"Hailstorms are difficult to forecast and can come on suddenly, so it's often difficult to avoid damage if you're caught in a storm," says Scott Snapp, catastrophe response director, The Progressive Group of Insurance Companies, the country's third largest auto insurance group. If your vehicle is damaged by hail, Progressive offers the following tips to help you restore your vehicle to its pre-storm condition quickly:
- Call your insurance company as soon as possible to report the damage.
- Discuss your repair needs with your insurance company and local body shop. Hail damage to sheet metal may need to be repaired in a conventional manner. However, trained technicians may recommend paintless dent removal (PDR), which involves using specially-molded metal tools on the underside of a damaged part that won't disturb the car's factory finish. This method is often used by manufacturers and dealers to repair new vehicles and will not invalidate paint warranties.
PDR cannot be performed if the dents are too large, if there are too many, or if the paint finish is damaged. Prior body damage that required plastic fillers or bonding may also make PDR difficult. Your insurance company will be able to determine the severity of your damage and consult with you and the body shop on which repair method makes the most sense for your vehicle.
Read more of this survival guide here from Progressive.