Five Things to Know About Auto Hail Damage Repair San Antonio in 2021

On Monday (5/3), a massive and destructive hail storm went through San Antonio and Boerne, TX, dropping hailstones as large as baseballs. Many cars and properties were pummeled, leaving dents, cracked windshields, holes…

Then there was a tornado watch, too.

We’re trying to help as many people as we can.

This violent storm marks #3 in the Austin/San Antonio area in the past 45 days, bringing many people in need of auto hail repair.

During what feels like catastrophic times, it is important we at StormWise, as auto hail repair specialists, keep a logical sense of what’s happening and what we can do.

Even though paintless dent repair is considered the hail repair gold standard, there are limitations to what PDR can fix.

When hail exceeds 4 inches in diameter from the May 3rd storm in the San Antonio area, it has unfortunately left many cars considered a “total loss” by their insurance.

Cracked Windshield = Severe Damage of the May 3rd Storm (not a good indicator for every hail storm)

When hail exceeds 4 inches in diameter from the May 3rd storm in the San Antonio area, it has unfortunately left many cars considered a “total loss” by their insurance. 

With storms like this, when we encounter severe enough damage to crack a windshield, it gives us an idea of the hailstone size and the type of damage it does to your car. 

This level of damage typically needs to be repaired by a full auto body shop as opposed to a PDR specialist like StormWise. Full auto body repairs are not eligible for our incentives, such as a waived deductible of up to $500, free pickup and delivery service, as well as a free rental car. 

What to do to fix my car then?

Here’s what we suggest:

Make your claim. 

If the hail is large enough to crack your windshield, you’re likely looking at a $7,000 hail damage repair, bare minimum based on our experience. 

You will want to use your insurance for auto hail repair. It won’t raise your rates as it’s a comprehensive claim (as opposed to the collision, which WILL increase rates).

Follow the instructions from your insurance.

If your insurance tells you to go to a direct repair shop so you can see an adjuster, do it. 

If your adjuster wants to do a virtual walk-around, do it.

Get a reputable full auto body shop.

Once you have the estimate in hand from your insurance, reach out to providers who offer full auto body shop services. 

Pick the right auto body shop – Questions to ask.

Do your due diligence and read the reviews of the body shop. When choosing a full auto body shop, ask these questions to make sure you go in this smart:

Do you provide a written warranty? If so, how long? What does the warranty cover?

Most, if not all of the best auto body repair shops offer repair work warranties. This should be one of the questions you ask every shop you’re researching about.

A one-year bodywork warranty is a minimum. Many shops offer a two-year warranty for bodywork and a three-year warranty for complete paint jobs.

How qualified are the technicians? How many years of experience do they have? What certifications do they have?

You want to leave your car in the hands of a body shop that can back its claims with qualified technicians.

Besides technical qualifications, look for employees who are courteous and professional, too. A good auto body shop often offers the best customer service. If they take too long to respond before you’re a customer, you better look for another shop.

How do you match paint?

In a violent storm like this, a cracked windshield also indicates potential paint damage. While the process of matching paint was a hit or miss in the past, nowadays, body shops can use high-tech tools for a better match to get as close to the original as possible.

But let’s set the expectation correct: it’s just not gonna be the same. That’s why when paintless dent repair can do the job, that’s your best option.

So ask the body shop how they match paint and what their paint process is. 

For the best paint job, the body shop needs a clean operating room with modern heaters, exhaust systems, and high-tech mixing systems.

The quality of paint matters. You should ask whether the paint is OEM endorsed.

A great body shop can show you where the color differences already exist on a car before they begin working to restore paint.

How much is the repair? What’s included?

You likely will not be able to find offers such as ours with a free deductible, free rental, free pickup, and drop off. The reason is that the expense for this level of repairs does not leave room in the profit margin to allow for this. You can look around, but this is likely the case.

When an auto repair shop offers you a rental car, be prepared to pay a substantial amount unless specified as a free rental covered by the shop. It could otherwise cost you $1,000 to rent a car for a week, especially in 2021 when all rental car companies are short of new vehicles.

That is also you’ll want to ask the estimated time it will take to fix your car. 

If the body shop suggests a part replacement, ask how they would choose a replacement. Most body shops use generic or salvage parts because those parts are cheap. But if you are a car person as we are, you’ll want the original manufacturer’s part.

We hope this helps

We hate the fact we have to turn away many customers with cracked windshields from the May 3rd storm, and we want to make sure you get your car fixed right.

That’s why we wrote this article.

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