Top 5 Pre-Filing Hail Claims Facts
Auto hail damage always presents a dilemma for car owners. Many decide to live with the dings whereas others file comprehensive insurance claims as soon as they see the hail fall.
In the article, we cover all of the questions that lie in-between.
Know the type of insurance coverage you have on your vehicle.
There is only one level of coverage that will cover the cost to repair auto hail damage and any other vehicle damage caused by Mother Nature. It is called Comprehensive Insurance. You are not alone if you assumed that a Collision Policy would cover hail damage. Automobile insurance policies are (or should be) “piecemealed” based upon the area you live in and where you drive most frequently.
If you live in the states of Texas and Colorado or any of the other states that fall within Tornado Ally, you should have Comprehensive Coverage because of the frequent hail storms. For example – if you live in Denver, CO where residents experience drastic changes in temperature, excessive rain, hail, and snow, you should also have Collision Coverage. Where Comprehensive covers the cost of auto hail damage repair, it does not cover damage caused by potholes that come as a result of drastic weather variations.
Check your policy. Your coverage can be found on your glovebox copy, online (if you signed up for online access), or you can call the general toll-free number found on their website.
Auto Insurance Coverage’s Explained
What auto insurance coverage is required by law? 100/300/100 is your liability coverage. This is what is required of you to carry by law. This, theoretically, protects the OTHER party in an accident. Not you, or your car.
The D100 is Comprehensive Coverage. In this case, with a $200 deductible. Comp covers YOUR vehicle in the event of an accident that wasn’t your fault.
The G500 is Collision Coverage. This covers YOUR vehicle in the event of an AT FAULT accident. Ordinarily, to make a full coverage policy, you would have Liability + U/W + Comp + Collision. In this case, a $500 deductible. You pay the first $500, the insurance company pays the rest to fix your car.
Don’t assume that you don’t have enough hail damage to justify filing a claim.
Many decide to live with hail dings because they assume the damage isn’t enough to justify the deductible.
Other’s might find that seemingly minimal damage is enough to cause their insurers to total out their cars! If you can see dents after a hail storm, you should always assume that there are more. You might not be able to see them but not all hail dents can be visualized with the naked eye.
Paintless Dent Repair shops like The Hail Shop USA specialize in the finding and repairing of ALL auto hail damage. We use light boards that have strips of LED lighting that help our technicians literally see EVERY imperfection, no matter how tiny or shallow. Whereas you might only see a few hood dents, your insurance adjuster might find a few more. Upon the 3rd inspection by a reputable Paintless Dent Repair shop, you might discover that what you assumed what just a couple of hundred dollars of damage turns into a few thousand.
Pre-inspections from PDR shops are an option.
You can always get a free inspection from a paintless dent repair shop before you file a claim with your insurance company.
If you do not own your vehicle and carry comprehensive insurance because your lender requires you to do so, you might be concerned about not having enough damage to justify paying a high-deductible. You always have the option to call The Hail Shop USA to schedule a free hail damage inspection.
Repair the damage or keep the money.
Do I have to get my hail damage fixed or can I just keep the insurance check?
If you are contemplating keeping the insurance company check to pay off some bills instead of getting your car repaired, consider the following.
- Are you making monthly payments to a lender? If you are then you have a contractual obligation to get the hail damage repaired.
- Do you own the vehicle? If yes, the money is yours to do with as you choose. Keep in mind that if your vehicle is damaged again, you will not be paid a second time for pre-existing damage. You also run the risk of being dropped by your insurance company.
- What are your future plans for the vehicle? If your plan is to drive the vehicle until it drives no more, it is your decision as to what you can live with. If selling your car in the future is the plan, remember that the value of your vehicle greatly decreases if it has hail damage.
The skinny on rental car reimbursement.
You might assume that your insurance policy covers a rental car, until you find out that it doesn’t.
This is something you should also look in to before filing your claim. The Hail Shop USA offers free rental car service for our hail damage repair customers that don’t have rental car coverage. Most car hail repairs require approximately 1-3 days of shop time.