Weather here in Colorado can be very unpredictable. In a single week we can experience both bright and sunny skies as well as severe hail storms – one day a vehicle can be in top condition, and another day it can be pummeled by golf ball-sized hail. In many cases, given you have comprehensive coverage, your car will be covered by insurance and then repaired. However, in other cases, you might find that you are the lucky owner of a hail damaged totaled car. If the hail damage is extensive and the valuation of your vehicle is not high enough, then an insurance adjuster will deem the vehicle totaled, i.e. not worth repairing through paintless dent removal (PDR) or other avenues of repair.
When discovering your now hail damage totaled car, it can be extremely frustrating, and sometimes it’s hard to find the information you are looking for. Here are a few things to keep in mind regarding your totaled vehicle:
Knowing how your vehicle’s value is calculated can help you negotiate a higher payout.
- Your vehicle’s year, make, model, mileage, wear and tear, and damage caused by the hail are core things the insurance adjuster will look at when calculating the payout.
- A new engine, transmission, new tires, etc. can make a difference in the size of your check, so try to keep relevant repair receipts on hand.
State laws require insurance companies to declare vehicles totaled dependent on the amount of damage.
- In Colorado, the cost of repairing the damage has to be greater than or equal to the pre-accident retail fair market value of your vehicle to be considered a total loss.
Make sure to ask your adjuster relevant questions to negotiate the highest payout possible, and to make sure you understand what the total loss means for you and your vehicle.
- Ask your adjuster for the details of vehicles similar to yours that are on sale or were recently sold. If you feel that your vehicle is worth more, explain why, or provide examples of a vehicle for sale that is a closer match to yours.
- Ask your adjuster to provide details of the total loss to fully understand the calculation.
- Some insurance companies will only send you payment once repairs are made, but some will send you the amount of the repair cost up-front. Ask your adjuster when you can expect your check, and, if you are provided a rental, ask for how long you can keep it for. You should be allowed ample time to find and purchase another vehicle.
- If you would prefer to keep your car and repair it yourself for any reason, ask your adjuster about the salvage laws and then decide if it makes sense to keep your vehicle.
If your car is totaled by hail, there are a couple of decisions that can be made:
- Accept the payment from your insurance company and purchase a new vehicle.
- Choose to keep your vehicle and take it to hail repair experts with some out-of-pocket payment.
Let’s do the math for HailCo damage repair:
In the case that you choose to keep the vehicle, your car will need to be re-registered once it is repaired if the title is now classified as salvage. The table below is an example of what you may expect to pay to get your hail damage repaired in terms of cost to you.
|Paintless Damage Repair Example Estimate|
|Hail Damage Cost||$6000|
|Your Insurance Deductible||+$500|
|Insurance Value Payout||-$3000|
HailCo will work directly with your insurance company on your behalf
Before we even begin our PDR process, we can help you negotiate the cost of the hail damage with your insurance adjuster to help save your vehicle from total loss. If your call is considered a total loss, we’ll notify you so you can decide how you’d like to proceed. If you decide to get your hail damage repaired, we will cover your deductible up to $500, and our experts will work to get your vehicle back to pre-hail damage condition.
The bottom line is, navigating a total loss from a hailstorm can be very stressful. This is especially true when trying to understand the value of your vehicle and the payout with your insurance company. However, asking the right questions and understanding the situation can help you arrive at the best possible scenario. In all cases, it is best to be proactive. Make sure you have comprehensive coverage if possible and keep an eye on weather warnings, so you know when to protect or shelter your vehicle.
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