Frequently Asked Questions About Hail Damage

Warm weather tornadoes, floods and hail storms are working their way across the country, leaving wrecked, soaked, dinged up and damaged cars in their wake.

The experts at Car Craft Chesterfield are ready to help.  During spring storms, they see countless vehicles damaged by falling trees, debris, wind, water, and hail. They give this advice to help motorists handle spring storms – before and after.

Will You Be Covered?

If you are waiting until the sky is falling to take a look at your insurance policy, you’ve made a big mistake. When you take a look at your policy, you are going to want to figure out what’s covered, how much the deductibles will be, if you’ve got rental coverage, and what you need to do whenever the storm hits.

Complete coverage protects against most damage from natural disasters.  Two additional options to consider are gap coverage – which pays the difference between what you owe on your loan and what your automobile is worth -- and rental compensation.

One warning – if you submitted a previous damage claim and got a check from your insurer, but didn’t have your vehicle repaired – the insurance company will subtract this amount from your estimate for the storm damage, and charge an extra deductible, too.

Are You Protected?

When you know that a storm is on the way, get your vehicle to higher ground or under cover.  For hail storms, cover your automobile in an old blanket and a car cover from your local automotive retailer – prior to when the storm hits.  This will give you some protection for your hood, roof, and rear decklid. If a violent storm shows up quickly, try to find an awning at a gas station, the drive-through at the bank or self-serve car wash to get under for immediate protection. On the highway, look for cover beneath a bridge or viaduct.

auto body chesterfield car craft missouri st louis collision repair centerIf you fall victim to a hail storm, take a look at these commonly asked questions about handling hail damage:

1.   Exactly how much Time do I have to allow for a Hail Estimate?

A normal hail estimation takes 30-45 minutes. During this time, the estimator follows a systematic structure of identifying severity and number of dents on all panels. Additionally, the estimator interacts with you to answer all issues you have about the repair and obtains all accurate vehicle information.

2.    How do I schedule my car for repair?

At the time of your quote, you'll be asked when you'd like to schedule your car for repairs. During an average hail storm, countless automobiles sustain damages, thus, it may be a couple weeks before your scheduled appointment. Car Craft Chesterfield of Chesterfield, MO will work with you to determine the appropriate repair time following your estimation.

3.   What happens throughout the estimate process?

In the estimate process, your estimator will greet you and then will drive the automobile into the estimating bay. Then, they evaluate your vehicle, taking record of the extent of the hail damage as well as the extent and number of dents. The estimate is then finalized and evaluated with you, and you'll be furnished with a printed copy of the estimation.

4.   So what does pre-loss condition mean?

During the hail estimate procedure, any non-hail damage will be noted. The condition of the vehicle, including this damage, is regarded as the pre-loss condition of the automobile. Any damage that's not hail-related will not be covered on the repair.

During the estimate, pictures will be taken of your vehicle and all of these conditions will be recognized in the estimate.

5.   Exactly what is a supplement?

Supplements are additional operations or parts needed to finish the restoration of the car that go above the initial estimate. In some circumstances, the original estimate is inadequate to perform the repairs. When an automobile is delivered for repairs, a second inspection is carried out to discover if all of the damage was documented for repair. If all the damage was found and written on the original quote, no supplement is necessary. However, if some damage was neglected on the original estimate a “supplement” is necessary to document the required operations or parts required to properly fix the car.

If a supplement is necessary, it may extend the period of time needed to repair your car. The supplement will be explained to you and an altered pick up time will be provided.

6.   Why is a clean car important?

A clean vehicle allows the estimator to observe clearly the damage. Dust and dirt can frequently mask damage, leading to erroneous estimates and delays in the repair process.

7.   What is Paintless Dent Repair (PDR)?

Paintless Dent Repair is a specialized and meticulous procedure for returning dents to their original shape without the need to paint any portion of the motor vehicle

The main procedure for PDR necessitates the technician to push and massage every single dent in a highly technical and specific fashion. For this, every single dent is worked back to its original shape using different metal rods fluctuating in shape and size. The dents are worked from the underside of the metal utilizing access points for each panel. It is a really specialized and precise procedure that requires the finished metal to appear as if it came from the original factory.

8. What is standard auto body repair?

Traditional auto body repair usually means getting all new paneling on the car and that means getting it painted to match the factory finish. Actually, in some instances the damage from the hailstorm can be so bad that conventional auto body tactics are required to fix certain panels. Some panels can’t be repaired with paintless dent repair because there are large dents or a large number of dents.

9. What’s R and I?

R and I is an phrase that stands for Remove and Install. When a car starts the repair procedure, an R and I technician loosens, and sometimes removes, the interior panels and parts to permit access to the lower side of the metal panel. When the PDR repairs get finished, this technician replaces the parts and re-installs the interior panels (such as the headliner and hood liner). Car Craft Chesterfield has a quality-control procedure to ensure that all parts are replaced properly so that your motor vehicle is returned to you in the same condition that we got it, without the dents, of course.

While your automobile is in the shop, it is the perfect time to have other dents and dings fixed.  It will be more cost-effective and your automobile will ultimately benefit.

For additional great tips on dealing with an automobile accident or getting your vehicle repaired following a crash, visit Car Craft Chesterfield, who serve the people of West County, Wildwood, Ellisville, Ballwin, and Chesterfield, MO.