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How Much Does It Cost to Fix Hail Damage on My Vehicle?

Hailstorms cause an average of $15 billion in property damage every year. This includes damage to homes, crops, vehicles, and other personal items.

If you have experienced automotive body damage from a hail storm, you may be wondering how much it will cost to get it repaired. The answer to this question depends on several different factors, including the severity of the incident.

The good news is that, once you understand what these variables are, you can better estimate hail damage repair costs. This article goes over these factors. Keep reading to find out how much you can expect to pay to get your car back in shape.

Car Insurance Coverage

The first thing to look at when considering hail damage repair costs is your level of insurance coverage. While companies structure policies in different ways, hail damage is often covered under "comprehensive" plans.

Note that this is distinct from "liability" coverage, which all drivers must have, and "collision." Both involve on-the-road incidents where you are operating the vehicle and at fault. Liability covers damage to other people's vehicles or property, and collision covers damage to your own vehicle.

In almost all cases, such policies would not cover hail damage. Comprehensive policies, on the other hand, cover things like theft and vandalism, as well as weather-related incidents, like fires or hail damage. The easiest way to check on coverage is to contact your insurance company as soon as you can after the incident and file a claim.

Extent of the Damage

The next thing that will impact dent repair costs is the level of damage your car has experienced. You can expect to pay anywhere from $30 to $75 per dent, depending on the level of damage.

Hail can range in size from ¼ of an inch to four inches in diameter. That is the difference between a green pea and a grapefruit. It can also travel at speeds between nine and 25 miles per hour.

Hail can cause minor, shallow dings, as well as deep dents that damage the paint and the metal surface. You can have hail damage on an isolated part of your vehicle, or across various panels.

Finally, people think of hail as mainly affecting the exterior of a vehicle. In most incidents, this is the case.

But serious hailstorms can affect your car's motor or other components that affect its driving ability. For this reason, it is important to get the damage assessed as soon as you can.

Hail damage to the surface needs immediate attention as well. If you delay, a subsequent accident could jeopardize your insurance coverage, as the hail damage could be seen as "preexisting."

Also, even seemingly minor surface damage could worsen over time, especially if the paint layer has been compromised. This can allow rust and corrosion to seep in. This could greatly diminish the value of your vehicle.

Type of Repairs

The type of hail damage to your car relates to the kind of repairs you might seek. There are two different professional ways to fix dents from hail: traditional methods and paintless dent repair.

Before we get into those two methods, it is worth warning against DIY dent repair techniques. The internet is full of great information for myriad home improvement and other projects. However, you should resist the temptation to attempt vehicle dent repair on your own.

It could make the issue worse. This could lead to more costly repairs and potentially negate your insurance coverage of the damage.

Traditional Dent Repair

The traditional technique for dent repair, which has been used for decades, involves placing plastic resin filler into the indentations. Technicians let the filler dry and set, then sand it. Once they complete this for every dent on a panel, they can then prime and paint the surface.

It is easy to see how this method can take a very long time, which is one of its drawbacks. This also means increased labor costs and paying for filler, paint, and other materials used in the process.

However, sometimes traditional methods are necessary. For dents that are sharp, creased, or very deep, repair personnel will use traditional techniques. It also may be preferred if the paint on the dent is already damaged.

Finally, traditional dent repair does not require access to the opposite side of the panel. For some jobs, where the backside of the metal is inaccessible to technicians, traditional dent repair may be the best option.

Paintless Dent Repair

Paintless dent repair is a fairly new, innovative technique that removes dents by returning the panel to its original state. First, technicians remove the panel(s) that have been damaged. Then, they use special magnets, bars, body picks, and other tools to massage the metal back into the desired form.

Paintless dent repair requires no fillers and is much faster than traditional body repairs. This means it creates a more durable finish.

Fillers can become brittle and worn over time. They can degrade and fade much faster than your car's original metal surface. This makes paintless dent repair preferable for most modern hail damage repairs.

There is also an environmental benefit to using paintless dent repair. Since it does not use paints, solvents, and petroleum-based fillers, it reduces the need for these products, which can harm air and water resources when they end up in landfills.

Due in part to its speed and not needing non-reusable fillers, primers, and paints, paintless dent repair is much cheaper than traditional methods. Repair shops save on labor and material costs, which they can pass along to customers.

Paintless dent repair has another financial benefit. Since it restores your vehicle to its original condition, this helps retain its value.

Learn More About Hail Damage Repair Costs

Now that you understand the factors impacting hail damage repair costs, you know what to expect. Remember, if you have comprehensive car insurance, do not wait to file a claim. Doing so will ensure your car is restored to like-new condition.

Express Auto Hail Repair provides efficient, quality dent repair with a 48-hour turnaround. We will work with your insurance company and cover your deductible up to $1,000. Reach out to us today to schedule a service.

You can also get started with a free 3-min Express Estimate online right now, or book a 1-Hour Custom Estimate at our shop.

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Team member using specialized tools to work on dent repair on a bright orange 4-door sedan

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