Hail damage is no joke. As many have found out first-hand, hail damage car repair is a costly process that no one wants to endure. As the weather seems to get more unpredictable, the storms hitting our country are also getting wilder. In the past, Canada has seen some really bad hail storms on record, like the one that hit Calgary on September 7, 1991, one of the worst Canadian hail storms ever to be recorded.
Sadly, these storms have caused much damage to properties, including tons of cars, in recent years. The hail damage repair itself can be pretty worrying, especially if you have a fancy or new car that you really want to keep nice. To clear some of the doubts and worries people have when it comes to getting hail damage car repair, we have compiled a list of myths, beliefs and facts that might help you make the best decision possible.
- Myth 1: “I’ll Fix It Myself at Home”
- Myth 2: “It’s Just Cosmetic Damage, I Can Live With It”
- Myth 3: “My Insurance Rates Will Increase”
- Myth 4: “I Need a Complete Repaint”
- Myth 5: “It Takes Forever to Repair Hail Damage”
- Myth 6: “All Damage from Hail is the Same”
- Myth 7: “It Is Going To Cost A Fortune; I can’t afford it.”
- Myth 8: “Pea-Sized Hail Is Not Damaging, No Need To Worry”
- Myth 9: “Hail Damage Will Disappear on Its Own in Warm Weather”
- Myth 10: “Body Shops and Specialty Shops Perform the Same Hail Damage Repairs”
- Myth 11: “Hail Damage Repairs Only Improve Looks, Not Performance”
- Myth 12: “Minor Hail Damage Are Cheap to Fix”
- Myth 13: “I don’t need comprehensive insurance if I live in an area with no hail damage.”
- Myth 14: “My Car’s Value Will Depreciate if It Has Hail Damage”
- Watch a video from the Weather Channel on “The Sept. 7th Calgary Hail Storm”
Myth 1: “I’ll Fix It Myself at Home”
DIY enthusiasts might consider using household tools and techniques to fix hail damage, assuming it’s cost-effective. However, this is a bad approach to take. Attempting to repair hail damage at home can often result in more harm than good.
PDR requires specialized tools to manipulate the metal back into shape without damaging the paint. It also requires specialized technicians with the necessary training to do the job. Household tools or improper methods can easily damage the paint or worsen the dents, making the repairs even more challenging and expensive.
A specialty shop can better manage the size and complexity of the repair process and deliver a satisfactory end result. Plus, it eliminates any possible risks of making the situation worse.
Myth 2: “It’s Just Cosmetic Damage, I Can Live With It”
You might assume that a few minor dents or paint chips don’t matter. After all, it’s just cosmetic damage and nothing that affects the functionality or safety of your car. While this might sound logical, it’s not entirely true.
First, hail damage can disfigure your car and make it look unappealing, which affects its resale value. Second, minor damage today might quickly become major damage tomorrow. With the right conditions, small dents can easily turn into rust spots that require more complex repairs than PDR techniques.
Neglecting your car’s exterior affects its looks by leaving unsightly scratches and dents on the finish and leaving them vulnerable to corrosion or rust due to oxidation. If rust sets in, it must be addressed with more complex repair methods, meaning you’re looking at potentially thousands of dollars in repairs. If it is not repaired on time, it can also affect the insurance claim process.
Myth 3: “My Insurance Rates Will Increase”
“Should I claim hail damage on my car?” Of course! Car owners might fear that filing a hail damage claim will cause their insurance premiums to rise, leading them to avoid making a claim. That’s not the case. When it comes to hail damage, you’re far better off claiming the repair costs than risking more serious damages down the line.
Hail damage claims are considered an “act of nature” and are covered under comprehensive insurance, separate from collision insurance. As such, they are not subject to any punitive charges or higher rates. In addition, filing a claim for hail damage won’t affect your rating or record in any way.
Comprehensive claims generally don’t lead to increased premiums, making it a reasonable option for repairing hail damage without major financial implications. In other words, you’re free to file a claim without worrying about increased premiums or other repercussions.
Myth 4: “I Need a Complete Repaint”
Some car owners think that hail damage only gets fixed with a complete repaint job. Depending on the severity of the damage, this might be necessary. But in many cases, PDR techniques can restore your car’s look without requiring full-scale re-painting.
Traditional body shop repairs often involve extensive sanding, priming, and repainting. That is time-consuming, expensive work that can even take months to complete.
PDR, however, preserves the original paint finish by gently massaging the metal back into shape. An auto hail repair specialty shop will evaluate the extent of damage to determine whether paintless dent repair or a more labour-intensive repaint (paint or part replacement) will be necessary.
Myth 5: “It Takes Forever to Repair Hail Damage”
Clients might worry that the repair process will leave them without a vehicle for an extended period. And while it’s true that repainting jobs can take months, PDR is usually completed in days or weeks. Moreover, many PDR shops offer mobile services, so you don’t even need to bring your car in. A technician will come to you and fix your car right in the comfort of your own garage.
The repair shop will figure out the best way to fix your vehicle based on how bad the damage is. Usually, PDR is the standard for hail damage car repair in the industry. But sometimes, your car might also need its paint fixed or some parts replaced.
If they can use PDR for your vehicle, the job can be completed much sooner. But if they need to replace parts or fix the paint, it could take several weeks.
Delays are usually caused by the insurance adjuster, not the specialty repair shop. They need to inspect and assess the damage before approving a payment claim. According to some estimates, insurance companies often take up to three weeks to process hail claims – but that doesn’t mean you’ll have to wait three weeks before beginning repairs. You can start repairs right away after the assessment as long as you’re willing to pay out of pocket and get reimbursed later.
Myth 6: “All Damage from Hail is the Same”
It’s wrong to assume that all hail storms are equal. Hailstone sizes can differ depending on the storm, which means the damage it causes varies, too! Softball-sized hail would cause more damage than pea-sized hail. But even if two cars have similar levels of damage, they might not need exactly the same kind of repair work. It all depends on the car type, location of the damage, etc. There are four primary types of damage hail can cause:
- Dents are depressions on the surface of your car’s metal body
- Paint chipping or scratching can occur when hail pebbles impact your vehicle
- Cracks in the windshield and other windows may happen if it is hit hard enough
- Mirror damage etc. can happen as well
Myth 7: “It’s Going To Cost A Fortune; I can’t afford it.”
Hailstorms can indeed lead to severe damage, including dents, cracked windshields, paint scratches, and in worst cases, even total car replacement. It’s pretty logical to assume a big repair bill, but here’s the good news – if you have a comprehensive insurance policy, you should be able to get your repairs paid for.
At Magic Dent, we can work with deductible coverage and other out-of-pocket expenses. Our success story has gained our partnerships with leading insurance companies like The Co-operators, Desjardins, Belairdirect, Aviva Canada, and Intact Insurance. They have confidence in our repair cost estimates and often don’t need to send an adjuster to assess the damage on-site! Furthermore, this speeds up your claims process, ensuring you get your car back on the road faster.
If the damage is extensive to the point that it’s beyond repair, the insurance company will declare the car a total loss and offer financial support to help you acquire a new vehicle. This makes it clear that there’s every reason to seek repairs.
Myth 8: “Pea-Sized Hail Is Not Damaging, No Need To Worry”
Pea-sized hail may seem harmless. You can mistake it for a heavy raindrop from a distance. However, the truth is that if the hailstones are hard enough and fall with sufficient force, even those small-sized pebbles can cause dents on your car’s surface.
Think of it this way – a small pebble is probably not going to make much difference when you throw it at a wall, but if you throw hundreds or even thousands of them in the same direction, the result is not going to be pretty devastating.
This is exactly what happens to your car during a hail storm – hundreds of small pieces of ice rain down on it and cause dents. Depending on the size and hardness of the hail as well as the type of vehicle you have, there could be extensive damage done in a short time.
If you’re driving when the hail strikes, the car’s motion further compounds the damage. So what can you do to protect your car from hail damage?
- Avoid driving in severe weather if possible.
- Pull over to a safe spot if the hail has already started.
- Look for garage or covered parking options near you and park in one of them.
- If you can’t find a shelter, try to cover your car with thick blankets or mats.
- Invest in hail guards
- Ensure your insurance is up to date and covers hail damage.
While the last resort is always to turn to insurance companies for help, you stand a chance of avoiding unnecessary costs if you take preventive measures right away.
Myth 9: “Hail Damage Will Disappear on Its Own in Warm Weather”
It’s a common misconception that warm weather will cause hail dents to disappear naturally. In reality, the damage is structural and won’t self-correct as the weather changes, no matter how small it looks. This means that even if you don’t think the dents are visible, they can still affect the value of your vehicle.
This is a misconception that stems from a lack of knowledge about the nature of hail damage and how it affects a car’s body. Hail damage occurs when hailstones impact the surface of a vehicle with force, causing dents in the metal panels. These dents alter the shape of the metal, creating depressions that are sometimes accompanied by paint damage. Warm weather alone cannot reverse these structural changes.
The science behind this myth is flawed. While heat can cause certain materials to expand, the metal in a car’s body does not behave in the same way. The dents caused by hail require specialized techniques, like PDR, to meticulously massage the metal back to its original shape without damaging the paint. This is why it’s important to get professional help if you’ve suffered hail damage. Otherwise, your car may end up retaining smaller dents and other signs of wear and tear that affect its value.
Myth 10: “Body Shops and Specialty Shops Perform the Same Hail Damage Repairs”
While many body shops claim to handle hail damage repair, they often prove to be less than ideal for such tasks. When a storm hits, most body shops quickly become fully booked, resulting in frustrating wait times that can stretch for weeks or even months before they can attend to new vehicles. Some differences are:
- Body shops might take months to complete the repairs due to limited supplies and resources.
- Specialty repair shops usually finish the work faster, often within a few weeks, depending on damage severity.
- Body shops often have longer wait times, sometimes months, before they can start on your car.
- Specialty shops can begin work within days, even during busy periods.
- Costs can vary greatly, with body shops sometimes charging way more due to the nature of manual PDR work.
- Using insurance coverage for dent repair can ensure fair pricing, aligning repair costs with insurance coverage.
- Some specialty repair shops cover deductibles and offer free rental cars, which typical auto body repair shops don’t.
- Reputable auto hail repair shops help reduce out-of-pocket expenses for deductible and rental car costs.
Myth 11: “Hail Damage Repairs Only Improve Looks, Not Performance”
This is another misconception about hail damage repair. Although the primary purpose of such repairs is to restore the vehicle’s looks, it can also improve its performance and safety significantly. This is because hail damage often affects the structural integrity of the car’s bodywork, leading to weak spots that may compromise how the vehicle handles and behaves on the roads.
Neglecting your car’s exterior affects its performance. Unaddressed hail damage can lead to air drag, which reduces the car’s fuel efficiency. Plus, it affects the aerodynamics of your vehicle and its ability to perform optimally.
Professional hail repair services help restore structural integrity as well as improve its aesthetics, making it safer to drive than before. They also apply paint sealants that protect your car from further damage in future storms.
Myth 12: “Minor Hail Damage Are Cheap to Fix”
Hail doesn’t usually inflict major damage on vehicles; there are cases where you might notice seemingly minor issues (such as dents that are only visible under direct sunlight). These dents can go unnoticed because they rarely impact the car’s performance, and noticing them is actually quite difficult.
But the truth is repairing these small hail dents can actually be quite expensive because there are hundreds of such. The specific cost can also be influenced by various factors, including the car’s type, the material of the panel, and the make and model of the vehicle.
Some manufacturers now use aluminum for their vehicle panels, particularly in luxury cars and high-end models, because it’s lightweight and enhances fuel efficiency. However, fixing dents on aluminum panels is a complex task that comes with a higher price tag fixing dents on aluminum panels is a complex task that comes with a significantly higher price tag compared to repairing dents on steel panels.
Myth 13: “I don’t need comprehensive insurance if I live in an area with no hail damage.”
Comprehensive insurance is very important, even if you don’t live in an area that’s prone to hail. This type of coverage covers damages from a variety of natural hazards and risks such as fire, theft, vandalism, flood, snow or ice storms, etc. So, even when you are living in a place with no hail damage, you may experience other issues that require the help of comprehensive insurance.
Furthermore, if you plan to drive in areas with a greater risk of hail damage, your car needs to have full coverage from this type of insurance. Hail damage can be expensive to repair and even more costly when not covered by an insurance policy.
Investing in a good comprehensive insurance plan is always recommended, regardless of where you live or drive. That way, you can have peace of mind knowing that your car is fully covered in case of any unexpected damage.
Myth 14: “My Car’s Value Will Depreciate if It Has Hail Damage”
When it comes to reporting your repairs to CARFAX, the responsibility typically falls on the service provider. In most situations, if your car’s original parts are repaired without replacing them, and the paint isn’t affected, the repairs might not be reported. However, service provider operates differently, and each case varies. So, whether or not the repairs get reported to CARFAX will depend on the service provider.
Also, it is important to note that hail damage can cause your car’s market value to depreciate even if CARFAX doesn’t officially report the repairs. If you decide not to fix hail damage, know that potential buyers might consider this a sign of neglect and therefore be less likely to purchase your vehicle.
Here is the Weather Networks video on the Hail Storm of the century to ever hit Canada.
Myth or fact, every hail damage car repair is absolutely a must no matter what kind of car you have. You can always rely on us at Magic Dent Repair to get the job done quickly and efficiently. Our repair experts are courteous, dependable, and well-trained to provide paint-free dent repair services. We use specialized tools and techniques to restore your car’s original finish without damaging the paint. Plus, with our convenient mobile repair service, we will come directly to you and handle all the repairs at your convenience.