NOTE: If you are an existing client and are here from our New Years email blast then welcome back to the blog. If you are not an existing client we still welcome you. This blog is about automotive care and car detailing in Oklahoma City.
Hail Damage and Your Car
Hail is one of those unexpected forces of Mother Nature that you just can’t prepare in advance for—generally unexpected, oftentimes damaging, especially in Oklahoma City. Depending on the severity of the hailstorm as well as the size of the hail itself, the damage can range from the non-existent to the extensive. While your home may receive some damage, an unprotected car can really take the brunt of the storm’s destruction.
Since there is no way to protect your car from an unplanned hailstorm other than to relocate your car to a protected parking spot, it is important to know how to deal with the aftermath. Hailstorms can occur anywhere, and at any time of the year, although there are certain places and times of the year that they are more likely to happen (Tornado season in Oklahoma). Being prepared is the best line of defense.
Even small hailstones can cause damage; an excess of small stones can leave little indentations all over your car’s exterior. Large hailstones can be very harmful; even just a few stones can leave large dents and even break the glass of your car’s windows. The first step to preparing your vehicle against hail’s damage is to know what your insurance covers in case of a claim. Hopefully, your car has comprehensive coverage, which can cover natural disasters as well as accidents.
If your car only sustains minimal damage, you may have to pay the deductible to get it fixed. Good to know is that some small dents may work themselves out when the car is left out in the sun so you may not need to have the car repaired at all! Having the vehicle detailed may also provide an opportunity to work out dings and better assess the damage If, however, you do find it necessary to file a claim, make sure it is worth the time and effort. Take your car to a body shop to assess the damage. If they determine that there is extensive work needed, they can break down the cost for you by the number of dents and the location of the dents on the car. Glass removal and replacement will be a separate cost; it is best to get the most thorough breakdown for your insurance company. It is also a good safety measure to take pictures of your car’s damage and to submit them to your insurance agency for documentation purposes.
The best case scenario is that the car is fixed relatively quickly and at little cost out of pocket to you. There are those cases, however, where the damage is so severe that the expense of repairing it isn’t worth the cost of the car itself. Your Oklahoma insurance company may determine that the car is “totaled” and pay out what they believe the car is worth so that you may replace it. Generally, though, the amount paid is not an amount equal to a car that is equivalent to the one you had, leaving you with something less desirable to drive. The insurance company may find that the total cost of the car is substantial and pay you accordingly, but that is not as likely of a scenario.
You may still be able to drive your car, but if the insurance company says the car is a total loss, the title becomes a salvage title, making it more difficult to sell later on. If you decide to fix the car and sell it, it is to your benefit to tell the person buying the car about the hail damage so that they do not come after you after the fact. If the body of the vehicle has been fixed and the title is clean, you should not have any difficulty selling the vehicle if it is in good shape otherwise. Just remember, you will need to have the repairs completed after you make the claim because if you wait, the insurance company may not honor the request later.
You may be perfectly fine driving a car with hail damage for a year, but if you then decide to sell it, the insurance company may say that too much time has passed for you to have them pay for repairs. Depending on where you live in Oklahoma, the dents may rust if they are not repaired right away, making the car even more difficult to sell to another party.
You must also be wary of shady repair shops who promise you cut-rate prices on their repairs. They may not be reputable and they may use methods to fix your vehicle that may not work, or that could potentially cause even more damage to the car. To ensure you are using a reputable company for the repair, make sure you take the car to them, as opposed to using a door to door “hail damage assessment specialist”. Credible, local repair people who are recommended to you are the best bet.
If you happen to be in the market for a new car, you may be able to get a great deal on a car with previous hail damage. Just make sure to examine the car carefully to ensure any dings and dents have been removed. Then take the car to a trusted OKC mechanic to see if the rest of the car was spared damage. You will also want to contact your insurance company to see if you can still get comprehensive coverage on the car since it has a prior history of damage.
You will also want to know if you can finance a hail damaged car; many lenders won’t finance a previously dinged vehicle. Consider, too, your resale value on the car when you decide to resell the car. While the damage may be minute, it may wind up costing you a lot later. You should be able to get a discounted rate on the vehicle initially and that may make up the difference down the line. It is important to do your homework before you buy the vehicle, so make sure you contact your lender, your insurance company, and your trusted mechanic. If all give you a green light, you can score a great deal on a slightly damaged vehicle.
Here Are Some Notable Blog Mentions In The OKC Area
• If you are looking to move to or from OKC here are some tips for you. http://www.ablemoversokc.com/everything-about-moving-blog/moving-tips-before-your-move
• We all remember the Oklahoma City bombing. Here is some historical information for those of you that don’t know about it. http://www.batesline.com/archives/2015/04/oklahoma-city-bombing-the-fence.html
• Keep your fingers crossed that Tornadoes season in 2018 doesn’t wake any sleeping giants. In the event, that disaster strikes though there are amazing people doing amazing things for the community. http://disastertechlab.org/deployments/oklahoma/
• Adoption and Foster Care takes a big heart and a caring individual to proceed. Here is some info for any OKC residence looking to adopt or foster a child. http://www.lilyfield.org/lilyfield-christian-adoption-and-foster-care/okc-vip-card
• Should hail strike and damage your roof, you can call a local roofing contractor to give you an estimate. http://www.baker-roofing.com/blog/roofing-contractors-in-oklahoma
• 50 things to do in OKC. This is great for anyone looking to stay entertained in 2018. http://oklahomacity.citymomsblog.com/50-free-nearly-free-things-okc-fall/
• Tornadoes are oftentimes followed by hail storms. Here is some advice for getting out of dodge before the big T touches down. http://www.stormsheltersdirect.net/blog/tornado
• Need dental care in OKC? Check out this practice. http://www.danapricedental.com/dr-dana-price-blog/our-customers-say-it-best