Hail Damage on Vehicles – Recognizing the Telltale Signs

When a hail storm hits, it can leave your vehicle with several types of damage. Dents are the most common, and their size varies depending on the severity of the hail.

You should always call a specialty shop for an inspection first. They will be able to provide you with an accurate quote for repair and file a supplemental claim if needed.


Minor dents from hail may look imperceptible, but they can significantly impact your car’s value and structural integrity. When left unrepaired, it can lead to rust that will require costly repairs in the future.

If your insurance company declares a vehicle total loss due to extensive hail damage, it can affect your car’s actual cash value (ACV) and auto insurance coverage. This is typically because repair costs would exceed the threshold set by the insurer.

The best thing you can do is to seek out a reputable hail damage repair Calgary shop with experience in paintless dent repair (PDR). PDR is an industry-recognized process that allows technicians to remove minor dents from metal exterior surface panels without disturbing the car’s finish. Depending on the severity of the damage, the best businesses will provide various repair solutions. Some will even be able to work with your insurance company to ensure they cover the cost of your car’s repairs.


A less obvious effect of hail damage is scratches in the paint. These can be difficult to spot unless under bright light, but they reduce a vehicle’s value and can be costly if the scratched area is repaired.

Often, these scratches can be fixed with paint and dent repair, but they might require repainting in some cases. This is why bringing your car in for inspection after a storm is essential.

Repairing minor damage as soon as possible will help ensure it doesn’t worsen. It will also make the repair process easier for technicians to tackle and help lower repair costs. In most cases, if your insurance policy includes comprehensive coverage, you won’t have to pay for the repairs out of pocket. If you’re a lienholder, your lender may agree to cover the repair costs. This is especially helpful if your deductible is very low or you still need to reach the end of your loan payments.

Cracked Paint

Small hail can damage your car’s outer layer of paint and protection. This can lead to rust and other problems if it is not repaired. This damage will affect repair costs depending on the material your car is made from (aluminum vs steel).

A local specialty shop can often perform this repair using paintless dent removal. Technicians use a tool with suction to “pop out” the dents in your vehicle’s aluminum panels without damaging the paint.

Be sure to take photos of the damage as soon as possible after a storm. These can be very important to your insurance claim. They can also help you choose a body shop that can do the job right rather than one suggested by your insurance company. Some body shops may have long wait times and only take specific insurance claims. This could mean you have to go elsewhere to get the job done.

Broken Windows

Unlike dents and dings, which are cosmetic, cracks and broken windows are structural damage and should be repaired as soon as possible. They can result in weakened vehicle structure, corrosion, and structural failure. They also can affect visibility and safety due to the potential for water to infiltrate the windshield or glass.

Your car may need to be totaled depending on how much repair is needed. Insurance companies set thresholds for totaling vehicles based on the amount it will cost to repair the damage compared to the vehicle’s actual cash value.

It may take some time to determine a schedule for your repairs. This is due to the large number of claims after a hailstorm. During this time, you will receive a supplement to document the additional operations or parts required for your repair. You will then be given an adjusted pick-up date.