On May 19, 2022, hail fell in the Twin Cities. With thousands of Minnesotans out enjoying the sunny weather, they were caught in the storm which caused major damage to homes and cars.
According to local CBS news, thousands of Minnesotians started calling their insurance agents that day. The next morning (5/20/2022), State Farm’s customer service lines were overwhelmed with 2,400 home and auto claims in Minnesota.
Most local auto shops are backlogged because they are not ready to handle huge volumes like this and may not be equipped to fix hail damage.
As a result, many (most) customers were told they can’t get their car/boat/house fixed for more than a month!
If you were caught in the May-19 storm, you may have many questions and may not be getting the answers you want. That’s why we prepared this article to answer the most important and most common questions about car hail damage and repair solutions.
Windshield cracked – use a painter?
If you drove through the storm, you had a very high chance of a cracked windshield and even smashed windows of the car – sorry you had to experience that. It must have been scary and awful.
- Use painter’s tape (such as Frogtape) – NOT duct tape.
- Call your insurance to file a HAIL claim – NOT a glass claim.
- Rent a car if you can’t see through the front windshield – DO IT.
- Learn what other things you can do here
Call a specialty auto hail repair shop BEFORE filing an insurance claim
This isn’t intuitive and may sound like the wrong advice.
But it’s the right thing to do – trust us. We’ve been using auto hail repair for 20 years and are the top-rated repair shop in the US. If the following reasons can’t convince you, you can still call your insurance agent and file a claim, but at least hear what we have to say.
Hail damage is hard to see if not under direct light. Most insurance adjusters in St Paul haven’t seen a storm like this since 2013, so most of them are not experienced in spotting hail damage.
When an adjuster fails to see all the damage, the coverage they estimate will be lower than what you need to get all the damage fixed.
That’s why you should contact a reputable hail repair company first to get an estimate.
Some hail damage repair companies (like us at StormWise) will help file insurance claims and negotiate on your behalf to get all damage covered.
And if you have already filed for a hail claim and later find out it is not enough to cover all the repairs, ask your repair shop to provide a supplement to your insurance company.
Auto hail repair specialists can get your car fixed sooner than body shops
As mentioned above, most body shops don’t have the resources to book and fix hundreds of cars in a short period of time.
If you were told you cannot get an appointment for more than a couple of weeks, you should look up a reputable hail repair shop.
Paintless dent repair is the best repair technique for car’s hail damage
The most effective way to repair car hail damage is by using paintless dent removal. This technique is affordable, non-invasive, and fast.
It massages dents out of a panel without requiring sanding, grinding, or repainting, so it preserves the manufacturer paint warranty and is the most appropriate method to fix your car’s hail damage.
Many people in South St. Paul reported seeing pea-sized hailstones on May 19th, so luckily their cars’ hail damage was light and can be restored by PDR (Paint Dent Repair).
You may still need paint job and other services
Sometimes paintless dent repair alone isn’t enough for auto hail repair, because there may be paint damage or the dent may be too big or too deep.
Many people in or near downtown St. Paul witnessed marble-size or golf-size hailstones. If your car got smashed by some golf-size hail, you may need more than PDR for a complete fix.
That could include part replacement, repaint, or others.
Other repair service may cause longer repair time
Paintless dent repair is efficient but different stores have different repair experiences and are not the same.
At StormWise, our average repair time per car during peak storm season is about 2 weeks.
However, if your car needs panel replacement or other services, the repair timeline will be longer. In addition, especially after a storm like this one, leaving thousands of people seeking repair jobs at the same time, it can cause supply issues for popular car parts, thus delaying your repair.
Auto Hail Repair For St. Paul Residents
From our 20 years of experience with auto hail repair, this is some of the best advice we can give out – we hope you find it helpful!
We know that you’ve got a lot on your plate if your car was damaged in the May-19 storms, so let us take care of this for you.
We’ve already seen waiting times build up around St. Paul, so if you need help soon, make sure to come & see us first because no one knows more about auto hail repair than us.