Summer Weather Loves to Dent Your Car

Ah, summer. It's time for warm weather, the water, and backyard grilling. Unfortunately, it's also time for damaging storms that can produce serious hail. That can only mean one thing for your car: the potential for real damage.

There were 5,601 major hail storms in 2016, and that number increased in 2017, according to the NOAA. The associated insurance costs are becoming massive, with one study reporting as much as $15 billion in hail damage nationwide on average. With a growing number of super sized storms, knowing what to do if hail hits and your car becomes the next casualty is key.

 

Where to Start

If it's possible, put your car in a safe location like a carport or a garage before a storm is forecast to hit. While that's not always going to be an option, it's best if you can make it happen. During the course of the storm, don't try to move your car. You can be badly injured if hit by large hailstones. So, if you forgot to put your car in before the hail began, keep yourself inside!

After the Storm

Once the storm has passed, take a close look at your vehicle. Are there any dents or dings? What about broken or cracked glass? Hail can damage your windows and windshield just as easily as it can damage your paint job, so give the entire car or truck a good going over.

If you do have broken glass somewhere on your car, cover it. Any additional storms could mean rain gets inside your car before you can have the windows or windshield repair, and that could ruin your upholstery and carpet. If it's possible, you'll also want to vacuum the broken glass inside your car to prevent any future cuts. Sweep the glass up from around your car as well so you don't step on it or slip getting inside the vehicle.

Your Insurance

The next step you should take is to contact your insurance agent. You may or may not have storm-related coverage, depending on the type of policy you purchased. Comprehensive coverage usually includes storm damage claims after you’ve hit the deductible. However, if you just have liability or collision coverage, you’ll likely have to take on that expense yourself.

Worried that your rates will go up because of your storm damage? Filing a claim doesn't mean your coverage will automatically increase. Areas strongly affected by repeated storms may see higher coverage costs in general, but you won’t be targeted for putting in a claim.

If you do decide to file a claim for storm-related coverage, call your agent or the 800 number they gave you. Typically, you can call any time of day or night to report an accident. If you are not be certain if the damage is more than your deductible, your agent can guide you through the process to help you make an informed choice.

What Happens Next?

Whether you file a claim on your hail damaged car or not, the next step is actually having it repaired. For many people, that means working through the process of paintless dent repair. If you're not familiar with the term, the idea is that you can have your car repaired without the filler and paint. This means you can get the job done for a lot less than you'd imagine - and fairly quickly to boot.

Paintless dent repair was designed for small repairs like dings and dents caused by hail. The cost depends on how many dents you need to have repaired and how large they are. The type of vehicle you have can also affect the price.

How does paintless dent repair work? A technician will take a look at the damage on your vehicle to determine if this process will be effective. Once they are ready, the necessary body parts will be removed to access the area closest to the dent. Then, using specialized tools, the technician massages out the dented area until it's just the right shape. That's it. You're done, and your car looks as good as new.

Ready to deal with the hail damage on your vehicle? Have other dents or dings that are proving problematic? Contact us today!

 

Summer Weather Loves to Dent Your Car

Ah, summer. It's time for warm weather, the water, and backyard grilling. Unfortunately, it's also time for damaging storms that can produce serious hail. That can only mean one thing for your car: the potential for real damage.

There were 5,601 major hail storms in 2016, and that number increased in 2017, according to the NOAA. The associated insurance costs are becoming massive, with one study reporting as much as $15 billion in hail damage nationwide on average. With a growing number of super sized storms, knowing what to do if hail hits and your car becomes the next casualty is key.

 

Where to Start

If it's possible, put your car in a safe location like a carport or a garage before a storm is forecast to hit. While that's not always going to be an option, it's best if you can make it happen. During the course of the storm, don't try to move your car. You can be badly injured if hit by large hailstones. So, if you forgot to put your car in before the hail began, keep yourself inside!

After the Storm

Once the storm has passed, take a close look at your vehicle. Are there any dents or dings? What about broken or cracked glass? Hail can damage your windows and windshield just as easily as it can damage your paint job, so give the entire car or truck a good going over.

If you do have broken glass somewhere on your car, cover it. Any additional storms could mean rain gets inside your car before you can have the windows or windshield repair, and that could ruin your upholstery and carpet. If it's possible, you'll also want to vacuum the broken glass inside your car to prevent any future cuts. Sweep the glass up from around your car as well so you don't step on it or slip getting inside the vehicle.

Your Insurance

The next step you should take is to contact your insurance agent. You may or may not have storm-related coverage, depending on the type of policy you purchased. Comprehensive coverage usually includes storm damage claims after you’ve hit the deductible. However, if you just have liability or collision coverage, you’ll likely have to take on that expense yourself.

Worried that your rates will go up because of your storm damage? Filing a claim doesn't mean your coverage will automatically increase. Areas strongly affected by repeated storms may see higher coverage costs in general, but you won’t be targeted for putting in a claim.

If you do decide to file a claim for storm-related coverage, call your agent or the 800 number they gave you. Typically, you can call any time of day or night to report an accident. If you are not be certain if the damage is more than your deductible, your agent can guide you through the process to help you make an informed choice.

What Happens Next?

Whether you file a claim on your hail damaged car or not, the next step is actually having it repaired. For many people, that means working through the process of paintless dent repair. If you're not familiar with the term, the idea is that you can have your car repaired without the filler and paint. This means you can get the job done for a lot less than you'd imagine - and fairly quickly to boot.

Paintless dent repair was designed for small repairs like dings and dents caused by hail. The cost depends on how many dents you need to have repaired and how large they are. The type of vehicle you have can also affect the price.

How does paintless dent repair work? A technician will take a look at the damage on your vehicle to determine if this process will be effective. Once they are ready, the necessary body parts will be removed to access the area closest to the dent. Then, using specialized tools, the technician massages out the dented area until it's just the right shape. That's it. You're done, and your car looks as good as new.

Ready to deal with the hail damage on your vehicle? Have other dents or dings that are proving problematic? Contact us today!