Friday, June 21, 2024
Steps for hail damage | Lifestyle in brief.

Steps for hail damage | Lifestyle in brief.

Hail Storms: Dealing with Hail Damage to Your Car and Home

SOUTH DAKOTA – When severe storms strike, one of the common consequences is hail damage. Whether it’s your car or your home’s roof, dealing with hail damage requires prompt action and careful consideration. Jessie Schmidt, vice president of the Better Business Bureau in South Dakota, provides valuable insights on how to navigate the process effectively.

Contact your insurance company

It’s crucial to contact your insurance company as soon as possible to report the hail damage. Insurance companies can provide guidance on the next steps to take. When reaching out, be proactive and seek specific information about the claims process, including whether an adjuster needs to visit your property.

Assessing and documenting the damage

The next step in dealing with hail damage is to thoroughly assess the extent of the damage. Schmidt advises taking ample photos or videos to document the damage accurately. “Take a lot of pictures so you know exactly what needs to be repaired,” said Schmidt. For cars, capturing a video that covers the entire vehicle is recommended. For roofs, detailed pictures or videos should be taken for clear documentation.

Timing of repairs

Schmidt believes that many times it is a subjective situation when deciding when to fix hail damage and depends on several factors. For car repairs, immediate action is crucial to prevent further damage, such as a broken windshield leading to additional problems. However, for minor dents, you may consider waiting or using DIY tools. When it comes to home repairs, the impact on the property’s value and insurance requirements should be considered, which often necessitates timely repairs.

Temporary repairs and hiring contractors

In some cases, temporary repairs may be necessary to prevent further damage. For instance, covering a hole in your roof or fixing a broken window in your car should be a priority. When it comes to hiring contractors or repair professionals, conducting thorough research is essential.

When choosing a contractor, be cautious of certain red flags. Determine where the contractor is headquartered and conduct thorough research on their background and reputation. Check their online presence, ask for references, and inquire about their licensing and permits. If a contractor lacks the necessary licensing or permits, it should raise concerns about their credibility.

“If you’re hiring a contractor or need to get this dent repair done, really get some references. Where have your friends and family gone, who have they used and who have they found to be responsive? You really need to do your research,” Schmidt said.

Additionally, visit the Better Business Bureau’s website ( to look up businesses, check their ratings, and read customer reviews and complaints. Schmidt says this resource can help you avoid hiring unreliable contractors.

Engaging a contractor and signing a contract

Before engaging a contractor, ensure they have a legitimate business address and a strong online reputation. Schmidt recommends that you request references and, if possible, visit previous work sites to assess the quality of their workmanship. She also recommends verifying that the contractor is properly licensed and registered with local permitting offices.

When signing a contract, read and understand all the terms and conditions. A comprehensive written contract is essential to protect your interests. The contract should clearly outline the scope of work, specify the material to be used, break down prices for materials and labor, and include any warranties provided by the contractor or manufacturer. “You want it to be very, very specific,” said Schmidt.

For payment, Schmidt emphasizes the importance of avoiding paying for the entire job upfront. Instead, agree on a deposit and a payment schedule that includes payments as the work progresses. After the job is complete, ensure you receive documentation indicating that all work has been finished satisfactorily. Request lien waives from the contractor, confirming that they have paid for the material they used for the repairs.


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