Every year, more than 4,500 major hail events take place throughout the country. When they strike, they do damage to homes, businesses, and, of course, cars.
In total, hail damage costs the U.S. over $20 billion each year. And according to some experts, the damage could start to get even worse in the coming years since the number of major hail storms has been on the rise as of late.
Did your car recently sustain hail damage during a bad storm in your area? If so, you might be wondering what in the world you’re supposed to do next to fix the problem.
Often times, hail can do an extensive amount of damage to a bunch of different parts of a car. It can make it difficult to repair the car and restore it to like-new condition no matter how hard you try.
Check out the steps you should take after your car is damaged by hail below.
Assess the Damage Done to Your Car
In the immediate aftermath of a hail storm in your city, one of the very first things that you should do is run out to your car to see what kind of condition it’s in. Once you’re 100% sure that the storm is over, head outside to assess the damage done to it.
Ideally, you’ll take a quick walk around your car and see that you don’t have to worry about any hail damage. But with many hail storms producing hail the size of baseballs and even softballs these days, it’s unlikely your car is going to escape a storm unscathed.
As we mentioned earlier, the tough thing about hail storms is that they can do damage to just about every part of your car. From your windshield to your roof to your trunk, you should carefully inspect the entire exterior of your car to see how bad it was damaged during the hail storm.
Take Photos and Videos of the Damage From Every Angle
After you have some idea of how much hail damage was done to your car, the next order of business will be to document the damage. You should do this right away so that you have a record of what the hail storm was able to do to your car.
Pull out your smartphone and take photos of every single area of your car damaged during the storm. Take the photos from lots of different angles so that you can clearly see the damage on the surface of your car.
Use your smartphone to take videos of the damaged parts of your car, too. Walk around the outside of your car with your phone in your hand and capture videos from all angles to show the extent of the damage.
The more photos and videos that you’re able to take, the better shape you’ll be in later. If possible, you might even want to snap a few photos of some of the hail that came crashing down on your car while the storm was going on.
Reach Out to Your Auto Insurance Company and Tell Them About the Damage
Once you’ve filled your phone up with photos and videos of the hail damage done to your car, pick up the phone and call your auto insurance company to tell them about what happened. Let your insurer know that you’re interested in filing a claim so that you can have your car repaired.
Your auto insurance company will ask you a series of questions about the hail damage done to your car while you’re in the process of filing a claim. They’ll want to know things like:
- Where your car was parked when the hail storm took place
- What time of day it was when the hail storm came through your city
- How much damage your car sustained during the hail storm—and which specific parts of your car suffered the most damage during it
Additionally, your auto insurance company will usually ask you to take photos of your car so that they can see the damage for themselves. It’s why it’s so important for you to get out ahead of things by taking photos and videos before you even call them.
Ask them to tell you where you can send photos and videos that you took. It’ll allow you to get the repair process underway in no time.
Contact Auto Body Shops in Your Area and Ask for Quotes
After you’ve spoken with your auto insurance company about your car’s hail damage, they’ll investigate your claim and make sure everything checks out. As long as it does, there’s a good chance they’ll approve you to get the damage done to your car fixed.
At that point, it’ll be your job to call around to different auto body shops in your area to see how much they would charge to fix your damaged car. Your auto insurance company may also swoop in and recommend a few auto body shops that they would suggest for hail damage services.
Look for an auto body shop that is experienced when it comes to using the latest techniques to fix hail damage. Most auto body shops these days have before and after photos right on their websites that will show you what’s possible when you bring your car to them.
Ask at least a few auto body shops that look like they do good work for quotes and then mull them over. You may also want to ask auto body shops to provide you with an honest assessment of your car based on the damage done to it. They can give you a better idea as to whether or not your damaged car is salvageable.
Consider If Your Damaged Car Is Worth Fixing
Are you finding that almost all the quotes you’re receiving from auto body shops are on the really high end? Or have you had more than a few auto body specialists tell you that the hail damage done to your car might be too extensive to fix?
There is a chance that your damaged car might not be worth fixing. It all depends on how old it is, how much damage was done to it, how much it’ll cost to fix, and how much it’s worth at the moment.
Your auto insurance company might even step in and tell you that they’re not going to pay to have your car fixed because of its condition. It’s not that uncommon for auto insurance companies to consider cars damaged by hail to be totaled.
You’ll be at the mercy of your auto insurance company at that point. But even if they do agree to help you fix your car, you may not want to bother doing it if the damage done to it is too great.
Think About Selling Your Car
If you spend some time thinking about it and decide that you’re not going to pay to have your car’s damage fixed, you can continue to drive your car around if you want. But you might not love that idea if your car looks like it has seen better days.
Instead, you should kick around the idea of potentially selling your car to someone who doesn’t mind a little bit of hail damage. There are people who would be happy to take your car off your hands for the right price.
That being said, you’re likely going to find that many buyers are going to lowball you since they know that you’re going to struggle to sell a car damaged by hail. Prepare for this ahead of time and don’t get too offended if you fetch nothing but low offers for your car.
Just make sure you’re honest with potential buyers about what happened to your car. The last thing you want to do is find yourself in some sort of legal battle with a buyer who isn’t happy with the pretenses under which you sold them your damaged car.
Touch Base With Junk Car Buyers to See How Much They’ll Offer for Your Car
Are you having an especially hard time selling your car because of the hail damage done to it?
This shouldn’t come as a huge surprise to you. If you don’t want the car anymore due to the damage, why would someone else want it? It can be a frustrating situation overall.
But there is another option for those who want to sell a car that has been damaged by hail fast without putting in too much effort. You can contact one of the junk car buyers in your area and see if they would be interested in purchasing your car from you.
Junk car buyers aren’t too concerned with the way that a car looks on the outside. They’re a lot more interested in finding cars that have the right parts located on the inside. They’re also interested in how much they could get by scrapping the frame of a car.
Reach out to a few junk car buyers in your city and have them make you an offer for your car. They’ll provide you with an offer as soon as you provide them with a little more info on your car, including:
- The make and model of your car
- The year your car was manufactured
- The mileage on your car
- The status of the title on your car
- The condition of your car
You can get an offer from a junk car buyer within just a few minutes in most cases. You can then decide whether to accept the offer or to look for offers from other junk car buyers.
Prepare to Sell Your Damaged Car to a Junk Car Buyer
After fielding offers from several junk car buyers, it’ll finally be time for you to sell your damaged car once and for all. Let the junk car buyer that made you the best offer know that you’re going to accept it.
Pick a day and time for your junk car buyer to come out to your home to pick up your car. Then, prepare your car so that it’s all ready to go once they arrive. You can do this by:
- Removing any personal possessions that you have in your car
- Taking the license plates off your car and discarding them properly
- Putting your car in a place where it’ll be easy for your junk car buyer to tow it away
Once those things are done, the only thing left to do will be to wait for your junk car buyer to show up. Have your title in hand so that you can sign it and collect cash from them for your car.
Do Your Best to Avoid Exposing Your Next Car to Hail
With your damaged car out of your driveway, you can go about buying a new car to drive around. When you do, make sure it doesn’t suffer the same fate as the car you just sold.
Whenever possible, park your car in a garage or in another place where it’ll be covered. Keep an eye and ear out for hail storms as well and do what you can to keep your car protected at all times.
By taking these steps, you can stop hail from wreaking havoc on your life a second time.
Did Your Car Sustain Hail Damage? Let Us Buy It From You
If your car was damaged by hail during a recent storm, you might not want to deal with the headaches that can come along with trying to fix it. If this is the case, get in touch with us and we’ll make you an offer for it.
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