636-928-0082 | 4532 South Saint Peters Parkway | Saint Peters, MO 63304
Steps to File an Insurance Claim for Hail Damage Repair
A hail storm can wreak havoc on unprotected vehicles at any time of year. When your car has been spotted with dents due to hail, you may be entitled to insurance compensation for damages.
If you have a comprehensive auto insurance plan, you most likely have coverage for incidences like vandalism, theft, and natural disasters. In many cases, all you have to do is pay your deductible for repairs and your insurance company will cover the rest.
Filing an insurance claim for hail damage is easy! Here’s how…
Step 1: Document the damage
The first step to filing a hail damage insurance claim is to record the time and date of the storm as soon as possible after it hits. The longer you delay, the more likely it is that the insurance company might take issue with the timing and try to claim that the dents are from different circumstances. Once it is safe to go outside, check all the areas of your car for dents. Take pictures and, if possible, put a timestamp on those pictures. Having both written AND photographic proof will only help your claim. The insurance company will want as many details as possible in order to approve the claim in a timely and efficient manner.
Step 2: Contact your insurance as soon as possible after the hail storm
Once again, it’s important that you take the information you have gathered to your insurance company in a timely manner after your car has been affected. Call the company that you do business with and let them know that your vehicle has been damaged in a recent storm. Be prepared to answer several questions. The more detailed your responses are, the better it is for your claim.
Step 3: Schedule an inspection with an adjuster
The insurance company may want to schedule an appointment with one of their own adjusters. A tip when choosing the place to assess the damage is to have the vehicle examined inside of a garage as opposed to outside in the sun. With dent damage, the sun can easily create some inaccuracies because of the reflection. Try to pick a place inside a garage and away from the elements to aid in a more accurate claim.
Or you can request the claim adjuster inspect your vehicle at our facility! Harvestowne Auto Body is equipped with specialized lighting to look for hail damage. This will ensure a more accurate inspection and eliminate cause for re-inspections and repair delays.
Step 4: Beware of “steering”
Once you have been approved for an insurance claim on hail damage, you are now free to have your vehicle repaired. It’s imperative to understand that, by law, you are entitled to choose whichever auto body repair shop that you want. 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. Some will not guarantee the quality of the repair if the auto body shop that was chosen is not one they recommend. This is simply not the case. Guarantees on the quality of hail damage repairs come from the repair shop, not the insurance adjuster. This “steering” tactic is unethical, and you deserve to know your rights.
Finally, if the auto body shop of your choice quotes higher than the one the insurance company recommended, an adjuster may sometimes claim that you owe the difference between the two estimates. By law, the insurance provider must pay reasonable and customary repair charges. Do not be swindled! Know your rights and choose a repair shop that you are comfortable with.
Step 5: Select a dent repair shop
When selecting a dent repair shop, you’ll want to shop around: ask your friends and family for referrals, check with the BBB, look at the reviews, check out their rates, and so on. Once you have done your homework, choose an auto body shop that will also treat your car right.
Indicate to your insurance company your preferred auto body repair shop. It’s not unusual for your repair mechanic to request an examination of the damage before getting to work on it in order 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.
Step 6: Get the vehicle repaired!
After everything checks out and you’re all ready to bring in your car for repairs, don’t wait! If you ignore the dents, you run the risk of further damage and rusting. Take it in as soon as possible.
Once completed, review your car repairs and make sure that you don’t leave without a written warranty!
Contact Us for Hail Damage Repair in St. Peters and St. Charles
If your car has been damaged by hail, take it to one of our repair shops. At Harvestowne Auto Body, we have extensive experience in dealing with insurance companies. More importantly, we are adept at getting cars back to their original performance and beauty. Our technicians specialize in providing paintless dent repair which removes hail damage from the inside out.
Contact us today to learn more about hail damage repair!