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17 Aug 2015

My Car’s Been Hit with Hail. Now What?

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A fierce hail storm just swept across the county and dumped golf ball size hail all over your car. Now it is speckled with large and small dents and dings that make you sick to your stomach. What can you do? Here are some steps to get you back on your feet as quickly as possible.

  1. Check Your Auto Insurance Coverage

    First, look at your policy and determine the amount of your deductible. If you can’t find your policy or you can’t tell what the deductible is for hail damage, call your insurance carrier to get the details. Now you have an idea of the amount of out-of-pocket money you will need for the repair.

    Your auto insurance agent may recommend a particular body shop, but you are not required to use their recommendation. Your insurance will cover a reasonable cost at the provider of your choice.

  2. Get an Estimate or Two

    Take your hail-damaged car to a couple of auto body repair shops and ask how much it would cost to repair it. They can tell you if you are a candidate for paintless dent repair or not based on the depth and location of your dents and whether any paint is damaged or not.

  3. Ask for Paintless Dent Repair

    Paintless dent repair will save you both time and money if you qualify. It is a newer method of pushing the dent back into place without cracking the paint. Qualified, trained technicians use special lighting and tools to restore the body of your car to the original shape.

    Even dents that are several inches in diameter may qualify if the dent isn’t too deep. Creases often qualify, too. The actual size of the qualifying dent varies with the metal and the type of paint on the vehicle. If you have had your car repainted, it will be harder to qualify. The technician will look for cracks in the paint.

  4. Choose a Repair Shop Based on More Than Price

    Now that you have pricing information take a look at other amenities at different body shops to see which one fits your lifestyle the best. Convenience is key. Do they offer services like:

    • Ride to work or home
    • Pickup when the car is finished
    • Rental car arrangements
    • Comfortable waiting area where you can work while waiting
    • Free WiFi
    • Good hours
    • Security overnight

You also want to look for a quick turnaround, guaranteed work, and a history of satisfied customers.

If you have any questions about the techniques used for paintless dent repair or expectations you should have for your insurance company or repair shop, contact the experts at Custom Auto Body.