Hail damage

catherinetMay 1, 2006


A few weeks ago, we had a hail storm. I didn't think my van had gotten any damage, but later, when standing in a different light, I could see about a dozen little dents. Should I submit this to my insurance, or should I let it go? I've heard that many times, if the car sits in the hot sun for awhile, the dents can pop back out. I'm not sure I want to mess with the insurance. Someone mentioned that even if I don't get it fixed, I should file for insurance, since the resale value will be affected. But I'd hate for my rates to go up in the future. What do you think?

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"Someone mentioned that even if I don't get it fixed, I should file for insurance, since the resale value will be affected. But I'd hate for my rates to go up in the future."

What are you going to file for? I've never heard of "resale insurance"

If the insurance company pays you out more than you pay in (and usually if they pay out anything on your policy) that makes you a higher risk and your premiums will likely go up.

Too bad, it was a natural disaster and you did suffer a loss. You can claim and have it fixed or just pocket the coverage or you can live with the damaged vehicle. Get an estimate of the damage and look at the net claim amount (less your deductible) then make a decision of whether it's worth it to file or not. Depends on the age of the car and the level of damage.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2006 at 10:48AM
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Thanks sdello,
I guess when I was refering to "resale insurance", I meant that I wouldn't get it fixed, but keep the money....to offset the resale value being lower in the future. The car is a 2001 Honda minivan, and I will probably keep it until it dies. It's presently at about 110,000 miles. I've taken good care of it (doing all scheduled maintenances). I just don't want to go through all the trouble of estimates, etc., if I don't find the dings offensive, and the paint wasn't disturbed. But I'm not very savvy with car things, so I'm unsure as to how much trouble to go through.
One of my relatives mentioned that he had dings fixed in the past, and then when the roof heated up in the summer, and the dings tried to right themselves, it really messed up the roof.
I'm getting more into simple living, and not trying to keep everything cosmetically perfect, and not trying to always get the most out of my insurance company (inappropriately).......so I'm sort of confused as to how to handle this. Thanks for your input.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2006 at 11:37AM
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Our 98 Honda Civic has hail damage that it received while we were in central Iowa a few years ago. The car runs fine, and there is no rusting of the body where it was dented by hail. We plan on keeping the car for 5 years or so, and by that point the car won't be worth very much, with or without hail damage. In your situation, I would simply drive the car until it stops, and ignore the hail damage.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2006 at 11:26AM
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Thanks eric,
That's what I'm going to do. It just doesn't seem to make sense to do anything about them, when the paint wasn't damaged, and I do tend to drive it 'til it just won't drive any more! Thanks.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2006 at 9:16PM
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I had hail damage and had it fixed because my car wasn't yet a year old. My insurance did not go up and the car repair was done beautifully. I have never heard of dings popping out by themselves in the hot sun.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2006 at 9:37PM
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Hail damage to the paint may not show right away. I had a new '69 Dodge that recieved some minor hail damage, mostly to the roof. It was inconsequential and barely noticeable during the summer when it happened. But the next winter during the cold with large temperature excursions, the top layers of the paint began to flake off in some of the impact dimples.

That was back in 1969. The paint on today's cars is different and may behave differently. But beware that the damage may show itself six months later.

ps: Last month, I too collected a number of sizeable hail dents on my '92 Jeep Cherokee. My insurance agent and their favorite body shop are backlogged from that hail storm. Both my Jeep and my wife's car got damaged. We have an appointment to see the agent soon to plan what will be done. In the case of the Jeep, likely nothing will be done. It's got 185,000 miles on it, has gone through 14 Wisconsin winters and rust is appearing elsewheres. The repair probably costs more than the vehicle is worth. These hail dents will be considered "battle scars".

The wife car is a newer Saturn and most of the damage is confined to the metal roof and hood. The other body panels are of fiberglass plastic and do not show any damage. This one may get fixed.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2006 at 12:26AM
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I'll take a swing at this one. I repair hail damaged vehicles for a living. The method I use to remove the damage is called Paintless Dent Repair or PDR. I'll mention my qualifications just to give you an idea of my expertise. I started in the trade in 1991 and have repaired vehicles all over the US and Europe, including work at the Mercedes Benz factory in Stuttgart, the Toyota distribution facility in Athens, and numerous other new and used car dealerships.

PDR is a method of removing hail damage and minor dent using steel tools to reshape the dent from the back side of the panel. It is the performed method by every insurance company in the world to repair hail damaged vehicles.

Now to your situation. Hail dents DO NOT pop out by the sun. It is mostly an illusion from just looking at the dents for a period of time. If the heat does stretch the metal and the dents appear to "shrink" they will just "reappear" when the metal gets cold again.

Hail damage is considered an 'Act of God" and therefore Ins Company's cannot raise you rates because you make a claim. There was nothing you could have done to prevent the damage. So..... call your company and see how they want you to proceed. I'm working here in Indianapolis at the moment and all the major carriers have catastrophe teams in town set up to estimate the auto hail damage. If the storm produces enough claims this is how they handle it. Your area may be different. BTW they issue you a check for the damage right on the spot minus your deductable.

I hope this helps. I always recommend making an Ins. claim. That's what you pay for isn't it?

If you have any other questions please ask.


    Bookmark   May 15, 2006 at 7:25AM
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To All you Vehicle Owners with Hail Damage

My insurance agent advises that if you got significant hail damage on your car in the driveway, then you should have the roof of your home inspected as well. Hail damage to roofing shingles may not be obvious from the ground, and requires a close look by an experienced inspector.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2006 at 10:15PM
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Thanks everyone,
My son had my car at the time (at his girlfriends), and it didnt hail at all here, so thankfully our roof wasn't affected. Thanks again for all your info!

    Bookmark   May 17, 2006 at 10:35PM
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Why not turn it into your insurance.Your rates will go up anyway.Your paying for the other guy with a bad record.So you might as well collect your share when you can.Also if hail gets your roof when the shingles are getting some years on them.Thats a good thing it helps pay for a upcoming new roof that you would have to pay your self.I was lucky that way.My roof was getting old and a hail storm came thru.The adjuster came out and looked at my roof with bionoculars and wrote me a check.That went a long way toward a new roof.I would like to see a hail storm again in about 20 years.

As for my vehicals I have pulled into car washes during storms to avoid hail dings.Best to drive the beater on stormy days.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2006 at 1:11AM
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Thanks John,
We don't have a garage, but I've even thought of covering the cars with tarps when a hail storm is coming.
My son had our car about 26 miles away during the storm, and he was in a basement, since a tornado was also going by. All in all, we're pretty thankful that the only problem was a few hail dings.
I will turn it into insurance though. I guess they are so backed up, they don't mind my waiting awhile.
lol! Yes, I'd like a hail storm in about 20 years too........about when our roof will be wearing out (and we'll hopefully have a garage by then too!).

    Bookmark   May 21, 2006 at 10:54AM
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we had a major hail storm, i filed a claim on my house and truck so the adjuster said i only have to pay one deductible. so if i file a claim on my other cars will i have to pay a deductible on them of does that go for all my claims (that i only have to pay one deductible)?

    Bookmark   April 15, 2011 at 10:52PM
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I have a question to those who know how insurance works on hail damage claims. I purchased a truck with minor hail damage on the hood. On 4/10/2011 we had a hail storm both the van and the truck were hit at that time. The Vans damage was 2,004 dollars minus my 500 dollar deductible. But now the Isurance company doesn't want to pay for any damages to the truck even though i have paid my premiums for 6 Months. They found a claim from before i Ever owned it of $3700 dollars. on a car fax report or something. I admitted that there was some hail damage on the hood but now there is more. They arent very cooperative . any suggestions greatly appreciated. State of Minnesota laws would help. I think with my truck and van being parked in the same drive way the new damage should be fairly similar on both.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2011 at 8:07PM
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I have 2years financing remaining on a car which was appraised at$8700 worth of damage. The car is still safe and operable with only 45k miles on it. If the insurance companydecides total it can I still keep the car and finish the payments and keep the claim check

    Bookmark   July 3, 2011 at 9:27PM
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