While hail of any size can cause damage to your car, hail with a diameter of at least one inch is likely to lead to medium to severe damage.
Unless you have hours watching weather reports every day, you may get caught in a storm by surprise. It is therefore important to know what hail damage looks like and what to do about it.
4 Types of Hail Damage You Can Spot Immediately
There’s nothing worse than getting caught out in a hailstorm with your car exposed. If you don’t cover your car in the right way, it can get absolutely hammered.
Hail stone size isn’t the only factor in 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.
The wind typically blows with incredible force and pours out worst on those surfaces that are facing away from where it’s coming from – so if there is an open spot near one side of a vehicle then chances are good they’ll have more extensive damage than towards another edge or corner with some protection against this particular weather condition present
How can you spot hail damage, and what can you do about it?
Is there a way to prevent hail damage in the future?
Hail can cause several forms of damage to your vehicle, so here are 4 signs to look out for, if you suspect hail damage on your vehicle!
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.
Hailstones often leave dents that are conical, 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.
Metal thickness can play a big part in your potential for damages from hail storms. The lightweight and durable aluminum is favored among modern models, and this metal also has the advantage of being less susceptible to dents than steel – though it’s more difficult to fix these types of dents as well! The good news is that comprehensive insurance will cover costs to repair dents and other damage caused by hail.
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, hail likely caused it.
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 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.
How To Repair Your Car’s Hail Damage
If the paint is intact, paintless dent repair (PDR) is usually recommended as an affordable option for hail damage repair and return your car to pre-hailstorm condition.
Sometimes, the extent of your car’s hail damage may be more significant than PDR can handle, especially if paint is damaged. In these cases, more conventional dent repair (grinding, sanding, painting) or panel replacement will be recommended.
Here are 3 things you should do after a hail storm damages your car.
Damage Solution #1: File A Claim
You should immediately file an insurance claim for the hail damage immediately after you notice the damage above.
Take photographic evidence of the damage, and try to include how your vehicle appeared before the storm, if possible.
If you can get a few shots or videos of the storm itself, or of the hail, this can also be helpful with your claim.
Damage Solution #2: Visit a Hail Repair Specialist
Once you’ve filed 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. 99.9% of the time, the adjuster’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 simply send photos when filing for a claim.
No matter how good your camera is, it’s still tricky for adjusters to determine the hail damage in most photos.
When a hail repair specialist examines your car, the technician will use unique lights and tools to help identify all the damage.
Damage Solution #3: Bring Your Car to Stormwise
At StormWise, we’ll circle the dents to prove dent count, take videos and pictures, and provide receipts of parts that need to be replaced to justify the estimate we’ll provide.
When there is a discrepancy between our estimate and the adjusters, we’ll then submit a supplement to the insurance company for approval.
And yes, we handle the “negotiation” with your insurance agency for you.
Occasionally, a supplement that isn’t 100% approved (rare, but has happened with lower-level insurance providers including The General or Bristol West).
In that case, we work hard to ensure 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 to reduce the risk of hail damage.
First and foremost, if you can avoid a storm, follow these 3 tips:
- Keep your car inside a garage or under an awning to protect it from direct damage.
- Clear out your garage and park inside during storms.
- No garage? Use car covers and blankets are an excellent way to protect your vehicle from minor scrapes in mild storms.
Keep in mind, 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 a storm on its way, move your car somewhere where it can be shielded from the brunt of the storm.
Restore Your Vehicle Today With StormWise!
Hail damage may be a pain to deal with, but there are ways to 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 a hailstorm affected your vehicle this summer or previously? Do you need help getting it back to its former glory? StormWise Hail Repair is here to help!