…and 5+ effective stress relief tactics to ease the Oklahoma City auto hail claims blues.
The Zen of Filing an Auto Hail Claim
Oklahoma vehicle owners are very well aware of 2 things: Unpredictable weather patterns and Mother Natures’ relentless unloading of hail stones from the sky and onto their vehicles. Don’t get me wrong, there is no other state I’d rather reside but dealing with the aftermath of a hailstorm can become tiresome.
In today’s blog, we will cover the 5 major pain points that customers experience when their vehicle has been damaged in a hail storm and some coping strategies that can help ease the process.
- Stress. The stress that comes with dealing with their insurance company and the auto hail claims process is a big one. No one readily embraces the opportunity to deal with their insurance company, this goes double when it comes to filing a hail damage claim on their vehicle. Just the thought of a claim that falls under the “Act of God” umbrella is intimidating enough. Unless you are a person that prefers to approach this type of situation with the “rip off the bandaid” mentality, you have time to take a breather. Next, take some time to access the situation and the damage.
- Details about the storm and damage.
- What was the date of the storm’s occurrence?
- Where was your vehicle during the hail storm? City / physical location.
- How big were the hail stones? Ping pong, golf ball, baseball, tennis ball.
- Do you have pictures of the hail that damaged your vehicle?
- Grab your cell phone and snap some pictures of the damage.
- Take note of the severity of the damage and the size of the dents. What panels have sustained most of the damage? Are the dents dime-sized, or quarter-sized?
- Is there any damage to the windshields, sunroof?
- Details about your insurance policy.
- Who is your insurance provider?
- What kind of coverage do you have on your vehicle?
- Do you have a deductible?
- Does your policy cover a rental car while your vehicle is being repaired?
- Details about the storm and damage.
- Choosing a paintless dent repair shop. After a hail storm, give it about a week and you will have PDR shops seeking YOU out. You will be inundated with multiple paintless dent repair shops and traditional auto body repair shops vying for your business. We suggest taking some time to do your research. Here is a list of ways you can do your research to find the best paintless dent repair shop to hire to repair your auto hail damage.
- Who does the actual repairs? Some body shops subcontract with paintless dent repair shops to do their auto hail damage repairs.
- Experience with auto hail repair. If you live in the Oklahoma City area, most of the PDR shops have experience repairing this kind of damage. You can either take a look at their website, check out BBB, or simply call and ask about their experience with auto hail repair.
- Experience with auto hail claims. It is your choice as to how much you want your repair facility to be involved with the auto hail claims process. Most of the auto hail repair specialty shops communicate with insurance adjusters on a very regular basis.
- Customer reviews. Google reviews are always a great go-to when reviewing any company in the service industry. 5 stars are amazing but you can really get some great HONEST feedback from a maybe “not so good” experience. How did the PDR company handle the review? What steps did they take to de-escalate or improve the customer experience?
- Warranty. Does the repair shop offer a warranty on their repairs? You can usually find this information on their website.
- Customer service. What is their approach to customer service? Offerings like “Pay no deductible” and “Free loaners” are obviously amazing perks but what is their customer care philosophy? The repair shop won’t JUST be repairing your vehicle’s hail damage. They will most likely be communicating with your insurance adjuster and be the intermediary between you and your insurance company.
- Hassling with the insurance company. If you’ve gone through the auto hail damage claims process with your insurance company in the past, you might have experienced a few of these specific aggravations and concerns already. We will list some of the most frequently mentioned pain points experienced by our customers and our team members.
It is VERY important to understand that Insurance Adjusters are NOT auto body shop technicians nor paintless dent repair technicians. Insurance adjusters work for the insurance company and so do their “direct repair shops”. Superior Dent Solutions work for you and in YOUR best interest.
- Inaccurate estimates by adjusters. Many adjusters will come to do their damage assessments and estimates at your home. Estimating a vehicle outside is a very inaccurate way to assess hail damage, as many of the dents will not be seen due to the glare of the sun. We already know this. If you choose to have your vehicle repaired, notify the insurance company as to the paintless dent repair shop you have chosen to use for the repairs. Before we start any repairs on a vehicle, we re-assess and identify ALL of the damage using industry-specific LED lights. We want to ensure the insurance estimate was written accurately. If we identify additional damage not notated on the adjuster estimate, we will submit a supplement to cover the additional funding needed to repair all of the damage.
- Steering tactics. Your adjustor may ask you where you are taking your vehicle to get repaired. They will try to encourage you to use a repair facility on their “direct repair shop” or “preferred shop” list. They will also use tactics to imply that you have to use one of these shops for one reason or another. Usually, they say it is to protect you, the quality of vehicle repair, and so many other misleading and untrue statements. First and foremost, this is absolutely false and illegal. You can learn more about “steering tactics” in this blog post.
- Proving damage. We’ve heard stories about adjusters claiming that hail cannot crack, chip, or break windshields, sunroofs, moonroofs, and ANY glass on a vehicle. They might even ask you to “prove” that the damage was from the hail storm. I know, how do you possibly do that? One benefit of working with a professional paintless dent repair shop before you talk to your insurance company is that we are ON your side. We can personally handle all of the “proving damage” questions and more.
- Long wait times. It is true, after a major weather occurrence, wait times to get an adjuster scheduled to look at your vehicle can take a few days to weeks. The route we suggest is to tell your adjuster that you want to meet them at the paintless dent repair shop of your choice to do the estimate. This saves time for 2 reasons. The PDR shop has the equipment and expertise to estimate a vehicle correctly the first time. This saves time and the aspect of hassling with your insurance company. In most cases, specifically at Superior Dent Solutions, we can just keep your vehicle for repairs after the estimate. is approved.
- The insurance company hosted parking lot estimates. Cattle calls are no fun. Enough said. 🙂
- Prior damage. I refer back to Oklahoma City because this is pretty common. Your vehicle is damaged in a hail storm, you wait to file your claim, and in the meantime, BAM – another hail storm, more damage. I will use a real-life example. The Oklahoma City hail storm that hit OKC on April 19th. May 14th, ANOTHER front dumps hail on OKC again. Maybe you had filed a claim for the April 19th storm, maybe you put that “to-do” on the back burner. Your insurance company already knows about the concurrent storms.
** At Superior Dent Solutions, this is not an uncommon situation and something we handle frequently with customers and insurance companies. If you need assistance or have another scenario we have not touched on, just give us a call and we will get you squared away.
Here are the 3 scenarios you might be facing and what to do.
- You filed a claim for the April 19th storm but haven’t had the damage fixed yet and now you have additional damage. Your adjuster has already estimated the hail damage on your vehicle from the first storm. They will come out and do a second assessment. They will estimate the vehicle as it is all new damage. They will estimate the cost to repair all of the damage and then subtract the amount already assessed from the first storm. This will give them the estimated cost to repair the damage from the second storm.
- You haven’t filed a claim for the April 19th Oklahoma City hail storm and now you have new auto hail damage. Your adjuster will assess all of the damage from both storms and divide the damage based on “cost to repair” averages from the 1st storm and the damage assessed from the new storm.
- You filed a claim for the April 19th storm and have already had your vehicle repaired but now you have new damage. In this scenario, you would simply file a new hail damage claim.
- No money to cover the deductible. Don’t feel bad. No one has the money to cover their deductible because it is a very unexpected expense. Even if you HAD the money, the last thing you want to do is spend it on a deductible. I don’t want to call it a “perk” but one of the benefits of hiring an Oklahoma City paintless dent repair shop that is NOT on your insurance company’s “preferred repair shop” list is the simple fact that we work for YOU. We don’t need to collect the deductible. It is something we can choose to absorb into our labor costs. Direct repair shops are required to collect a deductible. Mostly because they have negotiated a “discounted rate” with the insurance company and can’t afford to not collect the deductible.
- BONUS Content! If you haven’t tried meditation, now might be a good time to give it a go.
- Take a seat. Find a place to sit that feels calm and quiet to you.
- Set a time limit.
- Notice your body.
- Feel your breath.
- Notice when your mind has wandered. …
- Be kind to your wandering mind.
- Close with kindness.
- Now, bring your awareness back to your body and call Superior Dent Solutions at 405-415-6865. We’ll take care of everything for you!