Hail season is here in Dallas-Fort Worth. In the best-case scenario, your vehicle won’t sustain any hail damage over the next couple of months, but if it does it’s always good to know what the next steps are. Unfortunately in Texas where hail storms are common occurrences during the spring and early summer, people are often losing money in the process of dealing with car hail damage repair. Below are some costly mistakes people make when dealing with auto hail damage and tips for how you can be smart and avoid them.
Mistake: Letting the insurance company drive your decision making.
Why is this a mistake? The first call you make after your car receives hail damage is to your insurance company. That part is not a mistake; it’s just part of the process. The mistake is in letting your insurance company call all the shots. Even if you like your insurance provider and have been working with your agent for years, it’s still good to remember that they’re not always going to have your best interest in mind. After a big hail storm, most insurance companies are going to be flooded with claims. They have to send out an appraiser, but sometimes that can take weeks or even months. Once the appraiser does arrive, you’ll likely be given an initial estimate that’s below the actual damages, sometimes by as much as half. A lot of people will accept a settlement check and, instead of getting the repairs done on their vehicle, will put that money towards what they owe on the car. That’s what the insurance company is hoping you’ll do.
What to do instead: Know your options. Hail damage significantly decreases the value of your car, as you will find out later when you go to trade it in. It’s much better to work with your insurance company to get your car fixed than to leave the damage. Also, be wary of the “preferred vendor” list from your insurance company. By law, you can choose any shop you want to handle your repairs, so do your homework and choose an auto repair shop that will work hard for you.
Mistake: Thinking it’s not enough damage to fix
Why is this a mistake? After a hail storm, you might look at the damage on your vehicle and decide it doesn’t look very serious and doesn’t warrant the hassle of making a claim and getting it fixed. However, what might look like a few hundred dollars worth of damage to you could actually be several thousand dollars worth of damage. When you go to trade your car in, you’ll find out that what you thought was merely light cosmetic damage has significantly decreased the value of your car.
What to do instead: Cars with hail damage — yes, even the kind you can barely see — have decreased value by as much as $5,000-$8,000. So go through the hassle to get it fixed because it’s worth it. You will have to pay a deductible to get your car repaired, but ignoring the damage now could cost you big in the long run.
Mistake: Waiting too long to fix car hail damage
Why is this a mistake? Let’s say your car received hail damage at the beginning of hail season, so you think maybe you’ll wait until hail season is over before you get it fixed. That makes sense, right? It does, but unfortunately that logical solution could easily turn into a costly mistake. First, it’s important to note that filing a single claim for damage sustained in two different events is technically insurance fraud. But beyond that, a second hail storm is more likely to total your car. There’s only so much damage a car can take before it’s considered “unrepairable.” If your car is deemed totalled, you will most likely lose money. Also, heaven forbid you get in an accident during the wait. At that point the hail damage will be considered pre-existing damage and won’t be covered. Yikes!
What to do instead: If you intend to get car hail damage repair work done on your vehicle, do it as quickly as possible. Every day of waiting for repairs is a day that you’re driving a car with pre-existing damage and vulnerable to potential monetary loss.
Mistake: Not filing a claim with your insurance company
Why is this a mistake? You might think that filing a claim with your insurance company will raise your premium; however, that is not the case. Hail damage is considered a “no fault” claim and is covered by your comprehensive coverage, so filing a claim with your insurance provider for hail damage won’t raise your premium — at least, not in the way you might think. In Dallas-Fort Worth where hail storms are common, we already pay higher premiums.
What to do instead: Yep, you already know what to do! Since you’re already paying for insurance coverage for hail damage repair, you might as well file that claim and get your car fixed asap.
Mistake: Not doing your homework when choosing a repair shop
Why is this a mistake? When it’s possible to get paintless dent repair (PDR) instead of traditional dent repair, that’s going to be the best option for you. PDR is much cheaper, much faster, and it retains the value of the car much better than traditional dent repair. However, not all PDR companies are the same.
What to do instead: You should schedule several estimates from local body shops and make sure you’re looking at how the business handles auto hail repair. Be very wary of pop-up shops. During hail season in Dallas-Fort Worth, people flood the market with temporary hail repair shops that promise great deals but then close up as soon as the season ends. That means they’re not held accountable in the long-term to their customers. Choose a reputable dent repair company like Bodyguard that is going to be here long after hail season ends. Make sure you’re asking good questions when sussing out the best repair shop. By the time you have to make a decision, you should have a solid understanding of what your out-of-pocket expenses will be, how long the expected repair will take, how each business operates, and what guarantees they offer.
BodyGuard is the best choice in DFW for paintless dent repair
Fixing hail damage without further damaging the material is a task that requires professional training, expert skill, and exacting precision. Not every bodyshop is equipped to handle the job efficiently and effectively. Bodyguard specializes in paintless dent repair, so if you’re looking for the best hail damage repair company to handle your automotive hail damage, reach out to our team of professionals at Bodyguard. Beyond simply hail dent removal and fixing hail damage on cars, our auto hail specialists will give you the flawless customer service experience you deserve. We’re known and trusted in DFW for our top-quality care. Call us today to let a true automotive hail damage specialist handle your vehicle’s hail dent repair needs. Go to our website at bodyguardpdr.com for more information, or call us today at 469-628-4910 to set up an appointment.