Tips on how to handle Hail Damage
Hail storms often work their way across the country, leaving totaled, dented and damaged vehicles in their wake.
Is your vehicle prepared to face the weather?
Have you reviewed your insurance to ensure you can recover from any damage?
And if it happens - how can you get your vehicle restored without putting a dent in your wallet?
During storms, CARSTAR shops see thousands of vehicles damaged by hail storms. CARSTAR’s experts offer the following advice to help automobile owners deal with unusual winter storms – before and after. Action CARSTAR of Euclid (21200 St. Clair Avenue) is here is to help alleviate the stress following these occurrences. Here are things you should remember.....
Check Your Coverage
The time to review your car insurance is not when the weatherman is delivering bad news that storms are on the way. Read your policy now to understand what is covered, what the deductibles are, if you have rental coverage and what to do when the storm hits. Comprehensive coverage protects against most damage from weather and natural disasters. Two other options to consider are gap coverage – which pays the difference between what you owe on your loan and what your car is worth -- and rental reimbursement. One warning – if you submitted a previous damage claim and received a check from your insurance company, but didn’t have the vehicle repaired – the insurance company will deduct this amount from your estimate for the storm damage, and charge a second deductible, too.
Protect Your Vehicle
When you know that a storm is on the way, get your vehicle under cover. For hail storms, cover your car in an old blanket and a car cover from your local automotive retailer – before the storm hits. This will provide some protection for your hood, roof and rear decklid. If a storm comes up quickly, look for an awning at a service station, the drive-through at the bank or self-serve car wash to get under for immediate protection. But always make your personal safety a priority!
Get Your Car Repaired without Despair
Dealing with the aftermath of a big storm can be traumatic, particularly if you’ve had significant damage to your home or your entire area. Getting your car back up and running shouldn’t add to your stress, if you are prepared. To help with the process, CARSTAR offers the following tips:
Make copies of your vehicle registration, title, insurance card and driver’s license before the storm hits and secure in a safe, dry place.
After the storm clears, record the damage with photos and video. Sketch what happened, including street names, road signs and details on car movements.
Identify any witnesses. Get their names, addresses, phone numbers and their recollection of the storm damage.
Have a collision plan in place. Know where you’d like to have your car repaired ahead of time so you don’t have to make a sudden decision. CARSTAR Auto Body Repair Experts offer high-quality, reliable repair service. We will send the tow truck, contact your insurance company, arrange for a rental car and repair your car.
Collect your personal items. Whether your car is being towed in for repairs or totaled out, make sure you’ve collected your valuables, electronics, vehicle information, sports equipment and any other items you may need in the future.
When you choose a body shop for repairs, remember that:
Do your homework and check out the shop, its reputation, the business or trade associations they belong to and if their technicians I-CAR Certified.
All reputable repair facilities will offer a warranty of some sort for the work that they complete…make sure it is in writing and well explained to you.
If the repair work is being done in a shop that the insurance company recommended, they will have leverage to assist you should there be an issue in the process or after the repair is complete.
Only trust your vehicle to an established body shop business operating prior to the storm. Beware of fly-by-night operators trying to make a quick buck off of the storm. If they are set up in a tent or temporary location, don’t trust them with your vehicle.
While your car is in the body shop, it’s a good time to have other dents and dings repaired. It should be more cost-effective and your car will ultimately benefit.
Action CARSTAR Auto Body Repair Experts offers high-quality, reliable repair services. For more information contact us at 216-486-6161 or www.actioncarstar.com. You can also find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/actioncarstar/.
I am the Marketing Manager for three auto body shops in Northeast Ohio, one of which is in Euclid on St. Clair Avenue. Action CARSTAR Auto Body, owned and operated by the Perrino Family, is a member of the Euclid Chamber and has served the Euclid community for over 30 years.