Spring and summer bring warmer temperatures, which can also mean more storms. Unfortunately, this also means your car is more likely to suffer damage. Just one storm can cause extensive damage, leaving you wondering what to do.
This guide takes you through the process of getting your car fixed after storm damage, from safeguarding your vehicle to contacting an auto body shop:
Types of Damage a Storm Can Cause
Storms can cause a variety of damage to your car, including the following:
Hail damage – Hail can cause extensive damage to your vehicle in a matter of minutes. Depending on its size, hail can inflict numerous dents and dings on your vehicle’s body or even break glass. An auto body shop can often remove the dents and dings.
Flooding or water damage – Water can damage your engine’s cylinders, electrical components, and interior, among other things. It can also cause your vehicle to prematurely rust.
Damage from debris like fallen trees – High winds can cause trees and limbs to fall and hit your car. This may result in body damage as well as broken glass, both of which can be corrected by an auto body shop.
Steps to Take
If your car is damaged in a storm, take the following steps:
Be careful – If your car has flood damage, you may not want to start it since this could damage your engine or start a fire if there’s water in your electrical system.
Take photos – Take photos of the damage to your car, as well as surrounding areas that show context.
Minimize your damage – Secure your car in a garage if possible. If not, make sure to use a tarp to cover up any glass damage that could let water into your car.
Call your insurance company – You’ll be able to find out the specifics of your auto insurance, including how much your deductible is and how to file a claim to have your insurer pay for the repairs that are required at an auto body shop. If you have damaged belongings inside your car, also call your homeowner’s insurance company.
Work with an experienced auto body shop – An experienced auto body shop like Newell’s can repair damage and work with your insurance company to make the process as easy as possible. In fact, you can start the process of getting your estimate without leaving your driveway, using our Photo Estimate Tool.
What Insurance Will Likely Cover
Your auto insurance policy may cover storm-related damage if you have comprehensive insurance. This insurance covers many types of damage to your car that aren’t caused by collision but instead are the result of falling objects like trees, and flooding, hail, and animals, among other things.
Comprehensive insurance will pay to have your car repaired by an auto body shop after you pay your deductible. If the cost to repair your car is greater than its actual cash value (its purchase price minus depreciation and your deductible), your insurance company will declare your vehicle a total loss and pay you its actual cash value so you can buy another one.
Homeowners insurance policies won’t cover damage to your car, even if it was parked in your driveway. They may, however, cover damage to personal property that was inside your car.
Having your car repaired in a timely manner by an auto body shop is important so your car continues to operate in a safe manner and look its best. An auto body shop can help your car maintain its value as much as possible, so when it’s time to sell it or trade it in, you’re likely to get a better price for your vehicle.
The following are some types of repairs that may be needed after your vehicle suffers storm damage:
Paintless dent repair – In many cases, Newell’s Auto Body can use paintless dent repair for minor dents and dings. It’s faster and less expensive than other types of dent repair since it doesn’t require repainting. Instead, we will use special metal rods and picks to push out the dents from the inside of the body panel.
Glass replacement – If your car has extensive glass damage, it’s not safe to leave it unrepaired. Even small chips or cracks can grow much larger over time, so it pays to have them repaired quickly. Glass is a structural part of the vehicle and should not be left compromised or it can affect the safety and functionality of the vehicle.
Major repairs – In some cases, your car may need major repairs such as engine or electrical work after storm damage.
Storm damage to your car requires prompt action as well as taking some precautions. Newell’s Auto Body’s experienced technicians, along with our excellent reputation can help repair dents, dings, and other damage to restore your car to its previous condition so it maintains its value.
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Newell's Auto Body, Inc. 996 W Harrison Ave Decatur, IL 62526 (217) 877-7632