Summer is hail season in the Twin Cities, and that means hundreds of vehicle owners throughout the metro area will likely end up needing hail damage repairs at some point. Unfortunately, a few common mistakes surrounding those repairs cost drivers hundreds of thousands of dollars collectively each year — but that doesn’t have to be your story.
Read on to learn how you can avoid four hail damage repair mistakes that vehicle owners routinely make.
1. Failing to Get Hail Damage Repairs
Even if your vehicle only suffers mild hail damage, you need to get it fixed promptly to maintain the integrity of the paint and the value of your automobile. When there are dents in your vehicle, it’s more vulnerable to paint damage, and when your vehicle suffers paint damage, it’s susceptible to corrosion and rust.
To avoid ongoing body damage that can decrease the value of your vehicle by several thousand dollars, always tend to hail damage repairs promptly.
2. Waiting Until Hail Season is Over
If your vehicle incurs hail damage, do not wait until hail season is over to file a claim for auto body repairs! While it might seem logical to wait until it won’t hail again, there’s always a chance you could be involved in a collision in the interim.
If you’re unfortunate enough to find yourself in that situation, your insurance company will only pay out for the most recent, collision-related damages. If you have existing hail damage at the time, it won’t qualify for coverage.
3. Not Filing an Insurance Claim for Hail Damage Repairs
Many drivers whose vehicles suffer hail damage don’t file a repair claim with their insurance company because they believe doing so will raise their premium. That’s not always true.
When you file a claim for hail damage repairs, the damage is considered an “Act of God,” which means no one is at fault. Your insurance company can’t single you out for a monthly rate increase just because something fell from the sky and damaged your vehicle.
Now, when there’s a huge hail storm and it damages multiple vehicles in the same area, everyone’s premium might go up given the amount of money insurers will need to pay out. But if you’re already going to pay a higher rate, you might as well get what you’re owed in terms of repairs, right?
If you’re apprehensive about filing a claim for your hail damage repairs, our team at Minnetonka Collision can help. As an insurance-preferred shop, we can help you file your claim from start to finish and make sure you get the coverage you deserve.
4. Selecting the Wrong Auto Body Repair Shop
When it comes to handling hail damage, paintless dent repair (PDR) is the go-to repair method that highly qualified auto body technicians use. Since this repair method doesn’t involve any sanding, painting, buffing, grinding, or other intensive work, it’s cheaper to perform, faster, and less expensive for you, the vehicle owner.
While it might seem that all auto body repair shops are basically the same, that’s far from the truth. Many body repair shops don’t specialize in paintless dent repair, which means they must use far more involved repair techniques to address hail damage. If you select one of those shops, you’ll likely end up paying far more than you need to for hail damage repairs.
If, on the other hand, you select a shop that specializes in both PDR and conventional auto body repairs (like Minnetonka Collision), you’ll get the best of both worlds. Our technicians can handle any degree of hail damage your vehicle may have using the most efficient and cost-effective techniques possible.
5. Attempting DIY Hail Damage Repairs
Although you can certainly try to perform hail damage repairs at home, doing so isn’t a great idea.
Attempting paintless dent repair on your own — especially with a hodgepodge of tools — can result in paint damage, which will necessitate professional repairs. And attempting at-home repairs with a DIY kit will likely end in frustration, as most commercially available kits don’t work, despite what their advertising might say.
Rather than searching online for “how to fix hail damage on a vehicle” or something similar, take your ride to an auto body repair shop for a hail damage repair estimate. If the pros can remedy the damage with paintless dent repair, the cost of repairs will likely be more affordable than you anticipate.
If you have considerable damage and a relatively low insurance deductible, you can file a claim to see what your insurance will cover. In the end, getting the damage professionally repaired is the best way to preserve the value of your vehicle.
Check out Are DIY Dent Removal Tools Ever a Good Idea? for more information on why at-home auto body repairs aren’t worth it.
6. Choosing the Cheapest Hail Damage Repair Shop
When it comes to auto body repairs of any type, cheaper isn’t necessarily better. Rather, the opposite is usually true: The cheaper the quote, the lower the quality of the final result.
Keep in mind that if you plan to file an insurance claim, your insurer may direct you to a shop they’ve partnered with. And that may be because they’ll get a deal on the amount they ultimately need to pay. But as the insured, you have rights, and one of them is the right to choose your preferred shop. You do not have to go to the shop that your insurance company recommends.
If you’re not using insurance, avoiding shops that quote you a super-cheap price is still a good idea. Ultimately, it’s in your best interest to pay more for quality workmanship, because quality hail damage repairs preserve the value of your automobile.
If you’re unsure how to choose a quality shop, check out what you should look for when getting auto body repair estimates.
Schedule Hail Damage Auto Body Repairs With Minnetonka Collision
When you need high-quality auto body repairs for a hail-damaged vehicle, look no further than our team at Minnetonka Collision. For over 30 years, our expert technicians have specialized in high-end body repair and auto repair, and we offer a limited lifetime guarantee on our work. We’re also an insurance-preferred shop and can help you file your claim from start to finish.
To get started with your hail damage repairs, request a free estimate or give us a call at 763-230-7805. In the meantime, check out our customer reviews to see how we operate!