The repair process on vehicles is something that can be overwhelming for someone to understand. Hopefully I can clear up a few questions with this post. Keeping with the theme of the previous few posts, let’s discuss the repair process for hail and storm damage.
Hail damage is usually repaired in one of two ways. The first, and preferred way, is through paintless dent repair (PDR). Through this process, PDR technicians will remove your lamps, drop down the headliner, and use other methods to gain access to the underside of exterior panels. They will then use special tools to then massage the underside of the panel to remove the dents. If your vehicle can be repaired through this process, you want it repaired this way. Just make sure you are choosing a reputable shop that provides some type of guarantee and will be around after the storms. Most body shops in Oklahoma will partner with PDR contractors, if the shop is trustworthy, usually the PDR techs are as well, and you have a location to back to if you notice some missed dents or any other issues.
The other process is through conventional body work. This is the same process that collision damage and other major damage is repaired. It involves metal work, installing new panels, reapplying corrosion protection, prepping the vehicle for paint, and then repainting the vehicle. Since this process involves working the metal and replacing or altering the factory finish, you want to make sure that the repair facility is reputable, guarantees their work (for life!), and doesn’t make you uncomfortable. Ask people you trust for recommendations if you’ve never had to go through the process yourself.
Once the repairs are done you should be given a final copy of the estimate or invoice showing all the repairs done to your vehicle. If the repair facility guarantees their work, get a written copy of that guarantee. Get a final copy of your insurance companies estimate so you can compare the repair facilities and your insurance company’s to make sure that all the work that was paid for was completed. Before signing anything indicating you are picking up your vehicle or that you’ve reviewed your vehicle, actually look at it. It’s very important that you do a walk-around with the shop representative to make sure there are no issues outstanding before leaving the shop. Most insurance companies will pay for everything over your deductible, so you will owe your deductible to the shop. If you received a two-party check for the repairs, be sure and bring that with you when picking up the car. If you were paid direct for the damages originally inspected, you owe that plus your deductible to the shop.
Like always, contact your adjuster, insurance company, or the Department of Insurance with any issues regarding the claim. If you have insurance questions or would like to see this type of post again, let me know. I’m currently going this route because of the type of storms we have here, and the questions I run into during my job as an adjuster.
If you are interested in seeing if you can save money or are looking to change insurance companies for any reason, comment or send me an email and I can get you a referrer link to get a quote online with GEICO!