Have you endured the painful scenario of getting stuck out in a hailstorm when driving?
If so, you probably have the damage to show for it.
With the current weather forecast showing no storm on the horizon for a while, you might consider putting off fixing hail damage until the storm season starts up again. However, many reasons call for an immediate fix right away.
You might think your thought process is cost-saving. Why potentially pay for hail damage repair twice when you can wait it out until the end of the next hail season? But that can end up costing you a lot more in the end.
Keep reading below for several legitimate reasons why you should never wait to fix the hail damage on your car again.
You Risk Paying More
Everyone knows what an eyesore it is to look at a vehicle with hail damage. It looks like a slice of bread that has had holes poked into it. Not exactly the type of aesthetic you’re looking for to impress people.
You might think that you’re potentially saving money by waiting it out until next hail season, taking that damage, then paying for it all at once. But think again!
Many times the insurance companies know where your car typically resides, and if they know there has been more than one hail storm in your area, then you will be assessed TWO deductibles.
The longer that you wait to get your hail damage fixed, the more that you risk having further damage done to your car. You might even notice a few spots where the dent was so severe that it damaged (and chipped off) the paint.
Without your car’s body paint, you could leave the metal susceptible to rust and corrosion.
We actually see this a lot.
Once the rust has started, it will continue to eat away at the metal on your vehicle. It’s like a cancer. To remove the rust, you’re looking at potentially thousands of dollars in repairs.
Not to mention, no auto body shop will warranty rust repair. They can’t. What you see when you look at a panel with rust is only the tip of the iceberg…the actual metal that is affected by the rust could be 5 times larger than the spot you see.
Meanwhile, if you seek repair for your dents right away, you can avoid the risk of further damage and save yourself a significant amount of time and money.
At StormWise, we use the paintless dent repair technique which allows us to fix the dents without harming your car’s coat of paint.
“Unrepaired Damage” and How Insurance Companies View That
Unrepaired damage and what can happen if you end up getting in an accident is probably the single BIGGEST reason not to wait to get it fixed.
Here’s a scenario we’ve seen happen over and over: a customer gets hail damage, 8 months goes by, they never make a claim on it or get it fixed. Someone runs a stop sign and t-bones the car, totaling it.
“No big deal,” you think. This is why you pay for insurance right?
Here’s the deal: you have what the insurance calls “unrepaired damage” which is devaluing your car.
Say there’s $6,000 in hail damage on the car. That would take your payout for the totaled vehicle down by $6,000! WHOA!
Say the car should have been worth $25,000, that means you’re only going to get $19,000 to replace your car, also minus your deductible. If this is a new car and you didn’t put a lot down on it, that could even be less than what you owe the lien-holder!
So you could end up having a car payment to pay off a loan, and not have the car because it’s totalled.
Can I Use Gap Coverage?
“But what if I have ‘Gap Coverage’?” Gap Coverage does NOT cover a difference in what is owed on the car vs what the insurance payout is, if the reason for the difference is due to “unrepaired damage.”
So you can really end up in a huge mess.
You’re just rolling the dice every time you get behind the wheel of a vehicle with hail damage. You can’t control what other people do on the road, even if you yourself are a very careful and safe driver.
Car accidents happen, and if you have hail damage and then get into one, that is a messy situation and you’re going to end up losing a ton of money.
It takes very easily fixable damage to “unfixable.”
You may not know this, but there is damage that is “unfixable” with the paintless dent repair method.
Unfixable damage happens when the dents are too big, or there are too many on the panel for it to make sense to fix. If the cost to fix the panel exceeds the cost to replace it, the insurance will usually chose the cheaper method – replacing the panel.
Replacing the panel isn’t the worst thing that could happen, but it’s not ideal for the following reasons:
- You will lose the manufacturer paint warranty.
- You may be stuck with an aftermarket panel if that’s only what your insurance pays for.
- The paint will NEVER be the exact same as what you get from the dealership
- Replacing and painting panels also takes a lot more time than PDR, so you’ll be without your favorite ride for that much longer.
Harms Your Resale Value
Perhaps you’re considering reselling your car shortly. If so, then your hail damage repair can’t afford to wait. This is for many of the reasons that have already been mentioned, including:
- A greatly devalued vehicle
- Rust or corrosion
- Costly repairs
- Further hail damage
- Damage after an accident that’s too expensive to justify
All it takes is one dent in your car to knock off hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars off your car’s total value. Interested buyers will see it as a major turn off, and they might lose interest in your car entirely. If you’re wanting to trade it in for another car, the hail damage could come back to haunt you.
As soon as the hail damage happens, make plans to get it fixed. It will cost you less time and money to fix the issue right away.
Takes More Time
Let’s say your plan comes to fruition. You’ve made it unscathed through the next hailstorm season and are wanting to get your hail damage repaired. So is everyone else who got stuck in the storm.
For that reason, your hail repair will likely take a lot more time than it needs to.
Repair times after a hail storm can be 6-8 weeks, no matter what shop you go to, whereas any other time of the year (including NOW) repair times are much quicker.
In hail season, you might have to set an appointment a few weeks out. Then, the severity of your damage will take significantly more time to repair than if you had brought it in right away.
Once again, your comprehensive insurance provider might stand in your way. If you were banking on them covering the cost (or a majority of it), you might be in for a rude awakening.
You might be wondering, “How will they be able to tell whether the hail damage was from this hail season or the last?” They use their data. If the most recent hailstorm doesn’t cause as much reported damage to other cars as what’s on yours, they’ll assume your hail damage was unreported.
It’d also be an easy telltale if the previous hail damage led to rust or corrosion.
All being said, when your adjuster suspects there is pre-existing hail damage, they’ll escalate your claim to a “case” to be further investigated.
Not only will the investigation drag out the repair time, but it also often ends up with a much smaller estimate than what you’ll need to fix your car.
Don’t Wait Until Hail Season: Fix Your Hail Damage Today
Now that you have seen all of the different reasons that you should get your damage repaired before the next hail season, be sure to do so.
Make sure to read this blog article for more information on the 10 auto hail repair questions you need to be answered right away.