LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Hailstorms can cause a serious problem, but it’s typically one that can be fixed within a week or two.
There are a few steps you can take take to make the repair process easier if your car takes some punishment during a hail storm.
Assuming your car is now in a safe place, and the storm is over, first, inspect your car for damages as soon as possible and take pictures to help when filing a claim.
Call your insurance company to inform them of the damage, and give them as many details as possible. Most comprehensive auto insurance policies cover damages from hailstorms, but some basic policies may not.
Next, get your car inspected at a body shop so that you can get an estimate.
Then you can decide if filing a claim with your insurance company is needed. Is the repair estimate higher than your deductible? If so, it’s probably wise to file a claim. If it’s less, it might be smarter to just pay out of pocket.
Check your insurance plan to see if your premiums will rise. Usually, auto hail damage doesn’t affect your rates, due to it being a natural event.
You might be asking yourself if you even have to get it fixed. If your car is completely paid off, it’s really up to you. Hail damage is usually a cosmetic issue, but it’s still recommended that you get it inspected for further damage, just to be safe.
Keep in mind, there’s some more potential for severe weather this weekend, so how do you avoid this from happening in the first place? If possible, Park under cover, but if you can’t buy a car cover or throw some mats or blankets on top of it. It might not completely prevent the damage but every little bit of protection helps.