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Hail Damage and Your Car

Summer time is the season for storms and often times this means hail. While the average hail storm lasts about six minutes, the National Weather Service estimates that hail causes about $1 billion in damages each year. Many people know that hail can cause serious damage to house and business roofs and siding. However, not everyone considers their vehicles to be at risk for hail damage. Hailstones can shatter windshields, side view mirrors, headlights and leave noticeable damage to the body of the vehicle.

To protect your car from hail damage:

-Familiarize yourself with weather conditions that may generate hailstorms.
-If hail is in the forecast, pull your cars, boats, RV’s into a garage,
covered parking lot or other substantial covering.
-If you must leave your car parked outside and exposed to hailstones, consider
covering the vehicle with a car cover or at least parts of the vehicle with
thick blankets (parts of the car susceptible to noticeable hail damage –
hood, roof and trunk).
-Never attempt to protect your car with your body. Large hailstones may cause
severe physical damage.
-If you are driving in a hail storm seek refuge in a covered place like a
garage, under an overpass or someplace with an awning.
-If no shelter is available pull off the highway to the side of the road. Be
sure to keep your head and face away from the windows.
-After the storm is over assess the damage. Check your car for dents and/or
broken glass/headlights.

If your car sustains hail damage:

-If you have comprehensive coverage on your car insurance policy, hail damage
is a covered peril.
-If there is broken glass, mitigate your damages to prevent rain damage to the
-Contact your agent who will likely submit the claim on your behalf. If there
is broken glass be sure to let your agent know this. In addition, if you’ve
incurred cost to mitigate your damage let them know.
-There are two repair methods for hail damage (repair/paint and paintless dent
repair-PDR). Your insurance adjuster will assess your damage and determine
which repair method is best for your car.
-Once the repairs are completed, check the vehicle thoroughly to make sure all
of the hail dents are gone.
-Repair shops should guarantee their work. Be sure to get a guarantee. If
you leave the shop and notice a flaw in your vehicle’s repair, it should be
fixed at no additional cost to you.

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Content copyright © 2013 by Denise M. Castille. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Denise M. Castille. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Denise M. Castille for details.

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