Should I Wait Until The End Of Hail Season To Fix My Car?

We have been hearing from a lot of customers that their insurance agent has told them they should wait until the end of hail season before repairing their vehicle. This can be a very costly decision and can lower the quality of repairs to the vehicle.

Let’s say their vehicle was damaged in the recent hail storms, the average cost of repairs we are seeing is around $5,000. For this example, we are going to use a 2014 Honda Accord in very good condition. Kelley Blue Book values this vehicle at around $12,000. They have a vehicle that can be fixed using all paintless dent repair and can be repaired in less than a week. Which is great because if they do not carry rental coverage on their policy, Superior Dent Solutions will offer them a free rental! The vehicle is not totaled, and they are back on the road in less than a week.
Now, let’s say they wait until the end of hail season and the vehicle is hit by another hail storm. This storm adds another $3,500 in damage to the vehicle, bringing the total amount of damage to $8,500. The vehicle is now right on the threshold for a total loss. If the vehicle is totaled more than likely the insurer will figure out it was in multiple hail storms and pull out two deductibles out of the total loss settlement.
If the vehicle is not totaled. The vehicle is now damaged to the point where the major panels (roof, hood & decklid) now need to be replaced because they are damaged beyond what can be repaired by paintless dent repair. Here are the issues with these types of repairs:
  1. Aftermarket paint – the vehicle has now lost its factory paint warranty. Also, no matter how great the body shop is, the paint will never be as durable as the factory baked-on paint.
  2. Aftermarket or used parts – somewhere in their insurance policy, there is a clause where the insurer has stated, “when panels need to be replaced, they can and will use aftermarket/used parts.” A common misconception most customers have about their insurers is that they have their best interest at heart. INSURANCE COMPANIES ARE BUSINESSES, THEY ARE HERE TO BE PROFITABLE! Being in an industry where I deal with insurance companies daily, I can tell you that your insurance company will take the cheapest possible route to repair your vehicle.
  3. Roof Replacements – When the roof of the vehicle is damaged to the point that it needs to be replaced the repairs tend to be quite lengthy. The vehicle must be disassembled, this includes removing the headliner, front and back glass, sunroof assembly, airbags and sometimes the seats. Next, the body shop will cut the roof panel at the seams adjacent to the roof rails. The new roof panel is attached to the vehicle. This can be done in a variety of ways but often body shops use “seam sealer,” which is basically a strong adhesive. There’s a chance for leaks down the line, always make sure to choose a body shop that offers a lifetime warranty. These repairs can often exceed 2 months in an area affected by a major hail storm. A busy body shop will often take in more cars than they can repair in a timely manner.
If a customer carries rental coverage on their policy, most policies only cover up to 30 days. The insurance company will not pay for the extra month or more they are in the rental vehicle. That now becomes their cost. The average rental vehicle costs $30/day now multiply that times 30 days plus taxes and fees, the cost is over $1,000. If they have a $500 deductible, they have now paid that three times basically.
If they had repaired the vehicle two separate times on two separate claims, each claim would have been around $5,000, they would have paid $0 out of pocket at Superior Dent Solutions with our “Pay No Deductible” program. The insurance company would have paid $9,000.
In the scenario where they wait for multiple storms to damage the vehicle, the insurance company pays $8,500 less the $500 deductible for a total of $8,000, meanwhile they pay the $500 deductible to the body shop plus any rental fees over the 30-day policy limit. Also, they now have a vehicle considered much less valuable with aftermarket paint and parts.
When an insurance company suggests waiting for the end of hail season, they are looking out for their bottom line not the customers best interest.
We know this can all be very confusing, so feel free to reach out to us with any questions.
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