A lot of storms have been looming over Dallas-Fort Worth recently, and some of them have brought hail. Although hail season is wrapping up in the next couple of weeks, it’s not uncommon to see hail in June and July in our area. If you haven’t been able to avoid hail damage this spring or if your vehicle receives some in the next couple of months, here are a few things you should know about types of hail damage on cars. Hopefully, this will help to make navigating the hail dent repair process a little easier.
Hail damage and insurance
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. However, in Dallas-Fort Worth, where hail storms are common, we generally pay higher premiums. Cars with hail damage are at risk of being given the “total loss” designation, which means that the estimated cost of repairs outweighs the car’s value. If that happens, getting a good insurance payout is going to require some effort on your part. You can dispute the “total loss” designation with your insurance company if you think it’s unfair. In Texas, the “total loss threshold” is 100 percent, which means that the cost for repairs must be equal to or higher than the actual cash value (ACV) of the car for it to be considered a “total loss.” If you agree that the vehicle is totaled, your insurance company will pay you what they estimate the car is worth — with some effort, you can negotiate this amount — and then repossess the vehicle. If you want to keep a car that has been deemed totaled, the insurance company will subtract the car’s salvage value from the payout. In some states, vehicles that are considered a total loss can be given a salvage title. After some auto hail repair, the car can be redesignated as “rebuilt.” However, since 2017, Texas law no longer allows insurance companies or car owners to apply for a salvage title for vehicles damaged exclusively by hail, according to the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles.
Categories for hail damage
Most hail-damaged vehicles are still drivable. If your car is deemed repairable by your insurance company, here are the main categories that the damage will be divided into:
- Cosmetic damage with intact paint — this means there are minor dents in the exterior material of your vehicle. The paint hasn’t been scratched, so the focus during the repair process will be solely on restoring the metal to its original shape and condition.
- Cosmetic damage with scratched paint — this means there are minor dents to the vehicle’s exterior, and the paint has been damaged, so the car will need to be repainted by the automotive technicians who repair it.
- Severe damage with intact paint — this means the hail damaged the vehicle’s mechanical system. However, the good news is the paint wasn’t scratched, so that repainting won’t be necessary.
Severe damage and scratched paint — the vehicle’s mechanical system was damaged, and the factory paint was damaged, so your vehicle will need the full workup. Mechanical repairs are required, and chances are exterior panels will need to be replaced on your car.
Why do scratches matter?
Scratches matter because the paint condition determines what kind of car hail damage repair is needed to return your car to its original condition. If the factory paint on a vehicle has been damaged, especially if the damage is severe or includes gashes, it will most likely need traditional dent repair. This is a lengthy and involved process that requires sanding off the original factory paint, hammering the damaged material back to its original form, filling in any gashes with putty, the second round of sanding, and then finally repainting, which requires a primer, a base coat, and a final coat of paint.
If a vehicle is dinged and dented by hail but doesn’t have scratches, then paintless dent repair (PDR) is the best option for returning the dented material to its original shape while still maintaining the condition factory paint. Paintless dent repair is what Bodyguard specializes in, and with PDR, there is no sanding and painting involved. Instead, a technician examines the damage and determines the best way to access it. That might be through a window, through removing an inner panel, or a similar tactic. Then the technician determines the right tool for the job. Bodyguard technicians have various tools at their disposal and the training and experience to know which are the best tools to use depending on the type of damage involved. Finally, the technician starts at the outside edge of the damaged area and carefully massages the material back into the correct position. As the technician works, the damaged area will get smaller and smaller and then eventually disappear altogether.
Other damage that does qualify for paintless dent repair
As we’ve mentioned, not every car is eligible for paintless dent repairs, such as if the car has scratches or gashes. In that case, the material will have to be mended and repainted. It’s also impossible to use PDR for dents near the edge of a panel or on material that’s had previous work done.
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 everybody shop is equipped to handle this job efficiently and effectively. Bodyguard specializes in paintless dent repair, so if you’re looking for the best hail damage repair company in DFW to handle your vehicle hail damage, reach out to our team of professionals at Bodyguard. Beyond hail dent removal and fixing car hail damage, 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 auto hail damage 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.