Steps to Repair Hail-Damaged Car | QCCollision
It is considered that hail causes much damage to vehicles. Hence, if one gets stuck in a hailstorm, the initial step after the hailstorm would be to inspect the vehicle. If dents are observed, some steps are to be followed depending on whether one has insurance or not.
When comprehensive insurance is available?
- Call the insurance agent to report the incident
The insurance company provides an adjuster who inspects the vehicle to get an estimate to repair it.
- Get an estimate from the insurance company
This step will require moving the car to a location suggested by the insurance company. The location could be a body repair shop or a parking lot, basically, an open area where the work can be carried out.
Paperwork will be provided that has details of the repairs needed along with a check. This includes the difference amount of repair amount and the comprehensive deductible. Generally, it is advised to have some spare amount handy, in cases where the body repair shop charges more.
- Get an estimate from a hail repair shop
After settling the insurance adjustment and insurance check, we can now negotiate with the hail repair shop. We can request an estimate along with a breakdown of the cost of repairs.
- Pay the deductible
Depending on the policy, we shall pay a deductible amount before the insurance kicks in and pays the balance.
- Use the cash reimbursement to repair the vehicle
We can also opt for a check for the estimated repair cost by the insurance company. But this amount may or may not fully cover the cost of the repairs.
When comprehensive insurance is not available:
Generally, the best way to repair the hail-damaged car when insurance is not available is to wait a span of 4-6 months. By that time, the repair shops will not be swamped with hail repair work. It may also take on the repair with a big discount.
Fixing Hail Damage at Home:
- Use of Sunlight to repair the Dents
Sunlight helps us to get rid of small dents caused due to hail. Parking the car in the sun will slowly expand the metal of the car due to heat; the dents pop out.
- Applying Hot Air to the Dents
This technique involves the application of artificial heat to the dents. A hairdryer can be used for this purpose. It holds it a few inches away from the dents for two minutes, repeat the process till the dent pops up. It is recommended not to touch the hair dryer directly to the surface of the car as it may damage the paint.
- Application of Dry Ice to the Dents
A piece of dry ice is applied to the dents. The change in temperature causes the dent to pop out.
The Benefits of Paintless Dent Repair (PDR):
The process of Paintless Dent Repair involves massaging the dent from the inside of the back panel without the need to resort to extensive bodywork. Specialized tools may be used to remove the dent without damaging the original paint job.
Benefits of PDR are:
- PDR is environment-friendly.
- It does not damage the paint job.
- It is less expensive compared to traditional body shop methods.
- It is a faster and more effective method to repair the dents.
- It can be used on aluminum and steel panels.
Steps to Avoid Hail Damage:
It is better to avoid hail damage in the first place. The following steps can be followed:
- We can park the car in the shade place; in a safe area, especially during hailstorm season.
- We can use car covers to avoid hail damage. There are a few types of car covers available in the market depending on the usage, namely, fitted car cover, car umbrella tent, inflatable car cover, weatherproof portable carport, etc.
Frequently Asked Questions:
- How much time does it take to repair the hail damages?
Repair times depend on the severity of the damage to the car. The average time taken is 1-3 days. If the damages are severe, around 3 weeks can be taken.
- How will I know if it is worth claiming insurance?
Minor hail damages can be taken care of easily. But if the damages are severe, you can apply to claim the insurance.
- Will parking under the shade of a tree prevent hail damages to my car?
It is not advised to park under the shade of a tree during a hailstorm. the branches may blow off due to wind and the pressure of the hailstorm. It is recommended to park in a garage or awning.
- Will car covers help hail?
Yes, car covers help to minimize the damage caused to your car due to a hailstorm.