I HAVE HAIL DAMAGE WHAT DO I DO NOW?
At Dent Masters we know incurring hail damage to your vehicle can be a little overwhelming and stressful to some customers, especially if you have never experienced it before, so we are here to hold your hand and walk you through the process.
Typical thoughts during and after a hailstorm are running through your mind, who do I call, what do I do, how bad is it, is my vehicle totaled, what is this going to cost me, does my insurance even cover this?
Well, here at Dent masters we have been helping over 10,000 satisfied customers with exactly these questions since we opened our doors in 1990.
Sometimes we feel like the popular commercial you see on TV of the Farmers Insurance Company “Hall of Claims” showing something crazy happened and they covered it because they have been there and done that and at Dent Masters we have too!
Our professional staff is here to help you every step of the way with the hail damage claim on your vehicle and we provide you with a step by step checklist of what to do to make things simple and stress free as possible.
At Dent Masters we fell like our customers deserve nothing less than the best customer service possible and should any additional questions or concerns come up throughout the process we are here to help and assist you in any way we can.
We will also include a checklist of the hail repair process you can printout to help make things easier.
Once these few things are done you can rest easy knowing Dent Masters will take care of everything else, so you don’t have too! It’s as easy as handing us the keys to your vehicle and saying handle it and call me when it’s done.
1. Inspect your vehicle – Is the glass broken? Is water leaking in? Is it drivable?
2. Locate your insurance card – Immediately locate your insurance card first, its typically in your glove box then look for the 800# on your insurance card for claims and call them ASAP, the longer you wait the longer the list will get to get it inspected.
Do Not Call your agent, they handle policy, not claims!
Depending on your insurance company, typically expect for them to either schedule to have an adjuster come to your location at home or work and inspect the hail damage on your vehicle or schedule you to come to a location they have setup to inspect hail damaged vehicles, that might be at their location, a local body shop or a tent setup in a parking lot to accommodate a large amount of clients.
3. Make sure to also ask if you have rental coverage and how much they pay per day.
4. Do not worry about getting estimates prior to the inspection, the adjusters will not use them! I will explain why further below.
5. If you can, please wash your vehicle before the scheduled inspection.
6. Once your adjuster has inspected the hail damage on your vehicle and given you some paperwork contact Dent Masters to schedule an appointment.
7. If you have rental coverage please ask the adjuster to give you a reservation number or put a reservation in the system so that Enterprise will have access to it when you need it.
8. If the adjuster tries to get you to leave or schedule your vehicle to be repaired at one of their direct repair shops, please keep in mind due to the contract they have with the insurance companies they have to charge you your deductible and they essentially work for the insurance company not you.
They also get a kickback at the end of the year from the insurance companies for sending the business to them, so it is their best interest not yours for you to use one of their direct repair shops to repair the hail damage on your vehicle.
9. Some customers may also think or be told by the insurance company that they should just wait to repair their vehicle because another hailstorm may come and cause more damage and they will just have to get it repaired again.
What they don’t tell you is that by waiting you run the risk of totaling your vehicle, because the first time you receive hail damage it may not be that bad and the second may not be that bad either, but by combining the damage of the two separate storms it could have impacted the vehicle to the point at which it’s cheaper for the insurance company to total your vehicle than it is to repair it.
10. All that is needed from you at this point is to arrive at Dent Masters at the scheduled time to have the hail damage removed from your vehicle, hand us the keys and we will take care of everything else from there.
11. If you are in need of a rental car please call enterprise and make a reservation ASAP for the time of drop off because rental cars can be short in supply after a hail storm and we will drive you over there when you arrive to drop off your vehicle at Dent Masters for repair.
Things to keep in mind when dealing with this:
The main goal of the insurance company adjuster is to typically do a quick inspection of the hail damage on your vehicle, write up a preliminary inspection report/estimate and give you a check to get the process started.
The amount they give you for the repair is not important, it is not the final payment.
The insurance company knows that when it makes it to the shop to actually have the hail damage repaired, we will perform a more intensive inspection of the vehicle under special lighting and send them a supplement for any additional hail damage we have found.
Do not waste your valuable time running around town getting a bunch of hail repair estimates to give to the adjuster because he will not use them, because until it actually makes it to the repair shop to be repaired, he will only use his own initial assessment.
They initially write the estimates low for a couple of reasons.
1. Due to the sheer amount of claims after a hail storm the adjusters are limited in the amount of time they have for each inspection which usually is about fifteen to thirty minutes per client and it is very difficult to accurately assess the hail damage until you have the proper time and conditions.
Once the vehicle is dropped off to have the hail damage repaired we run it through the car wash and clean it up thoroughly so we can see everything, then we bring it inside our shop and put it under our special lighting which allows us to see all of the hail damage so that we can do a complete assessment.
After bringing it in and putting the vehicle under the special lighting we spend between five to seven hours properly going over the vehicle circling each and every dent so that nothing is missed, because we work for you and not the insurance company so we want to make sure it’s done right.
2. Because they count on a certain percentage of the customers to just take the check they receive and keep it or spend it and never get the hail damage repaired not realizing they may actually have up to five thousand dollars or more in damage, but because they have never dealt with it they have no idea, therefore saving the insurance companies millions of dollars each year on unrepaired damage.
Those customers that never have the hail damage repaired and keep the money don’t realize that they continue to pay full coverage insurance even though they are not fully covered because they never fixed the prior hail damage, so any additional future damage due to more hail or an accident concerning the areas paid for in the previous claim are not covered, they already paid the customer to repair it the first time so they are not about to pay it again, again saving millions each year.
With all that being said, the insurance companies are happy to pay whatever it costs to repair it, they just want to make sure it actually makes it to the repair shop to be repaired first before they payout what it actually takes to repair it.
Imagine if you will, the adjuster looks at a car and writes up a two thousand dollar estimate when it actually has about five thousand dollars in damage and the customer decides they would rather pay a few bills with it or go on vacation because it really doesn’t look that bad, now let’s suppose they got a five thousand dollar check instead, they are looking at that car and saying what hail damage I don’t see any hail damage and go straight to the bank to spend it, meanwhile if there is a lien holder involved they now have a vehicle that has lost a lot of value due to the repairs never getting fixed and should they have to take possession of the vehicle again they are severely impacted financially due to the vehicle being worth less now.
So, this is also done to protect the lien holder as well and make sure the vehicle gets repaired.
Locate Your Insurance Card
It’s usually in your glovebox or console.
Call The 800# Located on Your card
Only contact the claims department, not the agent they handle policy not claims!
Schedule an Inspection Appointment
Do this ASAP, they can get backlogged quick after a storm.
Wash Vehicle Prior To Inspection
If your vehicle is clean it is much easier for the adjuster to see the hail damage.
At the Inspection
Ask the adjuster to make a rental reservation also.
Contact Dent Masters to Schedule an Appointment
Contact us ASAP to schedule an appointment, we get booked up quick.
Call Enterprise to Reserve A Car
Have your reservation number ready and schedule a rental car.
Drop Off Your Car at Dent Masters
At the time of your appointment we will drive to Enterprise if needed.