Hail Damage Estimating 101

Hail Damage Estimating 101

Hail Damage Estimating 101

Today, Jack from Sioux Falls Dent Repair gives us a detailed look into how they go about writing a hail damage estimate, we will call it Hail damage estimating 101. Every PDR case is different and requires skilled technicians to assess the damage and come up with a correct estimate.

First Things First

The first thing we do in the shop is get the damaged area cleaned thoroughly so that we can see all the dents, dings, and scuffs easily. After the panel is cleaned, we use specialized PDR lights to get a better look at the surface. In this case, the vehicle we’re looking at is a 2017 Ford F150 and it is a relatively new car with just over 1,700 miles on it. As you can see, the PDR lights allow us to see all the dents and dings in the hood of this truck.

Every dent we find is circled first so that we don’t miss out on any damage later on. Then we use special sizing coins to determine the size of each dent. The coins range from quarter size to half dollar size and is placed in the dent to see how big or small it is. From the information we get with the coin sizing, we can go ahead and get the correct pricing as well. When we come up against a dent that is bigger than a half dollar, we mark it with “OS” which stands for oversized and we price those dents accordingly as well.

We found a total of 132 quarter sized dents and 7 oversized ones. Along with that, another thing we took into consideration when pricing the repair for this truck was that it was made from aluminum. Also, the underside of the hood was almost completely braced which means we had very little access to the damaged area with our regular tools. With this in mind, we had to use the glue pulling technique to get most of the damage out.

Some Things Need To Be Taken Apart

As you can see, as indicated with the letters R&I (remove and install), we also had to remove the headlight and the fender flare to take out the damage from the fenders on both sides of the vehicle.




If you have any questions or queries about hail damage or want some information on what we do here at Sioux Falls Dent Repair,

Give us a call 605-250-1023


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Should You Buy a Vehicle with Hail Damage?

Should You Buy a Vehicle with Hail Damage?

Should You Buy a Vehicle with Hail Damage?

Today, we are answering one of the common questions we get asked and that is; “Should I Buy a Vehicle with Hail Damage?” We have actually had two cars come in on consecutive days where the customer purchased the vehicle with hail damage already on it.

We here at Sioux Falls Dent Repair, get calls from across the country on a regular basis with customers wanting to get an estimate of how much it would cost to get out hail damage on a vehicle they are thinking about purchasing. Also, we get calls from customers who have already purchased a hail damaged vehicle and are looking to get the damage out.

Our advice to anyone looking to buy a hail damaged car is to not do it because it doesn’t matter how big a discount you got on the car, it will never cover the cost to repair the hail damage. Out of the two cars that came in with hail damage, one was a 15-year-old Chevrolet Equinox and the customer got an $800 discount on it from the car lot where they purchased it. However, when the customer brought the car in, it turned out that there was several thousand dollars’ worth of damage. Even when the customer requested that we look at a specific part of the car, our estimates were higher than the $800 that they received as a “discount” from the car lot.

These kind of cases are deemed total losses by the insurance companies and car dealerships therefore have no other option but to sell them at a lower price. Nevertheless, the sellers never run at a loss and entice customers with “unbelievable” price cuts and discounts. We have come across cases where the cost of repair supersedes the price of vehicle. So, any hail damaged vehicle should be avoided at all costs unless you get the car for free or the damage is very minor.

This brings us to the follow-up question we get asked. “What is the vehicle has very minimal or medium amount of damage?” Again, with us being in this business for so long, we have seen a lot of hail damaged cars and generally the estimates for those vehicles end up being anywhere between $3,000 – $5,000. That number goes up with heavier damage and drops when the damage is not as severe. When it comes to $800 – $1,000 in hail damage repair, a regular car owner won’t even recognize the damage because the damage would have to be that minimal.

Another common mistake customers make is think they have a couple of dents on their car and ask for an estimate based on that and here is when we ask them to bring the car into the shop because we know that there cannot just be a few dents after the vehicle was caught in a hail storm. It is only under the PDR lights that the true extent of the damage is visible.

There is a lot of work before we can actually start getting the hail damage out and we inform the customer of that in our estimate. On a bigger job where hail damage is throughout the body of the car, without actually touching any of the damage, we first have to remove the hood, take off any kind of assemble (if there is any), remove the trunk lid, take off the headlights and taillights, both the front and/or rear bumper, and other panels. The cost only to have these panels removed and installed (R and I), is about $500 – $800. So, as you can see, buying a hail damaged car and then looking to repair it just does not make sense.

Eventually, the decision is the customer’s and it all depends on the situation. If a customer is looking to buy a cheap car just to drive it, a relatively new hail damaged one can save them a pocket full of cash. However, if the customer is buying a hail damaged car to fix it and then resell it, it is definitely not worth it.




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Learn more about Hail damage and insurance coverage here!

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Hail Damage Assessment at Sioux Falls Dent Repair 

Hail Damage Assessment at Sioux Falls Dent Repair 

Have you ever witnessed how one moment the weather seems amazing, but in the next, the mighty mother nature decides to create havoc and leaves a massive trail of damage in her wake?


Car hail damage is one of the devastating outcomes of such scenarios. Dents and dings of the size of a golf ball or a grapefruit, are often witnessed by several vehicle owners. The US alone bears an average of insured hail damage losses of about $15 million each year for both auto and home claims. 


Read on further to know how hail damage assessment is done by professional technicians at Sioux Falls to ensure you can timely claim for the insurance, get your car fixed and put it back on the road. 

Hail Damage Assessment at Sioux Falls Dent Repair 

Often there are times when hail damage can result in a total loss for customers. But we at Sioux Falls try out best to help our customers in the best possible way to not just get their car fixed but also to claim for insurance for the catastrophic hail damage.


Hail Damage Assessment Process

When a vehicle reaches our workshop for hail damage repair, our expert repair technicians carefully assess each nook of the car for probable damage. Before initiating the fixing process, mark each damage according to its severity. 


Cracked Vehicle Paint

Cracked paint is the result of an ice piece hitting the surface of the vehicle with so much force that it hits the car’s inner structure and leads to the paint cracking outwards. Our expert technician analyzes the car for any indication of cracked paint and marks it either with a circle or writes ‘cracked paint’ on the spot with a temporary marker.


Over-sized Dents

A very simple but effective way to assess over-sized dents is using a magnet that is the size of half a dollar coin as a reference to analyze hail damage. If the damage is more significant than the magnet coin, the damage is considered to be over-sized. These over-sized dents are marked with the alphabet ‘X’ for reference during the repair process.


Severe Damage

Usually, on the roof of the vehicle, there is hail damage so severe that merely repairing it cannot undo the damage. For this purpose, the vehicle will be sent to the body shop for complete replacement; Where the entire roof is cut off, and a new roof is positioned. Other parts of the vehicle are also assessed to determine if they also need to be replaced or not.


Earlier Work on Vehicle

Apart from assessing the hail damage, our expert technicians also check the vehicle for any previous work such as PDR or paint job, etc. This allows them to devise a repair plan that is most suitable and effective for the vehicle.


Insurance Claim

Apart from assessing the hail damage, our technicians make sure to take pictures of the damage and prepare a comprehensive written damage report or estimate that can be sent for the insurance claim.


How Can You Reach Us?


If you are worried about the damage that this hail has caused, then we’ll be more than happy to get you all fixed up for your hail damage, get you all set up for the insurance claim, and get your vehicle back on the road.


Give us a call at 605-205-8865 or click here for a free damage assessment.





Insurance Coverage For Hail Damage

Insurance Coverage For Hail Damage

Does My Insurance Cover Hail Damage?

Today we are going to discuss the types of insurance and which insurance coverage is for hail damage. Also what is all covered for the different types.


This video was originally shot LIVE on our Instagram page on 9-5-2020, be sure to follow us there to see more content: https://www.instagram.com/sioux_falls_dent_repair

Insurance Coverage

Do you have the proper insurance for hail damage coverage?

Do you  have “full” Coverage? If so you are good to go. What exactly is “full coverage” insurance? Full coverage insurance covers all the bases for vehicle repairs. There are 3 parts to insurance for full coverage.

Collision Insurance

This insurance covers if you were to hit someone or if someone hits you. In South Dakota you must have un-insurance motorist insurance and this will help you in the case of you getting hit by someone without insurance. This has other policies that are all lumped together.

Comprehensive Insurance

This insurance type is what you need to cover hail damage. This covers any natural causes such as storm damage, trees falling, falling snow off of a roof for instance. It also covers if you were to hit an animal like a deer for example.

Liability Insurance

This is for all medical bills whether it be you, a passenger or another motorist. This is the insurance that covers all of those unfortunate injuries from a collision.


I have Comprehensive Coverage and Hail Damage, Now What?


Your First Step

First off if you were caught in the storm and in the vehicle we hope everything is ok. It can be a very terrifying experience when hail comes pounding down on your vehicle and you and your family are inside the car. Once the storm stops be sure to contact your insurance company and let them know you have hail damage. From there they will give you a claim number.

Step Two

Once you have the claim number you just need to bring the vehicle to the shop of your choice and have them handle it from there.

Your insurance company has NO SAY in who is to repair your car, again, this is very important and often misunderstood. Your insurance company has no say in who can repair you vehicle.

There is no need to get multiple estimates or anything like that. Ultimately the full repair costs will be gone over between the shop fixing the car and your insurance company. After the shop and your insurance company have finished all of the paperwork and processing your vehicle repairs will then begin. If you are working with us you will get daily updates on any of the processing and repairs.

Step Three

Pickup your vehicle dent free! Its that simple. We are here to make this very inconvenient experience all better and make your hail damage problems go away.


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Jeep Wrangler Challenges

Jeep Wrangler Challenges

The 2019 Jeep Wrangler features some big changes from the existing models.

First off it has for the first time ever has aluminum doors, a plastic cowl, aluminum windshield post and aluminum hood.  Now while these may not seem like big issues for the new Jeep Wrangler but it does create new challenges.

The added use of multiple aluminum panels makes repairing dents much more difficult. Many folks think that aluminum is very weak and easily dented. This is probably from the common thought of a pop or soda can being so easy to simply squeeze and crush. The aluminum on vehicles is much thicker and ranges in strengths. A study done by NAPDRT, short for the National Association of Paintless Dent Repair Technicians and multiple Insurance Companies found that aluminum easily takes double the amount of force to dent as appose to traditional Mild Steel. Repairing the same damage takes over twice as much force as well as a different selection of tools to push specifically on aluminum.

JEEP Wrangler Hail Damage

JEEP Wrangler Hail Damage

The plastic cowl is the biggest noted change. These vehicles specifically use to suffer from a very notorious “Jeep” dent. See an example of a Jeep Cowl Dent we repaired: CLICK HERE

With this panel now being plastic they will no longer be dented like the previous models!

The Jeep Wrangler challenges to dent repair technicians is nothing new, these types of metal changes and moving to plastic will only continue. With standards in the automotive industry raising the bar in safety as well as fuel efficiency, aluminum and plastic will only continue to grow in its usage in the automotive industry.