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A car sits on the side of the road with tall flames coming out of it, and a plume of dark smoke.
You might have a feeling your car is totaled, but you can still have its value assessed by your insurance.

You step out of your car, and you take a look at the damage to your vehicle. That’s the moment you know it’s more than a fender bender. You may ask yourself “Is my car totaled?”

It’s unlikely you’ll find out at the scene of a crash: The car’s value and body shop repair cost determines if it is repairable. It’s also important to know your insurance policy and the process to file a claim for repairs, which can make the process of repairs more affordable and/or timely.

 

What to Do With a Car Totaled Accident

The repair team will inspect the damage, complete the repair estimate, and compare it with the car’s current value. If the repair estimate is more than the current car value, the insurance will not qualify it for repair.

For example, a car with a value of $5,000 that needs $7,000 worth of repair will not qualify.

Check your insurance policy to know what you should expect with a vehicle that is not repairable. In most cases, the insurance company will issue you a check for the value of the car. If you do not agree with the amount, you can get quotes from used car dealers, view prices online, and note any additional or special features on your car. Show this documentation to the insurance company to dispute the amount.

Keeping a Totaled Vehicle

Cars hold sentimental value for many and some choose to repair a totaled vehicle.

Contact your insurance company as soon as possible. The insurance company will subtract the vehicle’s salvage value from the amount it planned to pay you. To drive the car again, you need a salvage title. Repairs are your responsibility.

If you want a totaled car fixed, find a body shop you trust to provide an accurate estimate to repair the vehicle.

At ProCare Automotive and Collision in San Antonio, we have experienced and trained technicians who know exactly what it will take to repair the vehicle back to a safe and drivable condition again.

For more posts like this, visit ProCare Automotive and Collision on Facebook.

A pair of hands hold several marble-sized hailstones.
Hail can cause a lot of body damage.

Hailstorms in Texas take a toll on vehicles. They can leave behind a Texas-sized path of destruction to property, including cars. That leaves many car owners in need of hail damage repair. According to a recent study, Bexar county comes in at number 11 for the most wind and hail insurance claims during the past decade. This explains why, after a hailstorm, body shops are busier than usual.

Monitor weather reports to protect your vehicle in a garage or under an awning to prevent hail damage. A severe storm can leave sizable damage to your car.

Assess the Damage

Once the storm has passed, take a look at your car. If the hail was large in size, the damage may be obvious. Your vehicle may not be drivable if it has a smashed windshield. Walk around the entire vehicle to check the condition of the headlights, taillights, and the roof of the car.

With smaller hail, the damage may not be visible until you get close to your car. If you can, get your vehicle in direct light. When the light shines on the car, you may notice a dimple effect that looks like a golf ball. Look for missing paint.

Take Photos

Take close-up and wider photos to show the full extent of the damage. This will be helpful for the insurance company and auto body shop.

Review Your Insurance Claim

You may recall what your insurance policy covers. However, it is always good to refer back to it when you have damage. Find out what it covers in relation to storm damage and, specifically, hail.

Depending on the type of policy you have, it may cover hail damage under collision repair. It may also include coverage for paintless dent repair (PDR). PDR typically costs less than collision repair. Some insurance companies will cover the full cost of PDR, depending on the type of policy. If you have coverage for both, this will be helpful if you have the option for PDR.

Types of Hail Damage Repair

A blue car with several hail dents on its roof.
Some forms of hail damage don’t require collision repair. If the paint is not chipped, consider paintless dent repair.

When you get an estimate, find out if the technicians are certified by the manufacturer and to perform PDR. This ensures the repairs meet your vehicle manufacturer’s specifications.

Sometimes it is difficult to know whether your car needs auto body repair, or if paintless dent repair will be sufficient. Take a close look at the damage, and weigh the pros and cons of hail damage repair before making a final decision.

PDR works well to repair most hail damage. It has been proven to be effective enough for hail damage repair that some insurance companies will set up temporary PDR facilities after a hailstorm to take care of the damage. This method saves time and money, compared to collision repair.

Because it leaves the original paint in place, your car will maintain its original factory paint. You’ll want someone well-trained to perform this repair because it requires accessing the back side of the panel where the damage is located, then rubbing and shrinking the dent with special tools. This is a faster process than standard auto body repair.

However, if you have paint damage caused by the hail your vehicle will require collision repair. Take your vehicle to a certified collision repair shop when you need this type of dent repair. This ensures the paint work matches the original factory paint. Also, any dents close to a panel’s edge or large dents may require collision repair and not PDR.

Buying a Hail Damage Car – Repair it or Not?

Depending on how significant the damage is to the car, you may find a great deal on a car with hail damage. In many cases, a hailstorm may only cause cosmetic blemishes, but do your homework if you plan to purchase a used vehicle with any signs of hail damage.

Have a technician take a close look at the car. There could have been more damage and only some of it was repaired. Also, contact your lender if you are financing to make sure you can finance a damaged vehicle. Notify your insurance agent of the damage and inquire if you are still eligible for comprehensive insurance.

It is up to you if you choose to have the vehicle repaired after you purchase it or if you don’t mind driving with some dents on the vehicle.

Find a Body Shop

Hailstorms are the perfect example that you never know when you may need hail damage repair. Your car could be parked in front of your home when a storm passes and within minutes, you have damage. That is why it’s beneficial to do some research to find the right collision center before anything happens.

Whether you use PDR or collision repair, you will want to find a location that offers certified collision repair. This means the technicians have been trained by various manufacturers to properly make repairs for the car to return back to its factory condition. When researching various shops, find out if the technicians are trained by your vehicle manufacturer and how often they are certified.

At ProCare Automotive & Collision, a San Antonio body shop, our technicians are trained and certified to perform PDR or collision repair. If you have hail damage, use our Smartphone Estimating Tool for a free and quick estimate. You can also contact one of our locations near you to speak with someone directly. Our goal is to provide you efficient auto body repair, so you can get back on the road. 

 

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