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How Much Does Hail Damage Devalue a Car (Auto Expert Advice)

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Golf ball-sized hail can seriously damage a car in a matter of minutes, leaving broken windows and dents all over the car, sometimes including the side body panels. If you suspect a hail storm, move your car inside or cover it with thick blankets to protect it from the hail. Note that you will need to secure the blankets in some manner to prevent them from being blown away.

Hail damaged vehicles can be an excellent deal for a buyer, but not so much for the seller. Hail repairs vary a great deal depending on the amount of damage. Can hail damage affect the car trade-in value? From a few hundred dollars for a couple of dents to several thousand for broken windows needing glass replacement and many dents can make a difference and affect cars resale values.

If consumers have hail damage coverage as part of their comprehensively insured insurance package, you are better off to arrange for repairs before selling the vehicle. Buyers are going to look for huge discounts off the average price for your vehicle to compensate for car hail damage and repair costs.

How is hail damage assessed on a car?

Every dent can cost up to $100 to repair, broken windows must also be replaced, and the cost varies by make and model of the vehicle. Dents in plastic bumpers can also be repaired. Car owners with comprehensive car insurance coverage can have their vehicles repaired. They will need to pay the deductible.

An insurance adjuster will review the vehicle, taking note of all of the damage to the paint job as well as broken windows. You may also need to obtain several estimates from repair shops for car repairs before the final price for your damage claim is agreed to. Try to have your car as clean as possible so that all damage is visible for the adjuster and estimators.

Cost of repairing hail dents

The cost of repairing dents made by hail varies a great deal. The number of dents, panels affected, the size of the hail, and whether they can be repaired using a dent repair tool, which pulls the metal back into place so that it looks as if it came from the factory.

Note that your insurance company coverage will only cover the hail damage and not other damage that was pre-existing before the damage from the hail. If you need or want these repairs completed at the same time, car owners will have to cover this additional cost on their own. Car detailing may also be damaged and needs to be repaired, adding additional cost.

Watch this video from Dentless Touch so you can understand how a hail damage estimate is done:

Ways of protecting your car from hail damage

Hail storms are quite common in some areas during the summer. If you live in one of these areas, it pays to have a plan to protect your car during a hail storm. Even if you have full insurance coverage for hail, it is worth it to avoid a claim, lose your car while it is being repaired, and avoid increases in your cost of insurance.

Park your car inside if possible, in a covered parking garage, on the lee side of a building, or cover it with thick blankets that are tied down in some manner. Avoiding hail damage can reduce damage to your car and save you thousands of dollars, especially if your car insurance does not include hail damage.

Must read: How to Protect Your Car From Hail Damage.

Hail Damage DIY Repair Tips

Hail damage on side door could devalue your car or vehicle significantlyCar owners without insurance coverage for hail damage can turn to do it yourself solutions to repair dents as best they can. Purchase paintless dent repair tools, which include a bridge-type tool with suction cups that straddle the dent and slowly pull the dent out without causing further damage. There also online videos available to demonstrate the process.

Dents that involve scratches to the paint surface require more extensive bodywork to repair the finish. There are DIY products available for car owners to complete this work as well. Cars with visible dents carry less value for trade-ins, etc., make sure your repairs are professional and do not show any remaining of the dent to maintain maximum values for your vehicle.

Tip: Consider getting comprehensive coverage to cover hail damage repair cost if you live in an area with severe weather.

F.A.Q.

The following frequently asked questions should assist in clarifying hail damage insurance coverage, damage repair, and the impact on the value of your car for resale or value your trade-in.

Do insurance companies cover damages from hail storms?

The answer is yes. However, not all car insurance policies include hail damage. In locations where hail damage is common, many insurance companies will charge a higher premium for insurance coverage of hail damage. As a result, many car owners opt out of this coverage and are unable to make a claim if their cars are damaged by hail.

Also, car owners with multiple claims for hail damage could find their insurance rates increasing to levels they consider unaffordable. In most situations, this is a personal decision regarding payment for hail damage insurance based on cost and how common hail storms are in your area.

Why doesn’t an auto dealer fix all the dents before selling the car?

It depends on the total cost to repair all of the dents from hail damage vs. the increased value of the car. For example, if repairs will cost $2000 on a Ford Ranger and the resale value of the vehicle only increases $1000, it is not in the auto dealers’ best interest to fix all of the dents and improve the car worth.

Many drivers, such as students, college graduates, and commuters, are looking for a great deal for a car that is mechanically sound. They may use the vehicle for commuting every day and are not concerned about a few dents. Buying a car at a lower price is far more important to them.

Car dealers can sell these hail-damaged certified preowned vehicles, still make some profit, and they are also are aware that many customers may try DIY methods to make repairs after they have purchased the vehicle. Minor hail damage that does not represent a big expense to the dealership is usually repaired prior to selling the vehicle.

What are the disadvantages of buying cars with hail damage?

Minor hail damage on the roof of your car or vehicle that can be repairedThere is a limited market for cars with hail damaged. Not everyone is willing to purchase a car with damage. Trade-in values for cars with hail damage can be very low. If you plan to resell the auto you just purchased, and it has hail damage, it will be more difficult to resell it. You may not recover the price you paid for the car, depending on the deal you received when you first purchased the car.

Hail can also cause more than dents in a car. In some cases, the paint surface is scratched, exposing the metal underneath. If not touched up and repaired, this area can begin to rust, leaving unsightly rust marks on your car and further devaluing your vehicle. Complete a thorough inspection of all dents before you make your purchase.

Are the banks able to finance such cars?

Banks are able to finance hail-damaged cars. However, as with any car, the bank cannot provide financing for more than the car value. A car damaged by hail that has not been repaired may be worth several thousand dollars less than one that is undamaged.

A bank will provide different levels of financing for exactly the same car, year, mileage, etc. one with hail damage and one without. Some banks might get scared away because, generally, hail damage is covered by comprehensive coverage. If a car owner did not fix the damage, it could be an indicator that the car might have another major issue.

Before purchasing a hail damaged car, pay close attention to the car’s value, make sure you do not overpay and apply for financing before you agree to take ownership of the vehicle. A salvage title auto can get approved for financing, although the process might be a bit more challenging than regular clean titles.

Can I repair the damage myself?

The answer is yes, you really can repair the damage yourself, although it depends on the skill level, patience, and the tools you have available. There are slide hammer dent pullers, auto body repair tools, and plastic bumper repair kits available on the market.

There are also many online videos available for car owners to review and teach themselves the best practices to repair hail damage and any other damage that may exist on your vehicle. Compared to a collision repair shop, this approach is much less expensive.

Tools that you can use to try to remove hail damage if the insurance company does not cover it

There are a few DIY methods that claim to help car owners remove hail dents from car. Most of these methods are not worth to try. However, we found that a paintless dent removal tool can be an efficient way to remove these dents without hurting the cars paint.

Using a paintless dent removing tool is not such a difficult task. However, a hail-damaged car will require an extensive amount of work where the person fixing the dent is going to have very long hours standing in an uncomfortable position.

Typically car owners will ask for a hail damage claim to their insurance. If the value in damages is too much, then insurance claims will probably come back as “total loss,” which in most cases means that it is not worth it to repair the damage.

Must read: How using a fuel injector cleaning kit can improve fuel efficiency.

Summary

Protect your car if a hail storm is imminent. Investigate whether your car insurance includes hail damage repair, how much the deductible is, and whether the added premium is worth it to have hail damage repaired. There are DIY paintless dent repair tools and kits available and many online videos to help anyone planning to make their own repairs.

A hail damaged car trade-in with unrepaired hail damage can be worth much less than those without damage. Hail damage effects can significantly impact the resale value of your vehicle. Calling your insurance agent first when any future accident occurs can be useful when it comes to hail-damaged vehicles.

Should I sell my car if it has hail damage? Depending on your situation, sometimes selling the car can be the best option for the owner. Also, there are some auto hail sales where you can get a huge discount if you don’t mind getting the hail damage fixed.

You can find more driving tips and auto advice by just following our blog. Always consult with your auto insurance company, and get an inspection done to see how much would the hail damage cost to repair.

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