1. Assess the overall damage to the car. Be careful to look thoroughly at the car in the proper light. Occasionally, hail damage is not discernible unless viewed at the correct angle.
2. Obtain a copy of the insurance policy on the car. The policy will dictate what is covered and the amount of the deductible. If the policy has a deductible higher than the estimated damage, it is not prudent to file a claim.
3. Contact the insurance company that holds the policy on the hail-damaged car to report the claim. Meet with the adjuster to assess the hail damage to the car. Be sure to be present during the inspection and ask the inspector to go over all of the hail damage they found. Often, an inspector has been looking at cars all day and can miss some covered damage.
4. Understand the options available. People often make the mistake of just following exactly what the insurance company tells them and fail to question their insurance company’s motives. Insurance companies work for their bottom line, not for the policyholders or their convenience.
5. Determine the method to fix the damage. There are do-it-yourself repair kits to fix hail damage to the car. However, most insurance companies require that the repair be done by a licensed repair shop. One of the best solution these days is Paintless Dent Repair, so try to find your local experts who can help you.
6. Set the terms of the insurance policy compensation. Insurance companies may want to make direct payment to the repair facility of their choice. While this option requires the least amount of effort on the policyholder’s part, it is often more expensive. However, if the payment is made to the policyholder, he will need to pay for the repair out of his pocket first, then prove the repair was done and get the insurance company to co-sign the check. This process is tedious but can save hundreds or thousands of dollars.
7. Repair the hail-damaged car. After completing the insurance claim process, have the repair done. Be sure to inspect the car before leaving the repair facility.