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After Hailstorms - FAQs

After a Hailstorm - FAQs

Hailstorms are unpredictable and thus you cannot really prepare for them. Use this FAQ to understand what to do after a storm has passed.

Colorado experiences about 234 hailstorms annually and ranks first for hail loss per capita. In 2017 the most expensive hailstorm hit the Denver metro area, resulting in $2.3 billion in damages.

Knowing what to do with a hail-dented vehicle is crucial to preserving its value and appearance.  Check out this list of FAQs to learn what to do after a hailstorm damages your automobile.

Preventing Vehicle Hail Damage

Take preventative measures to ensure your vehicle is not severely damaged during a storm. If possible, park inside a garage or carport. If you cannot park under a roof, covering the vehicle with a blanket, car cover, or painter's cloth can reduce damage.

Getting caught in a storm while driving sometimes provides more coverage options. Try pulling into a bank drive-thru, car wash, gas station awning, or stop under a freeway overpass until the storm passes.

What Actions Do I Take After Hailstorms?

Once the storm ends, assess hail damage immediately. Do a complete walk around your vehicle and take pictures. In addition to the overall vehicle, take closeups to show damage.

To further substantiate your insurance claim, do another walk around, taking a video of your vehicle and moving in close to show the damage.

Photo documentation is helpful when filing insurance claims. Once you have the damage documented, file your insurance claim, then get repairs done as quickly as possible.

Can I File an Insurance Claim?

Whether or not your auto insurance covers hail damage varies among companies. Your insurance agent can explain your coverage or read your declarations page, which lists your coverage amounts. If you have coverage for natural disasters, you likely have hail coverage.

If you live where hail is likely to happen and need to figure out your coverage, check your policy now. If your insurance doesn't specify natural disasters or hail, ask your agent about adding coverage. Get peace of mind knowing that you can file an insurance claim if necessary.

Why Is My Insurance Requesting a Salvage Title?

If your insurance company is requesting a salvage title to release payment for hail damage, they are violating Colorado Revised Statute §42-6-102(17)(a).

This law defines what is allowable in determining a salvage vehicle. The law states salvage vehicles are those with damage from a collision, flood, fire, accident, trespass, or other occurrence, excluding hail damage.

This does not prevent your insurance company from determining the damage from hail as a total vehicle loss. If the value of your car is less than the cost to repair, they can declare a total loss and make the appropriate payout for your vehicle's value.

What if a Second Hailstorm Causes Additional Damage?

With the number of hailstorms that roll through Colorado annually, it is possible to encounter damage from back-to-back storms. If this happens, take photos to prove additional damage and notify your insurance company.

The insurance company will do a new assessment. They will likely issue payment for the additional damage, less the original damage payment. The comprehensive deductible applies to both hail claims.

Should I Clean My Car Before Evaluation?

Dust and dirt on the automobile can make it difficult to view the extent of the damage. Cleaning your vehicle before an evaluation gives the estimator a clear view of the vehicle's condition.

Understand that the estimator will evaluate hailing damage only. Any other damage to the vehicle from weather or driving will not be covered.

Does Repaired Hail Damage Lower Vehicle Value?

Having dents in your vehicle from hail will lower the value during resale. Claims you file through your insurance may show incorrectly on the vehicle history report and shouldn't reduce value if done through a reputable repair facility.

You should pull a Carfax report on your vehicle three to six months after repairs to ensure your insurance company did not report your vehicle. If there is a report, contact Carfax with a copy of your hail damage repair bill. Insurance companies frequently report hail repairs as structural damage, which is inaccurate.

Advise Carfax that the work was paintless dent repair and the insurance notice is incorrect. There is no hail damage option on Carfax repair claims. These repairs should only show on Carfax if you retain your vehicle after it is totaled due to hail damage.

Having professional repairs done is less damaging than the risk of compromising the vehicle's integrity and value. Hail damage repairs should be handled promptly to avoid rust, lowering your resale value.

How Do I Evaluate Hail Damage?

When evaluating vehicle hail damage, get a professional examination. There are primarily four parts to a complete assessment:

  • Paintless dent repair: labor and time for a technician to fix dents
  • Remove and install: labor to remove and reinstall parts when performing dent repair
  • Part replacements: things needing replacement, such as windshields and chrome moldings
  • Sales tax: Colorado includes sales taxes on vehicles, not on labor costs

If there is damage to the paint, that will be an additional consideration. That may necessitate body repairs, painting, and the cost of the materials and paint.

How Long Does a Repair Estimate Take?

The time to receive an estimate depends on the auto repair service you use. Because timing is crucial to maintaining the integrity of your vehicle, Express Auto Repair offers free 3-minute express and free one-hour custom estimates as part of their standard services.

Once you decide to proceed with the repair, you are without your vehicle for 48 hours. You pay nothing out-of-pocket when you have full insurance coverage. The Insurance claim covers repairs, and Express pays your deductible.

Quick and Easy Repair Estimates

When hailstorms leave your vehicle surface with dimples like a golf ball, you need a quick and easy repair estimate. Express Auto Hail Repair technicians have 10+ years of experience protecting the integrity of your vehicle.

We offer 48-hour auto hail repair, putting your vehicle back in your hands quickly. We offer both a free three-minute express estimate and a one-hour custom estimate. Schedule your estimate online or call us at (720) 706-4747 to protect your vehicle's value.

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