Has your vehicle recently suffered from hail damage during a storm? Depending on the age and value of your car you will need to decide if the repairs need to be done right away or if you can fix it yourself. Since hail repair insurance claims take a while to process, you might end up caught in another hail storm before the work can be done.
Keep reading to know when it’s time to schedule your auto hail damage repair or if you can fix it yourself.
When to Fix It Yourself
Unfortunately, severe weather can happen at any moment. If you aren’t able to park your vehicle undercover or in a garage you might end up suffering from hail damage. However, this doesn’t always mean that the damage will be severe and sometimes you can take steps to fix it yourself with a few clever steps.
Dry Ice Method
If you have access to dry ice you can place it directly onto the damaged area, moving it around in small circles. The sudden change in temperature can sometimes be just enough to get the dent to pop out.
If the dents are small enough, and not on a creased area of the body, this trick should work. Be sure to wear gloves when handling the dry ice so you don’t do any harm to your skin.
Using a hairdryer, hold it about two to four inches above each dent and move it in small circles. This method works best on dents that are small and shallow.
If while you are trying this method and begin to notice any discoloration in your paint, stop immediately. The clear coat might have begun to melt so be sure to apply some wax to the area to help clear it back up.
Park in the Sun
When metal heats up it expands so if you are able, park somewhere that is sunny and hot. This is the easiest DIY auto hail damage repair that you can do if you have small, shallow dents caused by hail.
This method will take a while so it is best to park your car in a spot that will receive direct sunlight throughout the day.
When to Schedule a Repair Appointment
If your vehicle has received extensive damage from hail then it is likely you won’t be able to reverse the damages on your own.
Most storm systems produce smaller hail about the size of a walnut or smaller. If the severe weather brought with it golf ball size hail or larger then it is likely you won’t be able to fix it yourself and will need to schedule an auto hail repair appointment.
When There are Claim Time Limits
If your vehicle has hail damage you need to review your car insurance for how long you have to file a claim. Most companies allow you to file up to six months or a year. If you wait too long to file your claim, you will then have to cover the expense of the repair yourself.
If you wait to file too long you are also at risk of enduring a second hailstorm and it will be difficult to determine which damage came first. Although you might think you can have it all covered under one claim your insurance adjuster will be able to tell a difference and might not allow it all to be covered.
Also, if you wait to have it repaired and another hailstorm hits the damage to your car might be worse, especially if there are weak places already in the metal. This will mean the repair job will be more extensive and can likely become a very expensive situation.
Lower Vehicle Value
If you waited to file an insurance claim to have the hail damage repaired on your vehicle and now suddenly need to trade it in, you will not receive the best value on your car. The damage will greatly depreciate the value which means you now need to decide if you are going to cover an expensive repair or accept the lower price for your car.
If you still owe money on the loan of your car, not getting its full value when trading it in can be very frustrating. It can also be an expensive situation for you long-term if you are upside down on your new auto loan resulting in higher monthly payments.
Receive First Priority
If your area has recently been impacted by a hailstorm then you won’t be the only one who has suffered from damages. If you call and file an insurance claim immediately you will be one of the first people to receive an appointment through the auto body shop.
Once you have received your estimate for the repair coverage you can immediately visit various auto body shops to see how much they will charge for the work. Once you have found the right fit you can quickly schedule your appointment and get the damage taken care of.
If you have already filed a claim through your insurance but haven’t gotten any estimates from the auto body shops or scheduled an appointment you are basically racing the clock. Some insurance companies have a clause that will leave you responsible for the unrepaired hail damage if another storm comes through and causes more damage.
Once you have filed a claim and have the repair money in hand, do not wait to schedule an appointment. Find the nearest shop that will take you for the amount you are covered and get those repairs taken care of before they cost you money.
Learn More About Auto Hail Damage Repair Today
If you have been in a hailstorm and your vehicle has received some damage you might be able to take some steps to repair it yourself or you may need to schedule an auto hail damage repair appointment. If the dents are small and shallow you should be able to repair them yourself by manipulating the metal with extreme temperature differences.
If the damage is more severe you should call your car insurance company immediately and schedule an appointment at an auto body repair shop as soon as possible.
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