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How Much Does Hail Damage Devalue a Car? Everything You Need to Know

September 4th, 2023 |

Hailstorms can be disastrous for car owners, leaving unsightly dents and dings on a vehicle's exterior. Beyond aesthetic concerns, hail damage can also have significant financial implications for your car’s value.

Here’s everything you need to know about how much hail damage can devalue a car—and why it’s essential to repair hail damage as soon as possible.

How Hail Damage Devalues Your Car

Hail damage can cause your car’s value to take a significant hit. Even mild cosmetic issues caused by hailstorms, such as minor dents and scratches, can notably reduce your vehicle’s appeal to potential buyers.

If left unaddressed, this decreased appeal can result in lower resale values or trade-in offers when it’s time for a new car. Hail damage can devalue your car by more than 100% of what it would cost a potential buyer to get it repaired.

The Aftermath of a Hailstorm

Determining how much hail damage devalues a car largely depends on location, severity, and extent of the damage. In some cases, hail damage may be slight and result in minimal depreciation of just a few hundred dollars. Extensive damage, however, can significantly affect the overall car value, often by thousands.

Your vehicle’s age, make, model, and condition also determine the impact of hail damage. Luxury and high-end vehicles often experience a more significant decrease in value compared to economy or base model cars.

Keep in mind that while some hail damage may be immediately apparent to the untrained eye, subtle or even hidden damage can easily go unnoticed by most drivers. This is where the expertise of trained technicians and specialized tools comes into play.

The Importance of Repairing Hail Damage

Timely hail damage repair is about more than just restoring your car’s appearance. It also preserves its value and prevents other issues from occurring down the road. Prompt repairs are vital to keep your vehicle in good shape for many reasons, including:

  • Additional Damage: Hail damage—even if it appears minor—can compromise your car’s paint and clear coat, exposing underlying layers to the elements. This exposure can cause rust or corrosion over time.
  • Vehicle Value: When it’s time for a new car, hail damage repairs can help your current vehicle maintain its value and appeal to potential buyers and dealers.
  • Insurance Considerations: Your insurance policy may require vehicle damage repair to maintain coverage. Failure to do so can result in future claim denial or coverage reduction.

Knowing a professional restored your car can also offer valuable peace of mind and confidence in your vehicle, so you can drive without a constant reminder of the hailstorm damage.

Does Repaired Hail Damage Affect Car Value?

If hail damage is repaired correctly by a reputable technician, it should greatly reduce the negative impact on your car’s value. A well-executed repair can potentially enhance and preserve its value by restoring the exterior, enhancing the paint quality, and ensuring the vehicle is structurally sound.

Choosing an experienced, professional repair facility to complete repairs with appropriate techniques and high standards is essential for seamless results.

The Difference Between Minor and Major Hail Damage

Hailstorms leave varying degrees of damage on your vehicle, ranging from minor or cosmetic issues to structural damage. Knowing the difference between minor and major hail damage can help you better understand the repair process involved in each case.

Minor Hail Damage

Minor hail damage, also called cosmetic damage, refers to small dents and dings on the vehicle’s exterior (which may be scattered across the surface). Repairs generally consider the impact on the car’s paint layers:

Cosmetic Damage with Intact Paint

The mildest hail damage involves small dents that leave the paint intact. With paintless dent removal (PDR), a technician gently smooths the dents out with specialized tools. PDR is highly time-consuming and detailed but can effectively restore the vehicle without painting or totaling it.

Cosmetic Damage with Scratched Paint

Severe hailstorms, especially with large stones, may cause cosmetic damage with scratched paint. This often requires repainting or panel replacement for the vehicle. Even if the damage appears to be minor, repair costs can amount to thousands of dollars with panel repair costs and precise paint matching.

Major Hail Damage

Major hail damage usually indicates more substantial or extensive harm to the vehicle’s panels. Larger dents, deep scratches, chipped paint, shattered glass, or even structural damage can occur after a hailstorm. In some cases, large hailstones can cause irreparable damage.

The services of an experienced body shop become crucial for handling repairs in these instances. They can handle comprehensive and complicated repairs and even help you maneuver through any necessary insurance claims and coverage.

Insurance Coverage for Hail Damage Repairs

When your car is damaged by hail, understanding your insurance coverage is crucial to make informed decisions about repairs and potential claims. Insurance plays a role in both minor and major hail damage. No matter the level of damage, your trusted repair partner can help you navigate the process and help you weigh your options for a cost-effective plan moving forward.

Does Car Insurance Cover Hail Damage?

In most cases, your car insurance policy should cover hail damage if you have comprehensive coverage. Comprehensive policies are optional depending on your state and lien situation, but cover damage caused by non-collision events such as vandalism, theft, or hailstorms.

Contact your insurance provider to determine your eligibility for a hail damage claim. Remember, you may be responsible for paying a deductible before coverage applies.

Are There Insurance Considerations for Minor versus Major Hail Damage?

Prompt repairs are essential for maintaining your vehicle’s value, but it’s a good idea to consider your options before getting your insurance company involved:

  • For minor hail damage: It may be cost-effective to avoid filing a claim that could lead to increased rates in the future. If the cost to repair the hail damage is close to your insurance deductible, paying for repairs out of pocket might be ideal. Working with skilled technicians and competitively priced service can help you work within or near your deductible amount.
  • For major hail damage: Where hail damage repair costs exceed your deductible—or when multiple areas are severely affected—involving your insurance provider is often the better option. Your technician should be able to ensure a smooth, efficient repair process and provide your insurance company with the right information for a fair settlement.

Ultimately, your team of repair professionals is there to be your advocate. They support you in working with your insurance company to make the most of your repair experience and help you recover devaluation expenses from your provider.

How Much Hail Damage Can Total a Vehicle?

Hail damage can be severe enough to total your vehicle, but this threshold depends on several factors. Insurance companies consider your car’s value and the repair cost to determine how much hail damage will total a vehicle and declare it a complete loss.

Your insurer considers a car totaled if the repair costs exceed a certain percentage of the vehicle’s value, ranging from 50–75%. In these cases, you may be eligible for a total reimbursement depending on your policy.

Repair Hail Damage to Restore Your Car’s Value

A hailstorm may cause damage, dings, and dents to your vehicle. But addressing hail damage can restore its market appeal and maximize your car’s current value. Professional repairs ensure skilled technicians correct the damage and preserve the integrity and aesthetics of your vehicle. The sooner you repair hail damage, the easier it will be to maintain its value.

Maaco has you covered. At each of our locations, we have a team of experts with specialized tools and training in hail damage repair techniques. Our teams’ extensive knowledge can address even the most minor dents and the most extensive damage to preserve your vehicle’s value.

Don’t let hail damage ruin your car’s value. Let Maaco’s skilled experts repair your vehicle and restore it to its pre-damaged condition. Obtain a free hail damage repair estimate or find a Maaco location near you.

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