If there is a storm brewing that can cause hail, it is better to stay indoors until the storm has passed. Do not try to protect your vehicle while the storm is ravaging your area. It is better to save yourself from personal injury. After all, your vehicle can always be repaired.
Now, the storm’s aftermath can be devastating especially to your car. You may find your beloved car full of dents after the hailstorm. You may be left wondering what to do. On one hand, you can probably live with a few dents in your car. On the other hand, you remember your insurance policy. It is always better to know what your options are for filing an insurance claim.
What to do right after the storm
Even before you decide whether or not you will even file a claim there are a few important steps that you should take.
- Take pictures of the damage for documentation
You can never have too many photos. Be sure to get up close and personal with the dents and dings, as well as take pictures of the vehicle from every angle.
- Call your insurance company
After taking the photos, call the insurance company. Inform them that your car has suffered hail damage and give them an idea of the extent of the damage. For example, filing a claim for five small dents will be very different than filing a claim for 40-50 dents that span the hood and roof of your car. Your insurer may be able to send you a form online or through the mail or could inform you of your options moving forward.
- Start looking for local body shops for estimates
After informing your insurance company, start searching for your auto repair shop. You may have your preferred shop but some insurance companies have their own too. Decide whether to take your car to their partnered auto shop or your own.
Does insurance cover hail damage repair?
If you have a comprehensive auto insurance plan, then you should be covered for car hail damage. This type of coverage is referred in the policy to as “other than collision” or “act of God” coverage and accounts for incidents of natural disasters of hazards, vandalism or theft, which is extremely beyond human control.
With this kind of insurance coverage, you will have to pay your comprehensive deductible amount for the repairs and the insurance company should cover the rest.
How to prevent hail damage to your car?
Nonetheless, a plan of action is better than braving the storm when it hits you. Below are some helpful tips to prevent hail damage to your car.
- Get covered parking
If you know there’s a big storm brewing that could result in hail, find someplace to shelter your car. Covered parking can save you a lot of hassle and money, especially in the middle of hail season.
- Ride out the hail storm
If you don’t have access to covered parking, another option is to find temporary shelter. Local malls, for example, usually have parking garages where you could park if you know a storm is brewing.
- Use blankets or a hail car cover
If you don’t have a shelter option, and you know a storm is coming, get something to cover your car. You can use your blankets for this or your car cover.