Having car hail damage is an unattractive nuisance to your vehicle. Depending on the actual extent of the damage you may choose not to go through the claims process, but live with it or fix it yourself. In many cases, hail damage is so severe as to total the car, in which case a claim would be inevitable.
Step 1 - Call Your Insurer
Once you have realized that your car has sustained heavy hail damage, you should call your insurance company as soon as possible and advise them that you will need a claim form. They may go over the details with you on the phone and simply send the form to sign.
Step 2 - Take Photos
Take photos of the damage on your car from all angles. Not only are these useful for your own records or any future dispute, they are also useful to the insurance company.
Step 3 - The Form
Fill out the claim (if not already done on the phone) as accurately and truthfully as possible. Comprehensive coverage will cover hail damage. You can, at this point, include the photos you took and make notes on them as to the extent of the damage.
Step 4 - Estimates
While you wait for the form to arrive, you can take your car to local workshops and ask for repair estimates. Some insurers will stipulate that you only use a garage which supplies OEM parts, while other insurers will not mind if the parts are aftermarket. Get a list of the breakdown of each estimate and keep them for your insurance company, when they ask.
Step 5 - Assessment
It can cost quite a bit to repair car hail damage. Your insurer may send a risk assessor to view your vehicle's damage and assess the amount of repair costs. Don't be afraid to argue your case with him or her. Their job is to save the insurance company money and they may offer you less payout for an immediate check in your hand. Don't concur with their preliminary offer. Show the estimates and ask for the right amount you need to cover the repairs.
Related Questions and AnswersAre Small Car Door Dings Covered by Insurance?
Technically, car door dings are covered, if you have $0 deductible insurance. However, since most people have between $500 and $1,000 deductible insurance there's not much sense to even think about it. The best way to handle car door dings is with a tube of touch-up paint that's available at your local car dealer (the dealer's parts department, while expensive, is guaranteed to have a color match to your car, rather than trying to find the right color from a paint chart at one of the auto parts chains). Fixing the ding simply requires using one of the two sides. You have pen side and a brush side, and filling it in until you are satisfied. Remember, neatness does count.What is the Best Way to Repair Hail Damage on a Car?
When you look at it, it's an interesting exercise deciding how to repair hail damage on a car. The easy way to repair minor dents caused by hail is by pressing the thin body panels and popping the dents out. If the dents are deep and require the replacement of a full body panel or panels, you will have to have an insurance adjuster come out to look at the body and determine how much they will cover for the repair. If the damage is great enough, they may just total the car. Perhaps the best way to recover your car is using one of the pointless dent removers. A specialist in removing body dents without the need for major body part replacement.Is Storm Damage Repair Covered by My Car Insurance?
Storm damage repair to your car is one of those tricky areas of insurance coverage. Check for your car's basic and damage insurance coverage to be sure that you're covered for acts of environmental damage, less that applicable deductible, of course. In many cases, though, you will find that what you thought was covered by your car's insurance, is not. More than likely you will note the coverage you need - less deductibles - in your homeowner or renter's insurance policy. Many homeowners' policies cover damage to your car or thefts from it, even though the vehicle was not strictly parked in your yard. For future problems, you can purchase an umbrella policy that is specifically written to cover car damage and other liability issues.