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Category: Car Repair

How do the TOP 10% ELITE Professionals handle Hail Repair?

When a hailstorm strikes, it can wreak havoc on your vehicle, leaving behind a ton of dents and damage. But fear not, because there are professionals who specialize in hail repair and can restore your car to its pre-storm glory. In this article, we will delve into the world of hail repair and uncover the techniques used by the experts to repair hail damage.

The elite hail repair professionals employ a variety of methods to restore your vehicle’s body panels to their original condition. From paintless dent repair to blending to prepping a panel for bodywork, these skilled technicians have the knowledge and tools to make your car look as good as new. By using specialized, industry specific tools and techniques, they can manipulate and remove dents without the need for costly repainting.

So how exactly do they do it? Dive into our comprehensive guide to learn about the step-by-step process, including assessing the damage, preparing the surface, and applying the necessary repairs. We’ll also shed light on the benefits of choosing a professional hail repair service and the importance of addressing hail damage promptly.

Don’t let hail damage diminish the beauty and value of your vehicle. Discover the world of hail repair and learn how the professionals bring your car back to life.

Assessing the extent of hail damage

Hail damage repair is a meticulous process that requires careful assessment and skilled craftsmanship. The first step in the process is to assess the extent of the damage. Hail can cause dents of various sizes and depths, and it’s important to determine the severity before proceeding with the repairs. This assessment helps the professionals understand the scope of the work and plan the repair process accordingly. Most technicians use some sort of estimating software or a hail matrix to help with the assessment.

hail repair estimating software

Typically, hail repair technicians will clean the areas and removing any debris or contaminants that may hinder the assessment and the repair process. The surface needs to be smooth and free from any obstructions to ensure a seamless repair.  A dirty panel is more difficult to work with as it interferes with the specialized lights used to observe the damage during repair and the hail estimate process.

After the surface has been prepared, the hail repair professionals employ various techniques to remove the dents. One of the most common methods used is the Paintless Dent Repair (PDR) technique.

Types of tools and equipment used in hail repair

hail repair pdr light

Paintless Dent Repair (PDR) is a highly effective technique used by hail repair professionals to remove dents without the need for repainting. This technique is particularly suitable for minor to moderate hail damage, where the paint surface is still intact. PDR involves using specialized tools to effectively observe the damage, to gently massage and manipulate the metal back into its original shape and to tap back down should the need arise. 

These tools are:

– PDR light.  An led light with different hue options that creates a “soft” glow across the damage.

– PDR hail rods.  A majority of the damage is taken out with these rods as they reach the most area.

– PDR whale tails. Tools that have a wider end, but tend to be flat to provide access under support beams and tight areas.

– PDR hand tools.  Smaller tools, that are used when techs can reach the damage within arms reach.

– Knockdown and hammer.  Hail technicians don’t just push the damage out, they also have to correct high areas.

– Glue Pull system. When a technician can not get their PDR rods or hand tools on a dent, they use a glue pulling system. This includes,  glue tabs, HAIL specific hot glue sticks, glue gun, slide hammer or mini lifter.

– R & I equipment. Any tool necessary to remove and install interior pieces, hoods, tail lights, etc. when preparing a vehicle for repair and after it is repaired.

The techniques for paintless dent repair tends to be highly precise and requires a skilled technician who can manipulate the metal without causing any further damage while using the proper tools. It is a time-consuming process that demands patience and finesse, but the end result is a seamless repair that preserves the original paint and finish of the vehicle.  Without the proper tools, a full automotive hail repair is typically not feasible.

Paintless Dent Repair (PDR) technique

The PDR technique involves several steps to ensure a successful repair. Here is a breakdown of the process:

Assessment: The technician carefully assesses the dents and determines the best approach for repair. They consider factors such as dent size, location, and accessibility.

Access: The technician gains access to the backside of the dent by removing trim pieces or interior panels. This allows them to reach the dent from behind and apply the necessary pressure to manipulate the metal. If there is no access, the technician will use a PDR glue pull kit.

Manipulation: Using specialized tools, the technician applies pressure to the backside of the dent, gently massaging and pushing the metal back into its original shape. They work in a systematic manner, gradually working out the dent until the surface is smooth and undamaged. The technician will likely “tap” the high areas that occur with hail hitting the panel and the pushing a technician does. 

Checking: The technician constantly checks the progress of the repair by examining the surface from different angles and using specialized PDR lighting to ensure that the dent is fully repaired. They make any necessary adjustments to achieve a flawless result.

Finishing Touches: Once the dents have been completely repaired, the technician performs any necessary finishing touches to ensure a seamless blend with the surrounding panels. This may involve smoothing out any imperfections or applying touch-up paint if needed.

The PDR technique is highly effective for hail damage repair, as it allows for a precise and seamless restoration of the vehicle’s body panels.

Other methods of hail damage repair

body shop hail repair

While PDR is a popular and effective technique, it may not be suitable for all types of hail damage. In cases where the paint is damaged or the dents are too severe, other methods of repair may be employed.

One such method is traditional bodywork, where the damaged area is sanded down, filled with body filler, and then repainted. This method is more time-consuming and expensive compared to PDR, as it involves repainting the affected area.

This LOWERS the value of your vehicle.

Most body shops are graded by insurance companies by something called “CYCLE TIME”. When a hail repair job has to be body shopped vs. PDR’d, the cycle time increases.

Another option is the use of specialized tools and techniques for pulling out larger dents. This method may involve using suction cups, glue tabs, or pulling devices to gradually pull the dent out. While it may be effective for certain types of dents, it may not always provide the same level of precision as PDR.

Choosing a professional hail repair service

You are allowed, by law, to repair your vehicle with the company YOU CHOOSE. You are not required to go to their recommended shop.  There are reasons they send you to their shop of choice….

A few things to consider:

Cost. The cost of hail damage repair can vary depending on various factors such as the extent of the damage, the repair method used, and the make and model of the vehicle. In general, PDR is a more cost-effective option compared to traditional bodywork, as it eliminates the need for repainting.

Experience.  Experience in repairing hail damaged vehicles is a must, but what about experience in claims processing? Can they negotiate properly with the insurance company for a fair compensation? How about writing a proper estimate? How about work flow management? What about customer service? All of these things feed into the company’s REAL experience in handling your hail damaged car or truck.

Timeliness.  Each company is different in scheduling and repair cycle times. When you decide who to choose to repair your vehicle, you need to find out how long until you can schedule and how long will they need your vehicle.  If you choose a body shop to do the repair and they do not have a hail repair technician on staff, the job will delay longer than it should as they will have to wait on more parts, keep their internal staff working on it, etc.

Deductible. If you go through a traditional Bodyshop, it will likely charge you your deductible.  They are required to IF THEY ARE PART OF A DRP. A DRP is a direct repair program where the shop charges the insurance company less to do the job but must jump through the insurance company rules for said DRP. If you go through a hail technician, they will typically cover or waive your deductible as most of the repair is labor.

Trustworthy. In todays world, reviews are king. Follow up and perform due diligence on any company you are looking at using. Look into their reviews. Do they warranty their work? Are they recommended?

Prior to choosing a hail repair center, it is recommended to get a detailed estimate before proceeding with the repairs. This will help you understand the costs involved and make an informed decision.

USE THE HAIL EST APP to create an estimate.

The cost of hail damage repair

Hail damage repair cost variables:

Labor rate. Every area has different autobody labor rates. (There are also Mechanical rate, Paint rate, Supply rate etc.). At you can punch in your zip code and it will give you posted labor rates in the area.

Labor hours. For every panel that needs repair, there are labor hours associated with it. Those typically include; R&I (remove and install) to get access, R&R (remove and replace) to replace parts, Paint time, etc.

Parts pricing. Any part that can not be repaired with PDR is normally replaced (best choice as adding Bondo to your panel does not return it to pre loss condition). Every part has different pricing. You can look up USED part pricing here:

PDR costs. Most PDR cost is defined by something called a “Hail Matrix”. These hail charts were developed to create a guideline when pricing the repair cost for hail damage when using PDR. Our app incorporates this matrix into our evaluations.

Remember, addressing hail damage promptly is important to prevent further damage and maintain the value of your vehicle. By choosing a professional hail repair service and following preventive measures, you can keep your car looking its best even after a hailstorm. Don’t let hail damage dull your vehicle’s shine – trust the professionals to restore it to its former glory.

According to STATE FARM, the average cost for hail repair on a vehicle is now over $5,000.00.

Conclusion and preventive measures for hail damage

To prevent hail damage in the future, consider the following preventive measures:

1. Garage or Covered Parking: Whenever possible, park your vehicle in a garage or covered parking area to protect it from hailstorms.

2. Car Covers: Invest in a car cover that is designed to withstand hail. This can provide an added layer of protection for your vehicle during a storm.

3. Stay Informed: Stay updated on weather forecasts and be prepared to take necessary precautions when a hailstorm is predicted. If possible, move your vehicle to a safe location before the storm hits. A great site to see potential for hail is: SPC HAIL PREDICTION

How to Read an Auto Hail Damage Repair Hail Matrix

What is a hail matrix? How do you read a hail matrix? How do you read a matrix table for PDR? Find the answers below!

After you do, Be sure to check out our Paintless Dent Repair Hail Matrix only hail calculator, it incorporates all the information that one of the following hail matrixes have plus additional items like parts, paintwork costs, etc.


how to read a hail matrix
hail repair matrix state farm
hail damage repair chart
paintless dent repair hail matrix
state farm matrix

How do techs find the proper number of dents to reference on a hail matrix?

paintless dent repair dent reading equipment

Geico Hail Info

State Farm Hail info:

Do I have enough damage to file a claim?

Does My Car Insurance Cover Hail Damage?

Understanding the Cost to Fix Hail Damage: A Simple Guide

Hail damage in the USA and our Mobile Estimating APP


Just take me to the HOME page…..

Does My Car Insurance Cover Hail Damage?

Does My Car Insurance Cover Hail Damage

Awesome list – Hail Repair Top 50 Insurance Companies by Market Share

Hail Repair top 50 Insurance Companies by Market Share Click-to-call telephone number list.

Before calling and filing your claim, use our hail damage car repair cost calculator to evaluate whether you should file a claim or not!

Insurance CompanyTelephone Claim Phone Number
State Farm1-800-STATE-FARM (1-800-782-8332)
Allstate1-800-ALLSTATE (1-800-255-7828)
Liberty Mutual1-844-825-2467
Farmers Insurance1-800-435-7764
American Family Insurance1-800-692-6326
Hartford Insurance1-800-243-5860
Mercury Insurance1-800-503-3724
Erie Insurance1-800-367-3743
Auto-Owners Insurance1-888-252-4626
The General1-800-280-1466
Kemper Insurance1-888-252-2799
National General Insurance1-800-325-1088
CSAA Insurance Group1-800-922-8228
MAPFRE Insurance1-877-627-3731
Root Insurance1-866-980-9431
American National Insurance1-800-333-2860
Safeway Insurance Group1-888-203-5129
National Interstate Insurance1-800-929-1500
Plymouth Rock Assurance1-888-324-1620
Auto Club Enterprises Insurance Group1-800-922-8228
Horace Mann Educators Corporation1-800-999-1030
Encompass Insurance1-800-588-7400
Westfield Insurance1-800-243-0210
The Hanover Insurance Group1-800-628-0250
Grange Insurance1-800-445-3030
Kemper Preferred1-888-252-2799
Horace Mann1-800-999-1030
Plymouth Rock Assurance Corporation1-844-346-1225
PURE Insurance1-888-813-7873
Safeco Insurance1-800-332-3226
Western National Insurance1-800-862-6070
American Strategic Insurance1-866-ASI-LOSS (1-866-274-5677)
Philadelphia Insurance Companies1-800-765-9749
EMC Insurance Companies1-800-854-6011

Understanding Automotive Hail Damage Claims: A Guide to our Hail Repair top 50 Insurance Companies by Market Share


Experiencing a hailstorm can be distressing, especially when it leaves your vehicle with significant damage. It’s crucial to grasp how auto insurance companies in the United States approach hail damage claims. This guide aims to demystify the process and provide insight into the varying methods insurers use to manage automotive hail claims, helping vehicle owners navigate the claims process with confidence.

Comprehensive Coverage Explained

A key component of most auto insurance policies is comprehensive coverage. This coverage extends to incidents beyond collisions, including hail damage. A notable aspect of comprehensive coverage is the deductible, the initial amount paid out-of-pocket before insurance coverage commences. For hail damage, filing a claim and covering the deductible are preliminary steps to obtaining financial assistance for repairs.

Deciding Between Repair or Replacement

Insurers assess hail damage to determine the most appropriate action – repair or replacement of damaged vehicle parts. Minor damages might be rectifiable through paintless dent repair (PDR), a technique that skillfully removes dents while preserving the original paint. More severe damages might necessitate part replacements, like the hood, roof, or trunk lid.

Total Loss Assessment

In situations where hail damage repairs would surpass the vehicle’s value, insurers may classify the vehicle as a total loss. The payout in such scenarios is the vehicle’s actual cash value (ACV) minus the deductible. ACV is calculated based on factors like age, mileage, and overall condition, reflecting the current market value. Here’s a great link for each states total loss laws.

Deductible Waivers and Their Conditions

Certain insurance providers offer deductible waivers for hail damage claims, potentially exempting you from the deductible payment under specific conditions. These conditions might include a minimum threshold of vehicles impacted in a hailstorm or a certain aggregate claim value.

The Effect on Insurance Premiums

The impact of filing a hail damage claim on insurance premiums varies. Typically, comprehensive claims, like those for hail damage, are less likely to increase insurance rates compared to collision claims. However, multiple claims might lead to higher premiums or policy non-renewal.


Navigating automotive hail claims in the US can be intricate and sometimes bewildering. A clear understanding of insurer practices is instrumental in making informed decisions and ensuring a smooth, equitable claims process. It’s advisable to thoroughly review your insurance policy, meticulously document the damage, and maintain open communication with your insurer to enhance the likelihood of a successful claim resolution.

why you can't trust insurance companies and your hail estimate

Don’t forget to use our hail repair top 50 insurance companies hail calculator!

Should I file a hail claim?

“Should I file a hail claim against my insurance policy?” If you aren’t sure, follow this guide.

  1. Do you have full coverage? (Read our article on does my insurance cover hail damage?)
    • Yes, go to #2.
    • No, do not file as there will be no compensation.
  2. How much is your deductible? Once you know the deductible amount; ask if the damage is higher than your deductible? (Use our hail damage repair cost calculator to see costs!)
    • Yes, go to #3.
    • No, there is no need to file.
  3. How to get an accurate hail damage cost estimate:
    • 1. Use our free app (along with our kit) to document your damage.
    • 2. The app provides a FREE list of approximate cost of hail damage repair. -OR-
    • 3. You can request we write you an estimate from the data you provided.
      • Hail Est’s owner has almost 30 years of auto hail damage repair estimate writing experience.
      • He has repaired over 17,000 vehicles with paintless dent repair.
      • The software we use is one of the big three auto body software companies software. The more accurate your data input, the more accurate our estimate it.
  4. FILE A CLAIM. Contact your insurance company with the: Date of loss, location of vehicle when damage occurred, and policy number. (Here’s a list of the top insurance companies by market share, and their Phone numbers.
  5. Hail damage effects more than the look of your vehicle:
    • There is a dollar to dollar (accurate cost estimate) loss in value while hail damage exists.
    • Policies DO GO UP in areas where hail damage frequents. Not due to your claim alone, but a volume of claims in an area.
    • Please read below for more information on how not repairing your vehicle can impact value.
    • If you do file a hail damage claim, understand insurance companies provide reciprocity to other insurers.
file a hail damage repair claim

If you file an insurance claim, a few factors to consider:

Addressing Hail Damage on Your Vehicle – A Critical Analysis of Its Impact on Car Value

Introduction: Hail damage presents a significant challenge for vehicle owners, especially in regions notorious for harsh weather conditions. Making an informed decision to address hail damage is pivotal, considering factors such as the damage severity, insurance implications, and the inherent value of the vehicle.

Factors Influencing Vehicle Value Post-Hail Damage

Damage Severity
: The scale of the hail impact plays a crucial role. While minor cosmetic blemishes might negligibly affect the vehicle’s worth, extensive damage can drastically diminish its value.

Insurance Dynamics: While comprehensive insurance might cover repairs, it’s imperative to balance the deductible costs and the potential rise in premium rates.

Resale Concerns: Vehicles repaired post-hail damage often bear a stigma in the resale market, possibly lowering their desirability compared to undamaged counterparts. Here’s a great article by Maaco about the value of your car after it sustains hail damage.

should I file a hail damage claim

The Consequences of Neglecting Hail Damage Repair on Vehicle Value

Trade-in Devaluation:
Vehicles bearing the scars of hail damage tend to fetch significantly lower trade-in values.

Marketability: The presence of unaddressed hail damage can severely dampen a car’s market appeal, adversely affecting its resale value.

Post hail accidents: If you fail to repair your vehicle (after being compensated for the hail damage sustained, insurers tend to NOT repair any panel you were paid previously on.

Repair Obligations: Selling a car with existing hail damage transfers the burden of repair to the new owner, potentially reducing the vehicle’s worth due to anticipated repair expenses.

Critical Considerations for Hail Damage Repair Decisions

Repair Expenditure
: It’s essential to judiciously evaluate the repair costs against the likely depreciation if the damage remains unaddressed.

Insurance Considerations: Analyze the financial implications of your insurance policy, including deductible costs and the potential for increased premiums.

Vehicle’s Age and Pre-existing Condition: The decision may vary for older models or those with prior damage; the value increment post-repair could be marginal.

Personal Priorities: Vehicle owners must balance their preference for maintaining aesthetic perfection against practical considerations like functionality and reliability.

Total Loss: The hail damage sustained may cause a vehicle to move to total loss. If this happens, you could lose your vehicle to the insurance company.


Deciding whether to repair hail damage demands a meticulous assessment of various factors impacting your vehicle’s value, whether your car insurance cover hail damage, and personal priorities. In certain scenarios, the cost of repair might outweigh the benefits, while in others, addressing the damage is crucial to preserving the vehicle’s worth and attractiveness in the market. This decision should not be taken lightly, as it holds substantial implications for your vehicle’s financial and functional value.

Using our Hail Est hail damage repair cost calculator can help you understand your position with a lot more clarity. Having an estimated price in hand will help you determine if you want to file the claim (the reasons not to include a potential total loss or not enough damage to surpass your deductible) and simply give you leverage when dealing with an adjuster who isn’t playing fair.

Hail Damage in the USA and the #1 Free Mobile Estimating APP

hail repair damage calculator

Hail Damage Estimate for Vehicle Owners, EASY AS 1-2-3

  • Itemized Repair Lists: Provides a comprehensive breakdown of each repair needed, along with estimated costs.
  • Auto Body Shop Software Estimate: Ability to generate a professional estimate using industry-recognized body shop software.
  • User-Friendly Interface: Designed for ease of use, allowing anyone to navigate and input data effortlessly.
  • Real-Time Data Processing: Offers quick and accurate analysis and estimations based on up-to-date repair cost data.
  • Benefits: Informed decision making, cost-effectiveness, control and clarity, and time-saving capabilities.

How It Works

  1. Start with Damage Data Input: Initiate the process by entering your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN).
  2. Detailing the Damage: Go through each panel of your vehicle, inputting details of the hail damage, including the size and location of dents.
  3. App Analyzes the Data: Hail Est processes this data in real-time, providing an accurate estimate.
  4. Receive Itemized Repair List: Get a detailed list of all necessary repairs and costs.
  5. Option for Professional Estimate: Generate a detailed estimate compatible with auto body shop software.
  6. Make Informed Decisions: Decide on insurance claims or repair shop visits with comprehensive information.
  • Real Users’ Experiences: Testimonials from users like D. from SFHAIL.
    • D. from SF Hail, a company located in central Texas has been testing the app since inception and says “More than once, the FREE version provided an cumulative total that was within a few hundred dollars of the actual hail damage estimate.”
hail-est transforming the hail damage estimate process for vehicle owners
  • Case Studies: Demonstrating the app’s efficiency and impact on insurance claim decisions.

Call to Action

  • Open this page and Explore: Visit to try the free, no-obligation hail damage cost estimating calculator.
  • Try It Out: Use the app for recent hail damage to see if filing a claim is justified.
  • Feedback and Engagement: Share your thoughts and help us improve.
  • Referral Benefits: Earn bonuses through our referral program. Coming soon. We have a few referral companies in the pipeline.

Cost to Fix Hail Damage: A Simple Guide 1.0

Understanding the cost to fix hail damage