What Does Hail Damage Look Like on a Car?

Storms can do a variety of damage to your vehicle when it’s left outside. Hail can cause a great deal of damage, and can often start with little to no warning. By the end of the storm, your car can be left looking like a total wreck.

How can you spot hail damage, and what can you do about it? Is there a way to prevent this type of damage in the future?

Here are some of the signs that your car has been damaged by hail and what you can do to fix it.

What Size Hail Will Cause Damage?

While hail of any size can cause minor damage to your car, hair with a diameter of at least one inch is most likely to lead to severe damage. You should watch your local weather reports consistently when the weather looks grim to ensure hail isn’t on the forecast.

Size isn’t the only factor when it comes to hailstorm damage. The wind, as well as the duration of the storm, can also have an impact on your vehicle. Storms with higher wind speeds and longer durations are bound to cause more damage than short storms with low wind.

Types of Hail Damage You Can Expect

Hail can cause several different forms of damage to your vehicle. Here are a few things you should look for after a hail storm.

Paint Damage

As hail is falling, it can scrape against the sides and front of your car, leading to chips or scratches in the paint on your vehicle. This can happen regardless of the size of the hail, so check your vehicle thoroughly after a hailstorm. If you notice strange marks left behind after a storm, it was likely caused by hail.


Dents are one of the most common forms of hail damage you can receive after a storm. They will be more common depending on the severity of the storm and can vary in size and depth.

Hail stones will often leave dents that are conical in shape, and they will appear on the hood, roof, and side panels of your vehicle. They can even appear on your door, sometimes making it harder to open. 

The good news is that comprehensive insurance will cover costs to repair dents and other damage caused by hail. 

Cracked Glass, Mirrors, Lights

If the storm is severe enough, hail can cause cracks in your windshield, or on your side mirrors, or even shatter the glass and tail lights. If you notice any damage to the front or the back windshield of your vehicle, be careful when entering, as there could be glass debris inside.

Missing or Misaligned Mirrors

Large hailstones can knock your mirrors out of place with enough force. In some instances, they can completely break your side mirrors off of your vehicle. Pay close attention both to the glass on the mirror and the alignment; a simple misalignment can be fixed quickly, but a torn off mirror will make your vehicle unsafe to drive for a while.

What to Do if Your Car is Damaged by Hail

File An Claim

You should immediately file an insurance claim for the hail damage right after you notice the damage above. Take photographic evidence of the damage, and try to include how your vehicle looked before the storm, if possible. If you’re able to get a few shots or videos of the storm itself, or of the hail, this can also be helpful with your claim. 

Bring Your Car to A Hail Repair Specialist – StormWise

Once you’ve filled a claim, it’s time to take your car in for an independent estimate. This is an essential step to make sure All the damage is fixed and covered by your insurance, as 99.9% of the time, the adjustor’s initial estimate is lower than what’s needed to fix all the damage. That’s because hail dents are difficult to spot. It’s especially the case this year when most insurance companies request customers to just send photos when filing for a claim. No matter how good your camera is, it’s still tricky for adjusters to see the hail damage in most photos.

When a hail repair specialist examines your car, the technician will use unique lights/tools to help see all the damage. At StormWise, we’ll circle the dents to prove dent count and take videos/pictures and receipts of parts that need to be replaced to justify the estimate we’ll provide.

When a hail repair specialist examines your car, the technician will use unique lights/tools to help see all the damage. At StormWise, we’ll circle the dents to prove dent count and take videos/pictures and receipts of parts that need to be replaced to justify the estimate we’ll provide.

hail dent circle marks

When there is a discrepancy between our estimate and the adjuster’s, we’ll then submit a supplement to the insurance company for approval. And yes, we handle the “negotiation” with your insurance for you.

Occasionally, a supplement that isn’t 100% approved (rare but has happened with lower-level insurance providers such as The General or Bristol West). In that case, we work hard to make sure you’re not responsible for any overages.

Don’t Try To Fix Hail Damage By Yourself

If you’re tempted to fix the hail dents on your own, read this article first. It’s best not to try to repair your car on your own; you may end up causing additional damage instead.

How to Prevent Hail Damage

If you want to keep your car protected in the future, there are a few ways that you can reduce the risk of getting hail damage.

First and foremost, if you can avoid driving in a storm, keep your car inside a garage or under an awning to protect it from direct damage.

Best to clear that garage and park inside during a storm

Should a garage not be available, don’t worry. There are still options to help you protect your vehicle. Car covers and blankets are a great way to protect your vehicle from minor scrapes in mild storms and can lessen the damage caused by severe storms. Just keep in mind that even hail car covers designed for this can’t guarantee your vehicle will stay blemish-free. It depends on the size of the hail, the wind speed, and other factors.

Even something as simple as moving your car to the side of a building to keep it out of the wind can reduce the damage. Whenever you find out a storm is on its way, move your car somewhere where it can be shielded from the brunt of the storm.

Restore Your Vehicle Today

Hail damage may be a pain to deal with, but there are ways that you can fix your car even after a severe storm. Use these tips to spot and deal with the damage left behind after a storm, and to keep your car protected from future hailstorms.

Has your vehicle been affected by a hailstorm this summer or previously? Do you need help getting it back to its former glory? We’re here to help. Contact us with information about your vehicle’s damage and bring it in for an estimate today.

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