How to Fix Hail Damage

Why is repairing car hail damage so expensive and what’s the best way to fix it?

Published on Monday, 14 January 2019 at 17:17
Car Hail Damage Explained

Hail damage repair to cars is more common than most people realise. As recently as December 2018, NSW was hit by its worst hail storm in over 20 years. This one hailstorm alone created over $20 million in expected hail damage repair costs.

A deluge of hailstones can cause severe dents and damage to your vehicle's body and windows. The roof, boot, bonnet and windscreen are the most likely areas to be affected by hail and the cost to repair is often very high, depending on the number of dents, severity of paint damage and if the car window is cracked. hail storm near cars

Two Main Types of Car Hail Damage

There are two types of hail dent repair that can keep the price of repair down.

The first is ‘contained’ hail repairs:
  • S.M.A.R.T repairs use Small, Medium Area Repair Technology, which focus on fixing and painting the hail dented area, to avoid having to respray the entire hail damaged car part.
  • Alternatively if no painting is required then paintless dent removal (PDR) can be used. This allows for hail dent removal without the need to repaint. Unfortunately, if there are cracks and creases in the paint then more extensive and costly hail repairs involving full panel resprays are usually required.
These cheaper hail damage repairs will cost between $500-$1000 and are often better handled by independent repairers as most insurance excesses cost more than the private hail repair estimates! hail damaged car

The second category of hail damage that can be repaired is ‘multiple sites’:
  • Hail dents and damage caused to multiple panels on the car. For example if your roof, boot and bonnet were all damaged by hail then all three panels would need to be repaired and potentially repainted. Expect the panel beating costs to increase with every additional panel requiring repair.
  • Tens or hundreds of dents received by panels of the car. Each dent requires panel beating and takes labour time, which comes with a cost. The more hail dents, the greater the repair cost so it can become very expensive to smash repair.
  • It is quite common in severe hail storms for both the car windows and the car body panels to be damaged. If the windows are cracked then they will mostly likely need to be replaced too. Replacing the window will be added on top of the cost of panel beating out the dents from the surrounding hail damaged panels, resulting in a high total repair cost.
  • Lastly, in the worst cases of damage, replacement parts will be required. For example when hundreds of hail storm dents are received by a single panel, the labour time and cost to smash repair all those dents can often exceed the cost of simply replacing the hail damaged part.
These ‘multiple site’ hail damage smash repairs will cost upwards of $1000 and in some cases complete write offs. It’s often better to use insurance to smash repair as your excess will likely be less than the repair cost.

Still not sure what to do with your hail damaged car?
  • Check your insurance policy to see what your excess is and if you have ‘choice of repairer’ so you can choose to use your local panel beater rather than who they stipulate.
  • Use this guide to identify if the damage is ‘contained’ or ‘multiple sites’.
  • If you have ‘choice of repairer’ then take your car to your local panel beater for their professional assessment and repair quote.
  • If you don’t have choice of repairer then contact your insurance provider
  • Book your car in and get it repaired
  • Check the quality of your smash repairs before you accept your car back. If you need a guide to look for you can find a handy self assessment guide here.
Hopefully you found this article helpful. If you want to get your car repaired the easy way then just ask us for a quote. It's free and it only takes 3 minutes and 3 photos of the damage

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