Hail Damage 101

We all know that sense of dread. The one you feel when you’re watching hail falling relentlessly from the sky, hearing the loud POP! as chunks of ice hit your car, and not being able to do anything about it. Sitting through a spring hailstorm can make you feel pretty helpless. Each popping sound you’re hearing starts to resemble the sound of another $20 dollar bill flying out of your wallet. Luckily, a great St. Louis auto body repair shop can help you get your car’s hail damage repaired and make it like it never happened.

Using Your Garage for Your Car for a Change

The first step in preventing hail damage is making sure that your car is parked safely under a covered structure when a storm hits. Now obviously for those of us without a garage at home or who have to use outdoor parking while we are at work that’s not an option. But if you’re someone that does have that option it’s important to consider the weather and plan ahead accordingly. As Spring is the most prominent season for hail damage, it might be a good time to clean all of that stuff out of the garage that you’ve been meaning to so you have room for your car again. Plus, a good garage sale could get you a few extra bucks to spend on a little something for yourself. It’s a win/win.

Severity of Hail Damage

Hail damage can range from just a few small dents to pock marks covering your entire car, or even cracks in your auto glass. It’s important to be sure you are looking at your car when it’s clean to assess the damage. Dirt and debris can hide smaller dents. Once you’ve fully assessed the hail damage on your car, it’s time to decide how you want to handle the damage.

DIY…or Don’t

There are lots of resources available online for people who may want to try to tackle their hail damage on their own. Some of these suggest using a hair dryer to heat the area followed by either dry ice or compressed air to remove the dent. The heat followed by temperature change causes the metal to contract, which is supposed to cause the dent to pop out. While we have seen some people who are successful with this method, there are just as many who have not.

There are also dent removal kits you can purchase from an automotive store or online retailer that claim to be able to remove small dents easily. While many claim success, there are many who claim it did nothing to help them. Our advice: feel free to attempt at home repairs, but do so cautiously and with plenty of research. If you feel like you may be trying to force something, it’s probably best to stop before you do further damage to your vehicle. Unless you feel totally comfortable, it’s a job best left for the experts.

Handling Hail Damage With Auto Insurance

Whether your insurance company will cover hail damage repair depends on your policy. Be sure to check your current auto insurance policy to find out if this is a coverage you carry. If not, now would be the ideal time to consider calling your insurance company to ask about purchasing additional hail damage coverage before you need it. If your policy does cover hail damage, you will need to file a claim with your insurance. You can do this over the phone with a claims representative, or some insurance companies will even allow you to file a claim through their online system. Be prepared to provide the date and location of your car when the hail damage was sustained, as many insurance companies will want to verify reports of hail in the area.

Hail Damage Repair Estimates

Once you have filed your claim and have your claim number available, you can call to schedule your repair estimate with a St. Louis auto body shop. Always remember the choice of which auto body shop to get your auto body repairs done is your choice. Don’t feel pressured to choose based on your insurance company’s recommendation. Your estimate should only take about 30 minutes.

Luckily, hail damage doesn’t have to cost you a fortune. Most hail damage can be repaired easily and quickly with paintless dent removal. At Schaefer Autobody, we can have your car repaired and ready to go as fast as possible.

 

Don’t leave your car out in the storm this year. Plan ahead to ensure you have a safe parking place available and adequate coverage should you need it. With just a little planning you can save yourself a lot of money on unnecessary repairs when the Spring storm season hits. If you need to find an auto body repair shop in St. Louis, look for the Schaefer Autobody near you. We can help you make it like it never happened.