636-928-0082 | 4532 South Saint Peters Parkway | Saint Peters, MO 63304
When to File a Hail Damage Claim & What You Need to Know
It’s important when claiming hail damage with your insurance company, that you do it in a timely manner after your car has been affected. A tip with assessing the damage is to examine the vehicle inside as opposed to outside in the sun. With dent damage, the sun can easily create some inaccuracies because of the reflection that sunlight can cause. So, to aid in a more accurate claim, try to view and assess the damage inside of a garage and away from the elements.
If you own your vehicle outright, it is entirely your prerogative to keep the settlement and not get the hail damage repaired. However, if you have a lien out on your car and are still paying a financial institution, you must file the claim and use the funds to repair the vehicle, as you are not the owner of the car yet. In the event that you do own your car, we’d encourage that you not indicate or tell your insurance adjuster that you plan to cash out the settlement as it can negatively affect the estimate.
When addressing and fixing the hail damage made to your car, there are two different approaches that can be taken:
Paintless Dent Removal (also known as, PDR)
- This involves the Auto Body Repair shop massaging the dent out from underneath the body panel.
- PDR usually will take anywhere from 2-3 days on average, but this is contingent upon the extremity of the hail damage.
Traditional Dent Removal
- This approach is a little more involved and means that the dents are straightened, filled and the panels are repainted.
- Since there is more work associated with traditional dent repair, this can take anywhere between 1 and 2 weeks to complete.
PDR is the preferred method of hail damage repair because it allows for the original factory finish to be preserved. Depending on the severity of the damage to your vehicle, complete replacement of the body panel could be a necessity.
Vehicle Drop-off Protocol
When dropping your car off for hail damage repair, you can drop it off that Monday morning of the scheduled repair. Our hours are 8:00am – 5:30pm, Monday through Friday.
If you would like to drop your car off the Sunday before your scheduled repair, we have a key drop-off box and envelopes on the door closest to the road; on the north side of the building. Every Sunday a mechanic comes to the shop at around 5:00pm. We don’t like to keep cars outside. So, if you can get your car here by 5:00pm, it will not sit out overnight.
At any point during this process, if you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to call us. Our number is 636-928-0082, you can ask for Bob or Rob.
*Please note, if it is imperative that you get your hail damage repaired before we receive required documentation from your insurance company, you will be asked to pay an upfront charge of $65.00 for the estimate and photos. This $65.00 charge will be applied toward repair when the hail damage repair is completed.*
Filing an Insurance Claim for Hail Damage
What is “Steering,” & What are Your Legal Rights?
Be sure that you indicate to your insurance company your preferred Auto Body Repair Shop, if you have one. It’s not unusual that your repair mechanic request to examine the damage before getting to work on it, to ensure that the insurance estimate was made accurately and that you’ve been quoted a fair settlement. If there are any discrepancies in what the adjuster quoted and what your mechanic has found, usually the mechanic will address them by dealing with your insurance company directly.
Review your repairs upon their completion and make sure that you ask for your written warranty. It’s imperative you understand that you, by law, are entitled to choose whichever Auto Body Repair Shop for your hail damage that you desire. There is a tactic that many insurance adjusters are known for leveraging called “steering.” Steering is a term used to sum up what insurance companies call a Direct Repair Program (DRP). A DRP is an agreement made between insurance companies and select Automotive Repair Shops to aid in obtaining more claims by lowering rates.
Insurance companies have been known to lead their clientele into thinking that they must use the auto body shop that they recommend in order for the settlement to be issued. By forcing this sort of referral business to auto body shops, it provides the mechanic with more business, allowing for them to afford lowering rates in an effort to obtain more business. This “steering” tactic is unethical and very illegal.
We wouldn’t recommend hiring a repair company that will lower rates for more business. Some insurance companies will not guarantee the repair if an auto body shop is chosen that deviates from the ones they recommend; this is simply not the case. Guarantees on the hail damage repairs come from the repair shop, not the insurance adjuster. If the auto body shop of your choice quotes higher than the one they recommended, an adjuster can claim that you owe the difference between the two estimates. By law, the insurance provider must pay reasonable and customary repair charges; don’t be swindled!