There are some common sense ways to avoid hail damage to your car or truck, especially if you live in an area that is frequently hit with hail. The key is being proactive and prepared when a hailstorm does happen. Following these simple tips can save you $1000’s in auto hail repair costs or keep your vehicle from being totaled by the insurance company.
Stop driving. Pull over ASAP.
Important: If it has already started hailing, stay inside your vehicle. A car can be repaired and it is simply not worth the potential of bodily harm. Hailstones can be the size of baseballs and pass through metal. You won’t stand a chance.
State Farm recommends looking for a covered gas station, parking garage or even a highway overpass. A large building can help shield the hail if you park on the opposite side from the direction that the hail is coming from. Remain there until the hail passes. Stay away from the windows and cover your face with something. Large hailstones can shatter glass, even the windshield. If possible, lay face down.
For small children, put them under you and cover their face.
Know before the hail comes with a weather app.
Today, just about everyone has a smartphone. Make sure you have a weather app that will send alerts for severe weather. Usually, a local news channel will have an app for severe thunderstorms and will also alert you if there is any chance of hail. This should give you plenty of warning to move your vehicle in the garage or somewhere safe.
Cover up. Use blankets to avoid hail damage.
Hail damage can be reduced by covering your car with blankets or moving boxes. Use duct tape to secure them and make sure not to let the tape touch the paint. The tape should be attached under the car or wheel wells. Moving blankets can be found for cheap at Harbor Freight. Just keep them in the package and store them in your trunk with a roll of tape. If shelter is unavailable where you live, such as an apartment complex, car hail covers are available on Amazon but have mixed reviews. These forms of protection probably will not stop the big stuff but they may just enough to avoid any hail damage.
In a pinch, use your floor mats.
Ok, it’s not the best option but in a pinch, it could protect parts of your vehicle. Place the floor mats over the windshield to keep any hail from breaking through or shattering the glass. That way, you will still be able to drive home after the hailstorm has passed. Yes, floor mats are not cheap but if the hail is big enough to go through the windshield, they will be the least of your concern.
Plan your escape route ahead of time to avoid hail damage.
If you live in an apartment complex or work at a place without covered parking, know where you can go to avoid hail damage. As we mentioned earlier, get to a covered gas station, bank ATM or just about anywhere that is covered. It really doesn’t matter where it is as long as you get your vehicle out of the path of the hailstorm. If you are lucky, you can avoid all hail damage. Do not attempt to get to your vehicle if it has started hailing. Hailstorms are very unpredictable and can unleash large hailstones, traveling at great speeds, at any time. Outside is definitely not the place you want to be. Staying safe is the #1 goal, here.
Have full-coverage or comprehensive auto insurance
Especially, in hail prone areas of the country or “The Hail Belt” (See map) it would benefit you to make sure you are covered for auto hail damage. Almost all full-coverage or comprehensive auto insurance covers it. It is usually only a few dollars more a month but will give you peace of mind. Auto hail repair can be very expensive without it. Liability-only coverage does not cover hail damage and it can easily total a vehicle.
You tried to avoid it but still got hit with hail
You did everything you could to avoid hail damage but it was futile. Not all is lost if you have the proper coverage. Follow these steps to get it repaired quickly. You’ll want to start right away to get ahead of the line.
1. Call your insurance company to file a claim.
2. Once you have obtained your claim number, call The Dent Company or any quality auto hail repair facility and schedule an appointment. If you have read our blogs, you already know that you don’t have to take your vehicle to the shop recommended by your insurance company and we even advise against it. You want to look for a place that specializes in Paintless Dent Repair.
3. Drop off your vehicle for repair. Depending on the scale of the storm and the extent of the damage, this could take a few days to a week.
4. When finished, inspect your vehicle for the quality of repair (It should look perfect) and get your warranty.
Do not wait for the next hailstorm to hit before getting yours repaired. A vehicle can be totaled by two storms when it could have withstood one at a time. The insurance company may even make you pay two deductibles.
If you are lucky enough to live in an area that The Dent Company services, you may not have any out-of-pocket expense. We cover the deductibles on all qualifying auto hail repair work we perform up to $500 per vehicle. We have a written lifetime warranty and a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Free rental cars and on-site loaner cars are available while your vehicle is in our care.
The Dent Company
The Auto Hail Repair Experts
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