Whenever there’s thunder, there’s always a chance of hail. Inside a storm, hailstones whizz around like lottery balls in a tumbler before hurtling to earth at eyewatering speeds.
Just 3 years ago in one month alone, insurance companies shelled out almost $2 billion in property insurance claims related to hail damage in eastern Australia.
Vehicles can become pocked with dents caused by hail in a matter of seconds. That’s why we‘ve come up with a list of actions you should take if your car was on the receiving end of a hailstorm. Read on for your hail repair checklist.
Staying Safe During a Hailstorm
When a hailstorm hits, your top priority should be to keep yourself, your family and your pets safe. You should never deliberately go out in a hailstorm, even to move your car.
If it begins to hail while you’re running to the car to drive it to a safer location or to cover your vehicle, stop straight away and find shelter. Heavy hail can lead to serious injuries and even death. No car is worth risking your safety for.
Assess the Damage
Coastal areas around Brisbane, the Gold Coast and south towards Sydney are particularly prone to hail. Hailstorms happen most often between October and February with peak activity in November and December.
Several studies have concluded that global warming could lead to an increase in the number of hailstorms we experience. It could also mean that hailstones get even bigger.
If hailstones smash through a car’s window or windshield, water can get inside the vehicle causing major internal issues that can cost thousands of dollars to repair. Typical hail damage to cars includes:
- Dents, especially on bonnets
- Roof damage
- Broken windows
- Broken lights
When it’s safe to do so, you should check over your car and inspect the hail damage. If the hail particles are small enough, they may not cause any damage at all. If they’re larger, they can cause very severe problems.
More often than not, it will be possible for a specialist like PDR 2U to carry out a hail repair, get rid of dents and make your car look good as new again.
Take photographs and videos of the hail damage using your smartphone. You can then forward these to both your insurer and PDR 2U, your Brisbane dent repair specialist. Our qualified technicians will be able to take a look at what’s happened and advise you on the next steps you need to take to repair any damaged bodywork.
Check Your Insurance Policy
If you’ve got comprehensive car insurance, it’s likely it will cover your car for hail damage. There can be a variety of limits, exclusions and excesses depending on the provider. Check your policy and contact the insurance company if you need to confirm whether the policy covers your vehicle.
Third-party car insurance typically won’t cover your car for a hail repair. By definition, it covers damage to other vehicles and not yours.
If you live in Brisbane or on the Gold Coast it makes sense to think carefully about the type of insurance policy you have.
Given the likelihood of hailstorms and the damage they can cause when compared with other parts of Australia, it might make sense to upgrade from a third-party to a fully comprehensive policy.
What to Consider Before You Book Your Repair
There will be many key drivers that might play into any decisions you make about changes to your insurance policy or whether to proceed with a hail repair. It’s always worth taking stock and weighing up your options when there’s hail damage involved. Here are some key factors to consider:
Your Car’s Appearance
If your car is fairly new and looking its best, it’s likely you’ll want to keep it that way. Getting it fixed through paintless dent removal would be a sound investment for your car.
If your car was in good shape before the hailstorm, getting the damage repaired is going to give your car a better trade-in or resale value. It will also make the car more saleable should you ever decide to move on to a newer vehicle.
How Long Do You Intend to Keep Your Vehicle?
If hail has led to structural damage to your car and you intend to keep the vehicle, then you will almost always find it makes sense to repair the bodywork.
Paintless Dent Repair vs Panel Beating for Hail Damage
Paintless Dent Removal (PDR) takes a more modern approach to the repair of dents. Typically it’s a lot faster and cheaper when compared with traditional panel beating.
PDR involves fixing the damage to your car by getting behind the dent. Using specialist tools, our skilled technicians can massage damaged areas back into their original shape through skilled craftsmanship. The result is that can be impossible to tell that there was ever any hail damage there at all.
A big advantage over panel beating is that we can typically work on a car where you have it parked. You wouldn’t need to bring the vehicle to a garage and leave it overnight, for example.
There are some instances when panel beating may be the only option. This is typically when there are scratches to the paint and metal or when there are sharp dents on a car’s braced hood. Pronounced dents at the edges of panels or quarter panel opening lips can also make PDR tricky.
Trust the Experts!
When you first catch sight of the damaged bonnet or roof of your car after a hail storm, your heart is likely to sink. The cost and the inconvenience are probably going to be uppermost in your mind.
PDR 2U has a team of experts ready to get your car looking its best again with minimum fuss and at surprisingly affordable prices. If you’ve become caught out in a hail storm and experienced hail damage to your car, we want to hear from you.
Send the PDR 2U team a picture or video of the damage and we’ll get back to you with an assessment of what we can do. If we think we can fix the damage, we’ll arrange a convenient time to come out to you and then carry out the hail repair on-site.