Auto Hail Damage Repair Service
In a nutshell here is the hail repair process and your options when repairing your vehicle.
- File an insurance claim with your insurance company
- Call us for free inspection
- Drop off your vehicle and we deal with the insurance company to fully restore your vehicle
If you were struck with hail you might be wondering what options you have when it comes to your insurance. There are just a few options you need to be aware of before you go and take your car to a body shop or worse, a fly-by-night dent shop.
Your hail damage options are:
- File an insurance claim and we fully restore your vehicle.
- File an insurance claim and keep the check then try to find someone to fix it for a lesser amount. (not a good option)
- Pay out of pocket. (not a good option if you have comprehensive coverage) The claim will not count against you in any way as it is an act of nature.
- File an insurance claim and keep all the settlement. (note that your insurance will only pay you half of what the damage will cost to fix.)
In this article we hope to shed some light on all these options so that you can make a better informed decision on what to do. We have no interest in perpetuating the fear based mongering that most insurance companies, auto body shops, or normal dent companies that will tell you that you only have one option. This is a flat out lie.
The first things we need to get out of the way is:
A) Do you own your vehicle or is there lien holder? If there is a lien holder or you are leasing the vehicle then by law you are required to fully restore the vehicle to it’s pre-hail condition.
B) Do you have a personal loan for the vehicle? There might be no lien on the vehicle if it’s a signature loan.
C) Did the dealership finance the vehicle? Quite possibly the dealership is the lien holder.
D) Do you have a personal loan on the vehicle but it’s not listed as collateral for the vehicle?
These 4 possibilities are very important before we go any further and try to explain your options. The reason being, that if you said yes to any of these questions other than (A) you may not have any options but to fully restore the vehicle to it’s pre-hail condition.
A) Do you own your vehicle? If you own your vehicle then you have the right to do whatever it is you want with the insurance settlement.
B) Do you have a personal loan for the vehicle? Most times when you have a personal loan for your vehicle they are giving you a collateral loan that puts up the vehicle as collateral and you don’t really own your vehicle. This is called having a lean holder. If you have lean holder for your vehicle you don’t own it outright so you have an obligation to the one who funded your vehicle to fully restore the vehicle if something was to ever happen to it.
C) Did the dealership finance the vehicle? If the vehicle was financed by a dealership then you are not the actual owner of the vehicle yet and you must fully repair the vehicle back to it’s original condition.
D) Do you have a personal loan with the vehicle not as collateral? If you have a personal loan and in the terms and conditions, it does not say anything about your vehicle being collateral then you actually own your vehicle outright. The loan is basically on your credit and has nothing to do with the actual car. When you own your vehicle outright you have the right to do what you pleas with the settlement and have many options available to you. Your settlement is yours and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
Ok now that we are past the legal stuff now it’s time to get to the options that you actually have to repair or not repair your vehicles hail damage.
File an insurance claim and fix your vehicle.
This is the most basic option and most companies out there will tell you that this is the only option you actually have. In fact this is not true because if you own your vehicle outright you will have a few options when it comes to repairing your vehicle.
Pay out of pocket.
If for some reason you don’t have comprehensive insurance or you don’t want to file a claim or the damages are not severe enough to merit a claim then this is the only option for you. If this is the case you can come and see us and we can walk you through the options of repair that you do have. We have what is called value based pricing so we can charge you regular price for a 100% repair or you can pick and choose the level of repair to meet your desired repair.
File an insurance claim and keep some of the money and find the cheapest deal in town.
If you own your vehicle outright and would like to shop around and get the best deal so you can keep a good portion of the money, we must give a fair warning that you get what you pay for. Many fly by night companies and dent shops, and tent PDR shops will tell you; yes no problem we can fix it for that but in reality they are going to cut corners and leave you with a less than desireable repair. You might not even know it till 3 months down the line when all your repaired dents turn in to rust spots with paint falling off and when you go to claim their 100% warranty they have left town and changed their name. That is why we advise to trust reputable companies that are here to stay. With that said you can come and see us and pick a level of our value based pricing system that best suits your needs. If you would like just some of the dents removed correctly and you only want to pay x amount of dollars then we can tailor a repair plan that best suits you.
File an insurance claim and keep all the settlement.
When you are the full owner of your vehicle you will have the option to keep the full settlement. The only problem with this option is this. You file a claim and the insurance company comes out and inspects the vehicle and cuts you a check for x amount of dollars. You then just keep the money and run. That all fine by us but there is a word to the wise on this one. Insurance companies know darn well that many people plan to do this so they will give you a check for half or less than the repair is actually worth. I see many people do this and keep the money, then a year later they would like to get the hail damage repaired and realize that no one in town will even touch the car for what the insurance company payed. It is a far better decision to hire us as your public adjusters so that we can advocate on your behalf and get you what your repair is actually worth. We will file supplements for you and get every penny from the insurance company.
You may just say: “why not just go get an estimate and turn this in to the insurance company” The problem with this is that the insurance company will not even look at the estimate you spent so much of your valuable time to get and instead will send out an agent to do their own inspection or worse they will send you to one of their own direct repair facilities were they will low ball your estimate unless you drop of your vehicle and get into a car rental. You see; a direct repair facility just means that the shop is willing to play ball. The insurance company and shop are trained in writing low estimates if the customer has no intention of leaving their vehicle right there on the spot. and don’t think you can leave your vehicle and pick it up before they start working on it. When you sign the papers at one of these facilities then you are signing over your right to stop the repair process.
Stay away from DRP’s Direct Repair Facilities if you like your vehicle and intent to repair your vehicle. They will cut corners as they are getting at 20-40% what another shop would get payed for your repair. Meaning if they don’t get much money from the insurance company then the quality of repair will not be as good as a really reputable PDR shop. They will cut off panels and replace parts that normally would have been repaired by paintless dent repair. They will also use bondo or fillers and sand down much of your paint to re-coat your vehicle with inferior paint that will normally not last 5 years. There is no paint better than your factory finish and paint. This is because the factory has a machine they dip your vehicle in primer first and then paint the vehicle and then bake the paint in an oven that no body shop will duplicate.
So what is our process if you plan to keep your settlement?
- We help you file a claim with your insurance company.
- You keep your vehicle until the insurance company comes and looks at it.
- We then write our own estimate and submit what is called a supplement.
- The insurance company rebuttals with a low ball offer that is far less than our supplement estimate.
- We then submit another supplement demanding the exact money that the hail is going to cost to fix.
- They approve our estimate and send out the check to us.
- We then take our public adjuster fee and refund you the rest.
Our fee is typically 5-15% of the total amount of the settlement. We guarantee that you will make more money with us then going at it by yourself. We have a full guarantee and if you are not completely satisfied because you got more than you would have on your own then we will cancel the whole process and you can start the whole thing over with someone else. We want you to be fully happy and aware that no one else in their right mind would provide a service as concise as ours and that is why we are so confident you will get more with us then by yourself.
Is it legal to keep my settlement?
If you own your car then the settlement is completely up to you what to do with. However you must report the damage not being fixed to the insurance company so that they can be aware of it and you don’t try to get payed for the hail repair twice. If your vehicle gets hailed on again then your insurance company will not cover it or will deduct the old damage from the new damage and will cut you a very light new settlement and that is one of the main reasons you should repair your vehicle hail.
Can I just keep some of the money and fix most my car?
YES) We have a service called quality based pricing and you get to decide the quality of repair and quantity of repair. If you just want your hood repaired to 50% and only 50% quality then you are really only paying 25% of what it normally would cost. Typically a 50% repair will not be noticeable on a passing glance.
Will not repairing my hail harm me in any way?
There will be no problem now but in the future if you get into an accident and the panel that was struck gets damage they will deduct what they already payed you for that panel and cut you the new total. Also if it happens to hail on you again, then you might have a really tough time getting what the actual new damage costs to repair as it will be very difficult to say what is the new damage and what is the old damage. That is why we advise just getting your hail damage repaired.
Will you report to the insurance company if I only repair a portion of my damage?
By law if you don’t fully repair your vehicle we are obligated to tell the insurance company what we repaired and show documentation of what was not repaired. This is both to cover our behind and yours. We don’t do any tricks or shady things, as we are completely honest human beings. If you only repair your hood and the rest of your car is unpaired then you we are obligated to report any damage that was not repaired.
What is an appearance allowance?
An appearance allowance is money back for something that was not repaired or had a less than desirable outcome. Like if your vehicle needed a complete paint job but you wanted to keep that money instead this would be considered an appearance allowance. Or if you decided to not replace your hail damaged parts. If you would like to learn more about the appearance allowance you can check out this video.