Navigating Auto Hail Claims In A Catastrophic Event

State Farm Hail Catastrophe Team Ofallon, MO

On March 15, 2024, O’Fallon, MO, was hit by a massive hail storm that left thousands of its residents scrambling for answers about what to do next about their hail-damaged cars and personal property damage.  We have gathered as much information as we could to help ease the hail claims process.

Other cities that have declared a ‘catastrophe’ location are Wentzville & St Peters.

In today’s article, we will cover what to do if your vehicle has been damaged in a hail storm, both from your insurance company’s perspective and from an auto body shop or paintless dent repair shop.

Steps to Take After A Catastrophic Hail Storm

Insurance Company & Auto Hail Damage Claims

  1. Mobile Catastrophe Claim Teams. State Farm and American Family have on-location adjuster stations set up around O’Fallon, one in the Home Depot parking lot and another in the CarShield overflow lot. You will need to schedule an appointment before you visit.
  2. File a hail claim as soon as possible. Contact our local agent, file a claim, and schedule a time to visit a Mobile Catastrophe location or your address. You will need the date of the occurrence, your policy number, and your vehicle make/model/year.
  3. Be prepared for a ‘total loss.’ Due to the size of the hail, wind conditions, and the amount of time the hail fell in O’Fallon, Wentzville, and St. Peters, many vehicles are being written as a total loss. Adjusters are issuing checks for ‘total-loss’ vehicles on-site. Learn more about a ‘total loss’ determination and your options.
  4. Repair checks issued on-site.  For the vehicles that can be repaired, insurance companies are issuing checks on-site to expedite the hail damage repair process. As convenient as this may sound, take a minute to read more about how this might affect you and the repair of your vehicle.
  5. Crash wrap is provided. This storm also broke windshields, sunroofs, and side mirrors. You can pick up some crash wrap at these on-site catastrophe centers.

The Hail Shop Hail Catastrophe Advise

  1. Mobile Catastrophe Claim Teams. Mobile Catastrophe Claim Teams are convenient for getting your vehicle estimate fast. With convenience does come a few draw backs. Number one, adjusters are not experienced hail damage inspectors. In a majority of Catastrophe parking lot estimates, damage is missed and NOT written into your initial estimate. This essentially means that the insurance company is agreeing to pay for the damage ‘seen.’ On average, 30-45% of hail damage is missed upon further inspection at a O’Fallen paintless dent repair or auto body shop.
  2. File a hail claim as soon as possible. Filing a hail claim ASAP is suggested. After a major catastrophic event that resulted in widespread & severe damage, there will be thousands of claims. Dent repair shops get backed up fast. Repair times become longer.
  3. Be prepared for a ‘total loss.’ Multiple factors contribute to a ‘total loss’ claim. The cost to repair windshield damage, multiple dents per panel, paint damage, dents on the body lines, and interior damage (broken sunroofs = water damage to the interior) can add up fast. If your vehicle is written as a ‘total loss,’ we suggest you do your research. Check CarFax to get an idea as to the fair-market-value. You do have the right to negotiate the settlement check amount.
  4. Repair checks issued on-site.  As mentioned in point 1, be prepared to get a check that doesn’t cover the cost to repair 100% of the hail damage. Ask the adjuster what your options are. Can I get a second opinion from an O’Fallon paintless dent repair shop? What happens if the repair shop finds more damage? What is the wait time for supplement approvals? If I take this check today, does that mean any additional damage won’t be paid for? Who is my contact, i.e., adjuster?
  5. Crash wrap is provided. This is a very good option and is highly recommended. What is not recommended is assuming that you have to use an O’Fallon auto body or PDR shop that is on your insurance “Preferred Partner” shop list, or DRP. Learn more.

Who is The Hail Shop?

We are a full-service paintless dent repair shop specializing in auto hail repair. We offer free inspections, free vehicle pick-up and delivery, and free loaner cars. With a complete auto hail repair, you won’t pay a deductible. To schedule your free inspection, you can call us at 314-252-8851 or use our online scheduling form.