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Was Your Car Damaged By Hail?

hail damaged carIf your car was damaged in a hail storm, you’re not alone.

The United States sees thousands of hail events every year, and thousands of cars inevitably get caught and battered. Hail can cause significant roof and window damage to a vehicle. In some cases, the damage can be severe enough that it’s too costly to fix.

Hail damage is so common, many states classify it as its own category on titles for totaled cars. That’s because hail damage can have very different consequences for a vehicle than damage from a wreck, flooding, fire, or other potential causes.

If your car has been damaged by hail, your options for keeping, fixing, or selling it differ based on where you are, how serious the damage is, what kind of insurance coverage you have, and more. Read on to learn how hail impacts your car and what you can do about it.

Can You Fix Hail Damage In A Car?

Short answer: typically, yes.

Long answer: In most cases, yes, but it could be expensive and your insurance may not help you out if you don’t have the right kind of coverage. Additionally, you may get a permanent branding on your car’s title, making it difficult to insure going forward.

car with mild hail damageThe first thing to know about hail damage is your insurance will only cover the cost of repairs if you have comprehensive coverage. Liability insurance alone won’t pay for the cost of repairing hail damage to your vehicle.

You should also keep in mind that comprehensive coverage typically includes a deductible, which means you’ll still have to pay a certain amount of cash out of pocket before your insurance kicks in and covers the rest. That means before you make any decisions, you should calculate whether it makes sense to file an insurance claim.

Minor hail damage, like in the photo on the left, can be fixed within a couple of days at an auto shop. If your damage isn’t serious, the cost of paying for the deductible, plus the possibility of increased insurance costs going forward, might mean that it doesn’t make sense to file a claim.

Instead, you could instead pay for the cost of repairs out of pocket (or skip the repairs entirely — minor damage is typically cosmetic, not structural).

car with medium hail damageKeep in mind that the more serious the damage gets, the more you might have to pay out of pocket for repairs, and the closer you might get to needing to file an insurance claim. For instance, if your car looks more like the vehicle on the right, you might need to do careful calculations to figure out whether to file a claim or not.

On the other hand, the more serious the damage is, the fewer options you have. A car with serious dents and cracks in the panels, along with any window damage, will be costly to fix and could take a few weeks to complete repairs on. If you want to keep the car, chances are you’ll have to file an insurance claim to cover the cost of repairing the damage, which could include replacing panels and windows.

Additionally, if your car’s damage is serious enough, your insurance company might decide to total it instead of paying for repairs. At this point, you still have the option to keep the vehicle, but it’ll be hard to get it insured again and you might need to pass inspections to be allowed to continue driving with heavy hail damage

Options For Selling A Car With Hail Damage

The downside of filing an insurance claim and having your car declared totaled is that you probably won’t be able to keep the car — it just won’t make financial sense to deal with it. The upside is depending on what the damage looks like, you can probably still get a fairly decent price for it from certain buyers.

You can always let your insurance company buy your car from you, but you might be leaving money on the table. Instead, you can request to buy back the car from the insurance company. You’ll still get a check, but it’ll be minus both your deductible and what they expected to make selling it at a salvage auction. 

Once you have the check from your insurer plus the title to your car, you can start shopping around for options and figure out how much you can sell your vehicle for.

For individuals and dealerships, who are typically looking for easily-drivable cars, chances are your totaled, hail-damaged vehicle isn’t going to be appealing. You might end up paying for towing, eating into potential profits, or getting negotiated down to an offer that’s less than what your car is really worth. This probably isn’t the route to choose.

On the other hand, junkyards, pick n pulls and online junk car buyers can do a lot with your vehicle and have the resources to do it. That means they may be able to offer you a fair market price for your car, allowing you to get rid of a headache and get a small payday.

Of course, you still need to shop around to find the best price possible and be on the lookout for hidden fees, towing costs, and more. If you’re looking for the best possible option for your vehicle, we know where you can find it.

Get Paid For Your Hail-Damaged Car With CarBrain

At CarBrain, we specialize in buying less-than-perfect cars, including cars with hail damage, and making the process as convenient, fair, and speedy as possible. You can get a quote for your car entirely online in just 90 seconds.

satisfied customer on phoneAll we need to make a guaranteed, accurate offer is a description of your vehicle, some pictures of any damage to the car, and the Vehicle Identification Number. Once we have that, we can produce a quote for you that includes free towing and free title transfer, guaranteed. Our offers are locked in for seven days, so you have time to think it over too.

You can complete the entire process online or through your phone. Our associate buyers will walk you through the process, answer your questions, help you understand your options, and show you what you can get for your vehicle now.

Once you’re ready to sell your hail-damaged car, we can come to you in 24-48 hours after you accept your offer and pay you on the spot for your car. It’s that simple. Get an offer from CarBrain and find out how much you can get for your hail-damaged car today.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Insurance Cover Hail Damage?

Insurance only covers hail damage if you have comprehensive coverage. Liability coverage will not cover damage from weather-related incidents.

However, keep in mind that you’ll have to meet a deductible in order to use comprehensive coverage. Whether or not you should file an insurance claim depends on what it will cost to repair damage to your car.

If your insurance does not cover hail damage or if your car is totaled as a result of hail damage, CarBrain can make a fair market offer on it in 90 seconds. Our offers include free towing and title transfer. You can get paid for your vehicle in just 24-48 business hours after accepting our offer!

How Is Hail Damage Assessed On A Car?

To assess the extent of hail damage to your car, an estimator will take a comprehensive review of your vehicle, noting any dents and other hail-related damage to your car. They will inspect the windows and panels to determine if any need to be replaced, and examine the mechanical system to see if there is any internal damage to the vehicle.

An estimator will also identify any damage to your car that existed before the hail damage. Once he or she has conducted an extensive review, you will receive an estimate for the value loss to your car and the cost of repairing the damage.

Does Hail Damage Show Up On CarFax?

Not always. If the damage was minor and did not cause any structural issues, it may not have been reported. However, if the damage was serious or an insurance claim was filed, chances are it will appear in the CarFax report.

Can Hail Damage Total A Car?

Yes, hail damage can total a car – and when it does, your options for making money off of it are limited. The best choice may be to buy back your car from your insurance company. You’ll get a check for the pre-accident value of the car, minus your deductible and minus what they expected to make selling it at a salvage auction.

Once you have the check, you can start shopping around for a potential buyer. CarBain can produce an offer for your hail-damaged car in 90 seconds, with free towing and title transfer included. We pay fair market rates, pay you on the spot in 24-48 hours and have no hidden fees for our convenient service!

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