No one wants to keep on driving a hail-damaged car. However, auto hail damage insurance claims can be quite confusing and challenging to file, especially for new car owners.
It doesn’t have to be a complicated procedure. If you look closer at the entire process, it’s quite similar to how you would file claims for other types of properties. There are just a few things that you need to consider when dealing with car hail damage insurance.
What Type of Insurance Covers Hail Damage?
Comprehensive insurance coverage covers costs associated with repairing car dents and dings caused by hail—although you may still need to pay for deductibles.
This type of insurance includes damage brought about by Acts of God (e.g. hail, storms, floods, earthquakes, etc.), damage from vandalism and break-ins, dents from an animal running into your vehicle, and many more.
How to File for a Claim?
Where should you go and whom should you call? It’s advisable to contact your insurance provider to get guidance on what the next steps should be in the claims process. However, it’s also equally important to document the damage properly before the adjuster shows up.
You need to take clear photos of the damage, and it’s best to use proper lighting (and don’t rely on the sun for this), the right angle, and mark the damage using an easy-to-remove marker. It’s advisable to highlight the dents to reveal the hard to see hail damage on a car.
Proper documentation will help the insurance company estimate the total hail damage repair cost more accurately and efficiently. Waiting for the adjuster to come and solely relying on their assessment of the damage may lead to a lower and incorrect repair estimate.
Auto body repair shops will also conduct their own inspections and can send a report to the insurance company. In this case, there may be discrepancies in the estimates.
Your insurance company will then take the repair shop’s estimates into consideration to determine how much they’ll pay for your car’s repairs.
What Will Happen After Filing for a Claim?
It’s now time to get the car fixed. As the car owner, you have the right to choose where you’d like to have your hail-damaged vehicle repaired.
Once you’re discussing the repairs with the shop, remember that you’re also entitled to ask them to use original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts in the repair process. Whether these OEM parts are new or recycled would still depend on your insurance policy, though. Some policies may not include OEM parts in the coverage, so you may be asked to pay for the cost difference in the parts used.
Choosing the right specialty car repair shop is critical. Some can even deal with the insurance claims on your behalf, while some would need you to file the claims yourself. What’s most important, though, is that you have comprehensive insurance coverage. This way, even if you can’t avoid hail damage from a sudden hail storm, you wouldn’t have to worry much about the repair costs.
Read also: 7 Things to Look for When Searching for an Insurance Company