The Cost of a Hail Storm
It’s surprising to most how much damage a hailstorm can do: what looks like a few dimples here and there on your car can actually cost thousands of dollars to fix.
But the real question is: will your insurance cover the car hail damage repair cost?
There are 3 different types of insurance coverage a car can have. If you have comprehensive coverage, you’re in luck. If you have liability-only insurance for your car or truck, the hail damage will not be covered.
However, if you don’t have comprehensive insurance or want to keep the insurance payout and sell your vehicle, you may be wondering how much un-repaired hail damage can devalue your car.
It depends on the situation. Minimal hail damage is mainly cosmetic, but more serious damage can make a car undrivable. In general, it’s best to get car hail damage repaired as soon as possible — it could just save the value of your car.
How Much Does It Cost To Repair Hail Damage?
The cost to repair the damage can be quite steep. The average cost of auto hail repairs is $6,500 (After more than 20 years fixing hail-damaged cars, we know!).
Repair costs could be as little as $2,500, or as high as $16,000, depending on various factors that will affect how the hail damage is estimated.
While some mistakenly are told that hail dents can be repaired for as little as a few hundred dollars, beware that that is not referring to a bumper-to-bumper full hail repair. A small dent repair job may be relatively inexpensive, but when several panels have numerous dents, the price will likely be in the thousands.
Car Value And Insurance Hail Coverage
If you have comprehensive insurance to cover your hail damage, is it worth filing a hail claim?
For extensive hail damage, the rule of thumb is that if the damage exceeds your comprehensive deductible, it’s advisable to fix it. But if the repair cost exceeds around 50% to 60% of your car’s value, your vehicle might be considered a total loss, otherwise known as “totaled.”
If the repair cost does exceed 50% to 60% of your car’s value, you should still consider making the claim.
Just keep in mind that if your car is deemed totaled by the insurance, the hail repair claim could become part of the Carfax vehicle history report—information that is public to potential car buyers. This could knock thousands of dollars off your car’s trade value when you go to sell it.
How To Determine a Car’s Value After Hail Damage?
The value of your car is evaluated on the following factors:
- The type and condition of your car
- The age of your car (mileage)
- Additional add-on features
The industry standard for new and used car value is based on Kelley Blue Book (kbb.com). You can also get a rough idea of pricing from the National Automotive Dealers Association website.
How Much Does Insurance Pay For Hail Damage?
Once you file a hail claim, the insurance company will typically schedule an adjuster appointment to look at the damage and write an estimate.
Since COVID-19, however, many insurance providers have been moving away from field adjusters and towards virtual estimating techniques. Either way, an adjuster will inspect the car in person or virtually. Then, they will put together an estimate for the repairs.
From there, they will send you or the repair facility a check. This is typically a two-party check with both the insured and the repair facility listed. They do this to ensure the car gets fixed.
If you haven’t selected a repair facility by the time the insurance is ready to initiate payment, they will sometimes make it out as a two-party check to you and your lien holder. The lien holder is the bank who has loaned you the money for the car. This is because technically you don’t own the car until it’s paid off.
If you own the car outright, the insurance company may also simply mail you a check for the estimate minus your deductible.
Sounds pretty straightforward, doesn’t it? Well, it’s not always like that.
In fact, 99% of the time, the estimate you receive from a repair shop will be higher than your insurance tells you. That’s because the initial estimate from the adjuster didn’t capture all the damage.
If that happens, don’t panic.
A qualified provider (like us!) will write a list of items your insurance didn’t capture and send it to your adjuster to approve. This is called a “supplement.” An insurance supplement is a complicated matter, but it can be done.
Besides the cost to fix the hail damage, your insurance policy may also cover a rental car while your car is in the shop being repaired.
Even if your policy doesn’t include rental car coverage, if you fix your hail damaged car at StormWise, we’ll provide a loaner free of charge.*. Plus, we can usually help cover your deductible—simply ask one of our helpful customer representatives about the offer.
Will Filing For A Hail Repair Increase My Insurance Premium?
The short answer is NO, as hail damage is considered an Act of Nature. However, most insurance companies would tell you that they keep a record of every hail claim, and if you have an exorbitant amount of hail claims, they could drop you.
We see this in very rare cases, and it only happens when it’s questionable whether the hail claims are legitimate.
Insurance companies actually make up the loss when catastrophic hail damages a large number of cars and homes in one zip code by raising the rates for everyone in the affected area.
They get away with this as it’s not technically singling any one individual out who has made a hail claim, but rather everyone in the area, whether they made a claim or not. Upon the next renewal, everyone will have slightly higher rates.
So when you think of it that way, you really should make the claim and have the damage fixed… because you’re going to be paying for it anyway!
What If My Car Is Declared A Total Loss Due To Hail?
Depending on the state you’re in, your car may receive a Salvage Title, meaning that the vehicle is declared a total loss by the insurance company. Depending on the state, your car may not be able to be licensed or insured until it’s repaired.
Here in Colorado, the state provides a list of damage types that cause a vehicle to be a salvage car. Hail damage is not on that list. This means that you can still license the car and maintain full coverage motor vehicle insurance if you chose to do so. Of course, you can’t just file another hail claim.
It’s best to speak with a repair specialist for your safety and to find out the extent of the damage and whether the vehicle is still safe on the road.
Be aware, once again, that the check your insurance company issues probably won’t cover the full repair cost. 99% of the cars we see in the shop will require some type of supplement.
Totaled Hail Damage Car – How Much Hail Will Total a Vehicle?
Typical hail storms aren’t going to total your car, and you’ll likely walk away with repairable Damage. Small dings with unchipped paint mean you’ll only require minor repairs. Even more extensive damage—like larger dings and broken windshields—are usually still salvageable.
Unfortunately, you may end up with a totaled car if a hail storm comes through and damages your car beyond repair. Hail pellets bigger than golf balls that number in the thousands will easily mangle your car’s exterior—and even cause damage to the inner components. In this scenario, you’ll have to speak to your insurance provider and your hail auto repair shop to confirm if your car’s been totaled or not.
If you have an Auto Loan…
If you have a loan on your car, the lender (bank, financial Institute, or Lienholder) will likely require you to take the payout and apply that amount to pay off or pay down the loan.
If the payout is less than your loan principal, you will still be on the hook for the difference— unless you have gap insurance.
Hail Damage Repair—Without The Headache
Understanding how hail damage to your car affects your insurance and how to handle payments for repairs can seem like a complicated topic. Luckily, you don’t have to figure it out all on your own.
Here at StormWise, we’ve earned the reputation of being the most professional, friendly, and respected auto hail repair company in the US over the past 20 years.
As the premium paintless dent repair and automobile hail damage repair specialist, we can help you figure out what to do with the hail damage in your car and what the best plan of action is.
(Did we mention we don’t report hail repairs to Carfax?)
If you do decide to get your car fixed, we have the insights and expertise to work safely and diligently on your car without risking any additional damage or requiring more repairs later down the road.
- Free rental car
- Free valet service
- Lifetime warranty
- Deductible coverage
And as always, 100% satisfaction guaranteed. Our team of experts is standing by to get your vehicle back on the road (and looking better than ever). Contact us today for a free estimate—in just 5 minutes!