Hailstorms can be quite frustrating, and the repair cost tends to be shocking to some who aren’t fully aware of it.
Below we’ll take a closer inspection at the various types of damage that hail can cause on your auto and what kind of pricing we’re looking at to get it repaired. Having over 20 years in assessing and repairing hail damage, we feel it may be enough to have seen it all.
While hail damage can tend to be quite extensive, we work with something known as paintless dent repair to help manage the costs and price at a per dent model where applicable.
What are some of the factors that truly affect the cost of hail damage?
You might ask yourself, is hail damage a big deal? The short answer is yes. Look here at some other myths busted about hail damage.
Hailstone Damage and Paintless Dent Removal
The extent of the damage is typically determined by the number of hail dents and the size of the dents themselves. Then it depends on what option you use to fix those dents. Paintless dent repair (PDR), which is around $75-$200 per dent, is a more cost-effective option for dent removal.
Car Year and Car Model
Then the car year and make/model also factor into the cost of repairs. The newer your car, the bigger the chance your insurance will cover repairs. Yet the more high-end a car is, the higher the chance it’s made from an aluminum frame, making it harder to repair and costing more. In addition, older models tend to get totaled by hail due to not retaining enough value compared to the cost to repair them unless they are a vintage car or other types of collectibles.
Finally, how much you will pay comes down to your car insurance. As long as you have comprehensive coverage, your insurance provider can cover the repair service’s cost. But often, the insurance claims and the repair costs are not aligned – we have a detailed article to explain why this happens.
In most cases, it’s more important than ever to work with a specialty repair shop (than a regular body shop) that can help you file for a supplemental claim to cover all the dent repair cost.
Check out a great insurance guide here. You may be worried about your insurance premiums going up, but they won’t, as it’s considered an act of nature outside of your control.
The only cost you may have upfront is your deductible, which needs to be covered before insurance kicks in. However, at StormWise, we often help pay for our customers’ deductible when their insurance coverage is enough for hail dent repair. If you work with us, feel free to ask your customer representative how this works with your insurance company.
An Example of Auto Hail Damage Repair Cost
When we provide an estimate for automotive hail damage repair, we first consider these three major factors.
The first is the number of car dents that have occurred. Then it’s about the size of the dents (they are sized into dimes/nickels/quarters and half dollars, and lastly, it’s where the dents occurred. This builds out a matrix where the number of dents x size x location of dents is the formula to assess the cost of repairing your car.
Light Hail Damage Example
We call it “light hail damage” when a vehicle has small dents only. This type of damage doesn’t affect a car’s function and is considered cosmetic damage.
Most of the time a car has more than 100 dents on different panels and on the roof. It’s not always easy to see these dents. Remember that these should be repaired immediately as the dents can get worse over time and will be more expensive if you get into an accident.
When it comes to the repair cost, even for a light repair example, let’s say every panel gets hit by 10 nickel-sized hail pieces. This will likely cost anywhere from $4,000 to $10,000 in repair on average.
Severe Hail Damage Example Cased by Golf Ball Hailstones
A more severe example will be larger hailstones that not only cause large dents but damage the car functionality by crashing through the windows and breaking headlights and taillights.
This goes beyond paintless dent repair and may require paint repair, panel replacement and windshield replacement, etc.. This will still incur hundreds of various-sized dents, and the pricing is often over $8,000.
Repainting a panel and partial replacement often adds up to the repair time.
If your car has severe hail damage, it’s important that either your insurance or the hail repair shop can provide you a rental car for free.
Aluminum Panel Hail Repair Cost Example
If your vehicle is made from aluminum, you’re looking at a premium of about 25% extra – making any examples above $7,500 or $10,000, respectively.
Then, add into the mix the cost of labor and sales tax, your average cost is going to be at least $8,000 – $9,000.
In the end
As always we recommend taking clear pictures of the damage and getting an estimate for repair as soon as possible. If your insurance policy has comprehensive coverage, we do our best to cover your deductible and other out-of-pocket costs so that you can get a free repair.