Contact your insurance agent/provider. Let them know the time and location the damage occurred. Your insurance provider will then start the claim process. Hail damage is a comprehensive insurance claim and should be filed as such. Verify with the agent your comprehensive deductible since you will be responsible for this amount upon completion of repairs.
After the claim process begins, the insurance provider will advise you to have your vehicle inspected. This will happen at a local PDR shop, collision center, your residence, or an insurance catastrophic hail drive. For customers who are insured with a national carrier, an insurance adjuster will most likely inspect the damaged vehicle in person.
After a repair professional or an insurance adjuster has assessed your vehicle’s damage, it is time to schedule the repair. The insurance company will most likely direct you to one of their Direct Repair Program (DRP) repair facilities. A DRP is a relationship that is formed between an insurance company and a repair facility. You as the consumer have the right to have your vehicle repaired by the repair facility of your choice. Insurance companies are not allowed to require you to use a specific repair shop. This is illegal and is called steering. There can be advantages and disadvantages to DRP repair facilities. Like always, we recommend thoroughly researching the repair facility before committing to repairs.
Drop your vehicle off for repair at the repair facility of your choice. The turn around time on hail damage repairs can vary greatly depending on the severity of damage received, parts availability (if necessary), and the insurance company's claim process. Also, depending on the severity of the storm there may be a high number of damaged vehicles, which can lead to an influx of business for the repair center and longer wait times for you the customer.
Your vehicle will be reinspected by a PDR technician and a supplement request may be submitted to your insurance provider. A supplement is an additional payment to the repair facility due to an improper initial estimate of your damages. There are numerous reasons why a supplement is needed. Most initial hail estimates are written outside, without proper lighting, and not by a professional PDR technician.
Upon completion of repairs, be sure to thoroughly inspect the vehicle inside and out. There should be no evidence that hail damage ever existed if repairs were performed correctly. Any issues with the finished product should be resolved before taking delivery of your vehicle.
After repairs are completed, obtain a detailed invoice. This should state what panels have received PDR or have been painted/replaced (if necessary), and what parts have been removed and/or replaced. The invoice will also have the repair facility’s information and date of repair.
File this invoice with the rest of your vehicle’s important documents in the event your vehicle receives hail damage again. You then have proof for the insurance provider that previous hail damage to the vehicle has been repaired. Many insurance companies will not pay out a second hail claim on the same vehicle if prior damage was not repaired.
Following these eight steps will ensure a proper hail damage repair. It can be a long process, but in the end you can ensure your vehicle is repaired to pre-storm condition.