In the spring, summer, and fall, hail can damage your car in particular if you live somewhere that hailstorms happen more often like Texas or Colorado. You can be protected from hail damage under insurance policies but if not how much do you expect to pay for the cost to repair hail damage. In this article, I will walk through everything you should know.
How Much Does It Cost to Repair Hail Damage?
The short answer is that it depends on a few factors: the size of the dent if the paint has been chipped, and how bad the damage is. On average, hail damage to a vehicle can cost between $1,000 and $5,000 depending on the severity of the damage.
Will Your Insurance Cover the Repairs?
Do you have insurance for your car? If you do, does your insurance company cover hail damage? Most will. In Texas, if hail damages your car, the auto insurance company will cover the repair and replacement costs as long as there is no fraud on behalf of the policyholder.
Hail damage is covered under comprehensive coverage. That means, it is not included in your collision coverage. If you have comprehensive coverage, the insurance company will pay to repair your car from hail damage.
Is it Cheaper to Pay Out of Pocket?
If your car is severely damaged, it may be cheaper to pay cash out of pocket for repairs than wait for an insurance company to come through with a settlement check. However, if you have comprehensive coverage, the insurance company will likely help pay to repair or replace your vehicle.
Average Costs by Car Part
Hail damage to the car will likely cost around $100 to repair the vehicle’s damages.
Replacement Glass Cost
In a hailstorm, it’s likely that your windshield will be seriously damaged. If you have hail damage to the glass, expect to pay up to $500 for replacement glass.
If your car is not totally destroyed and there are some dents and dings, there may be some repair costs such as the cost of the rubber seals or paint. Expect to pay between $200 and $300 for paint repairs. This will likely include a touch-up or finishing touch if you have more than a few outer dents and scratches from hail damage.
How to Get the Best Estimate
If you get multiple estimates, you can use the average price to figure out how much the damage will cost. For instance, if two companies provide estimates and one says that it will cost $1,500 and one says $1,000 then expect to pay closer to $1,250 for repairs.
You can also find the average cost to repair hail damage by searching online or calling local auto body repair shops in your community.
If you have comprehensive coverage, you may want to visit a mechanic and get an estimate to know how much repairs will cost ahead of time. Then, once the estimate is in hand, the insurance company can reimburse you for any money you paid out of pocket when fixing hail damage. You can also use an online hail damage repair estimator.
The Claims Process
To put it simply, the claim process you need to go through is:
Submit a claim to your insurance agent. Explain how hail damaged your car and inform them what is damaged (in detail). Ask for a new estimate, if necessary, to get a better idea of the cost to repair hail damage.
If possible, you can ask for an inspection and repairs directly from the body shop. Some insurance companies will send their claims adjusters to inspect the damages as well. Get a written estimate for the repair costs.
Once this is done, except for the insurance company to continue to ask questions until it makes a final decision. You will receive a notice in the mail when your car is covered.
Hail damage can be serious for regular cars parked outside. But, if you have an expensive sports car like a Ferrari or Porsche you need to make sure it is covered under comprehensive coverage. The same goes for collector’s items or antiques that are damaged by hail. Are they covered under comprehensive coverage? If not, get separate insurance.
What Is the Damage List?
Depending on what has been damaged, this can be a lengthy list of items you will need to be repaired. To know which items are covered, read your insurance policy carefully. You may also be asked to provide photographs of the damage for your claim and receipt.
What is Your Deductible?
If you decide to pay for repairs yourself, you need to know your deductible. This is the amount you pay in advance before filing a claim and the insurance company starts paying money out of its pocket. For hail damage, it may be as low as $50 or more depending on your policy.
Hail Damage Prevention
If you live in an area where hailstorm is frequent, it is highly recommended that you get insurance for protecting your vehicle from hail damage. To find out if you are covered, use a hail damage calculator and hail coverage map to determine if your vehicle is covered or not.
You can also purchase an extended hail coverage policy for your car to protect it from hailstorms. It’s a good idea to get extended coverage as well to protect all of the company’s serious assets in case of fire, theft, vandalism, or other major losses.
In addition, you should park your car in a garage or garage parking lot at night when a hailstorm occurs. If you park your car in front of your house, check the level of hail damage on it before leaving the car with it open and unprotected.
Remember to check the weather forecast to know about incoming hailstorms. Park your car in a safe place and try not to drive during the hail.
DIY Method: Can You Fix The Dents By Yourself?
If the effect of the hail damage is just a few small dents, you can fix the dents yourself.
To fix a hail-dented car yourself, first, you need to clean and dry the car carefully after the storm is over. Use soft to medium-soft towels and microfiber drying cloths to wipe off any moisture. Do not use a harsh detergent on the paint because it may damage it if there is residue from the hail.
Now you can try a dent-remover kit. This kit contains a hailstorm-proof sponge, a soft-faced nylon hammer, and some dent removal products such as dent-remover solution. First, use the sponge to remove any residue from the dents. Then spray some dent removal solution on it and press on the dents. Next, use the soft-faced nylon hammer to fix any dents that you don’t spread enough. Finally, clean and dry the car carefully after fixing it.
Be patient with this process to get the best result.
Mistake People Make When Dealing with Hail Damage
There are some lazy thoughts on dealing with hail damage that you should avoid.
#1 If it’s just small hail damage, I can ignore it
The fact is small hail damage is the most common kind. It usually does not cause serious problems, but it can lead to a serious issue. Small hail damage can easily cause rust on your vehicle, which will make it irreparable in the future.
Removing small hail dents and dings is recommended because they do not cost much to repair and they won’t grow bigger.
#2 Waiting for the hail season to end, then fix all the damages.
The fact is, if you don’t fix the hail damage from the first time, you can be severely damaged by the second hit. Hail is unpredictable and can damage you and your home in many different ways.
#3 File a claim immediately after the hail damage
The fact is not just you are affected by the hail storm, your neighbors too. This means it takes a longer time for the insurance company to process your claim. What you should do is go to a reliable reputable auto repair shop and let them take care of everything.
Frequently Asked Questions
#1 If I File a Hail Damage Claim, Will it Affect My Car Insurance Premium?
Well, not really. Any claims under the comprehensive policy are considered as not at fault accidents so they won’t affect your car insurance premium.
#2 Will My Comprehensive Coverage Pay for Hail Damage to My Car?
Yes, if you don’t have any excluded coverage. Also, the damage is paid at the market value of your vehicle. It includes the original cost and retail value of the damaged parts. The replacement cost of some parts may be higher than others, so the insurance company will pay you based on the market value of those parts only. For example, a headlight assembly can cost $100 to replace while its market is $50-$80.
#3 Is It Possible to Repair Hail Damage on a Car?
Yes, it is possible. Most companies will repair your car and make it look good again. You can choose between having the car fixed or just having it repainted. If you have a really bad hail damage claim, you may need car repairs to get back to normal as soon as possible.
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