hail-damaged vehicles fast so they can feel good about their vehicles again in no time.