Spring is finally here and while we are currently experiencing those April showers, we know before long we will have lots of flowers blooming. Spring brings with it a sense of new beginnings. The sunshine days are longer, the air is typically warmer, and the birds are once again chirping outside the window. One thing that comes with Spring that we prefer to not deal with of course is “storm season”, otherwise known as tornado and hail season. While we would all probably like to stick our head in the ground and pretend storm season isn’t a thing to contend with, it is probably better to just ensure you are prepared and understand what to expect if you find yourself dealing with the aftermath of such.
If you have lived in Oklahoma or any of the plains & midwestern states, you should be well versed in what to do with respect to taking cover, et cetera, during the actual storm. Do remember though that life is most valuable, as it is irreplaceable. You should never risk your life to protect your property – those things are repairable or replaceable. This article aims to take a more in depth look and provide understanding for what to do with respect to your automobile after it has been through a tornado, wind, or hailstorm.
Assess the Damage
The first thing to do after a storm, assuming there was no loss of life or personal injuries to deal with, is to self-assess your damage. Things to consider as you assess:
- Does your vehicle have obvious damage?
- Does the damage make it unsafe to drive (busted out headlights, windshield, etc)?
- Is the damage significant enough that it can be easily seen with the naked eye?
If you answered yes to 2 of the above questions, you should contact your insurance company at once and file a claim. Depending on the insurance company, you may be directed to a specific location to have an estimate completed or they may assign an adjuster to come to you.
Note: In the State of Oklahoma you decide where you will have your vehicle repaired. The insurance company can not tell you where to have your repair completed.
Filing a Claim
That being said, you insurance company may direct you to a nearby auto body facility for your estimate. The estimate written at that facility (the one the insurance company directed you to) will become the estimate of record, so it is important that if you choose a different facility to complete your repair that you give the facility of your choice the estimate you were given. It is okay if some things were missed on the estimate you received from the insurance directed facility. This happens, especially with hail estimates, do not fret. Your estimator will work with you and the insurance company to ensure that all the damages related to the storm are repaired and covered under the insurance claim.
But what if you don’t see damage?
While damages from tornado and wind are usually visible, this is not always the case with hail damage. Often times, hail damage can be difficult to see with the naked eye and requires special lighting to be fully visible. If you suspect you have hail damage but are unsure or not sure if it is enough to merit claiming on your insurance, it would be a good idea to contact a reputable body shop to schedule an estimate before you file a claim.
If you need an estimate or to schedule a repair, whether it is storm related or otherwise, OKC Auto Works is here for you. We do mechanical repairs, as well as auto body and collision repair. We offer free estimates. (405) 634-8200.