When Hail Damages Your Vehicle: Six Simple Steps to Getting Back on the Road
If you’ve got damage to your car, paintless dent removal might be the answer to restoring your vehicle to its pre-accident condition.
“We know how important it is to get you and your vehicle back on the road quickly – that’s what our 24/7, in-person claims service is all about. Understanding your repair options can help save time and money,” said Scott Snapp, catastrophe response director, The Progressive Group of Insurance Companies.
If your vehicle is damaged in a hailstorm, Progressive recommends that you take the following steps:
1. Call your insurance company immediately to report the damage.
2. Discuss your repair with your insurance company. Hail damage to sheet metal may need to be hammered and painted. However, trained technicians may recommend paintless dent removal (PDR), which involves using specially-molded metal tools on the underside of a damaged part that won’t disturb the factory finish. This method is often utilized by manufacturers and dealers to repair new vehicles and will not invalidate paint warranties.
PDR cannot be performed if the dents are too large or if the paint finish is damaged. Prior body damage that required plastic fillers or bonding may also make PDR difficult. Your insurance company will be able to determine the severity of your damage and consult with you on which repair method makes the most sense for your vehicle.
3. Find a reputable facility or get referrals from friends. Ask the shop how PDR works and how they access hard to reach places to make the repair. The preferred method is to pull the dents from the outside rather than drilling holes to access the dent from beneath the panel.
4. Find out how long the repair will take. Paintless dent repair is an efficient and effective technique for repairing damage to your vehicle, and may be completed within a day. However, after a storm, many vehicles might be damaged, so the work may take a little longer due to the volume of vehicles that need to be repaired.
5. Make sure your vehicle is repaired to your satisfaction. Before accepting your vehicle, look at the surface in fluorescent lighting and from several angles so that you can see all the details. Check for any remaining dents before you take your vehicle home.
6. Ask if the shop guarantees its work. If you notice a flaw in your vehicle’s repair, you should be able to have it fixed at no additional charge. Know how your body shop will handle any problems you might have with your vehicle after the repair. Get guarantee and contact information in writing. Ask your insurance company if they also guarantee the work for their preferred body shops.
Taking these simple steps can help you get your vehicle repaired and get you back on the road. In addition, ensuring that you receive safe, high quality, cost effective repairs, keeps the cost of your claim down and can help to keep down the cost of auto insurance for all consumers.