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Hail Damage Insurance Appraisal

Hail Damage and your Car’s Value

The NICB reported that insurance claims resulting from hail storms increased 84% from 2010 to 2012.

2010 Insurance Hail Damage Claims: 467,602Hail-Damage-Diminished-Value-Cars
2012 Insurance Hail Damage Claims: 861,597

In the past few months, Georgia has had its fair share of hailstorms resulting in thousands of damaged vehicles.

Insurance policies normally cover the damage to your vehicle sustained from hail damage under the comprehensive portion (if you’ve purchased full coverage insurance).

This is an example of what a Geico policy says:

Comprehensive (Excluding Collision)1- We will pay for each loss less the applicable deductible caused other than by collision to the owned or non-owned auto.  This includes glass breakage and loss caused by:
(a) Missiles;
(b) Falling objects; Hail-Damage-Insurance-Appraisal
(c) Fire;
(d) Lighting;
(e) Theft;
(f) Larceny;
(g) Explosion;
(h) Earthquake;
(i) Windstorm;
(j) Hail;
(k) Water;
(l) Flood;
(m) Malicious mischief;
(n) Vandalism;
(o) Riot;
(p) Civil commotion;
(q) Colliding with a bird or animal.

So what should you do after a vehicle is damaged from hail?

  1. Take pictures documenting the loss
  2. If the damage is light, call a mobile dent repair person for a free quote- pay cash if the repairs are below or slightly above your deductible (this is mostly PDR work)
  3. If the damage is moderate to severe, call your insurance company and file a claim
  4. Get the vehicle repairs at the insurer’s DRP (Direct Repair Program) shop
  5. Get an appraisal for the loss in value and send a demand letter to the carrier.

What is PDR?

Paintless Dent Repair (PDR) is an industry recognized repair process that involves the removal of hail dents or other types of damage from a vehicle’s exterior surface panels without disturbing the finish.

How Does it Work?

In most cases, this procedure involves the use of specialized tools to apply pressure to the backside of the panel to remove surface imperfections. Damage may also be repaired by bonding a “tab” or other device to the exterior of the panel and pulling the dent from the topside. By using either of these techniques, the technician is able to restore panel appearance, thus eliminating the need for refinishing the panel’s surface area.

When Can it be Used?

The PDR process is often used to repair hail damage or other similar dents that occur when an outer panel strikes (or is struck by) an object that has not compromised the finish of the panel. Since the outer finish of the panel has not been disturbed, it eliminates steps in the refinishing process and may allow for more timely repairs.

The ability to repair vehicles using PDR requires that the technician be able to access the backside of a dent. Some repairers drill holes for access. We do not recommend PDR if drilling is necessary.

Who Performs Paintless Dent Repair?

PDR services are offered by a number of local and national companies that provide technical training and support to associated technicians. National companies may not have a local presence, but they often send “response teams” to areas where a large number of hail claims have been reported. These teams may work out of temporary locations, performing repairs until PDR services are no longer needed.

Click below to listen to Tony Rached, the senior appraiser at Diminished Value of Georgia as featured on TrustDale radio explaining how to handle hail damage insurance claims:

In Georgia, you can file a Diminished Value claim against your own policy, to find out how much you are entitled, please fill out the questionnaire below: