Author Topic: Hail Damage Check - To Fix the Car or Save the $$  (Read 5841 times)

dbanta

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Hail Damage Check - To Fix the Car or Save the $$
« on: July 15, 2014, 12:52:45 PM »
The car - 2005 Legacy Limited, 5spd Manual
Purchased December 2013 for $7000 (recently had new timing belt, etc.)

We had a hail storm roll through our neighborhood in Colorado at the end of June.  I brought the car into State Farm to have the hail damage inspected (relatively minor on roof, hood and trunk, nothing on the doors).  They cut me a check immediately for $3600 to repair the hail damage.

I'm tempted to just keep the money and not get the hail dents repaired since they are only noticeable if you are looking for them.

Cons
- Reduces car value if we were to resell it (unlikely, current plan is to keep driving it until it needs a new engine or extremely significant work).
- What happens if another hail storm rolls through and causes worse damage?  Can we still make a claim then?  Or we get in an accident and need to make a claim?

Pros
- Saving money is good.

So what am I missing?  Should I get the car fixed?  Should we keep collision insurance on it?
« Last Edit: July 16, 2014, 02:50:16 PM by dbanta »

gimp

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Re: Hail Damage Check - To Fix the Car or Save the $$
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2014, 01:29:15 PM »
First: Don't  bother fixing minor damage; $3600 is way better than a slightly less dented used car. My opinion. If you ever want to get it fixed, you can; it's not like it will get harder to fix as time goes on, since it's just body damage. (Though parts might become less available.)

I think collision on a relatively cheap car (and the assumption is that your car is currently "devalued" a couple grand) is only useful if you absolutely can't afford to fix/replace the car in an accident. At that point, it might be better to pay the extra couple hundred a year and worry less about not having a car anymore, if it happens. If you can afford to replace it, play the odds - chances are you'll come out ahead not buying collision / comprehensive.

okashira

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Re: Hail Damage Check - To Fix the Car or Save the $$
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2014, 01:31:08 PM »
First: Don't  bother fixing minor damage; $3600 is way better than a slightly less dented used car. My opinion. If you ever want to get it fixed, you can; it's not like it will get harder to fix as time goes on, since it's just body damage. (Though parts might become less available.)

I think collision on a relatively cheap car (and the assumption is that your car is currently "devalued" a couple grand) is only useful if you absolutely can't afford to fix/replace the car in an accident. At that point, it might be better to pay the extra couple hundred a year and worry less about not having a car anymore, if it happens. If you can afford to replace it, play the odds - chances are you'll come out ahead not buying collision / comprehensive.

Agree, this is the first thing I noticed.
Why do you have comprehensive coverage at all? Now that you got a payout, great time to cancel.

Lis

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Re: Hail Damage Check - To Fix the Car or Save the $$
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2014, 02:35:59 PM »
When I traded in my old PT Cruiser, it had some minor hail damage similar to yours. This might sound sneaky, but I never pointed it out to the dealer (honestly I had forgotten about it), and he never noticed. Had I pointed it out to him, would he have dropped the amount he was giving me? Probably. But if your planning on running that car into the ground, I'd say don't even bother.

unpolloloco

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Re: Hail Damage Check - To Fix the Car or Save the $$
« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2014, 02:55:01 PM »
Think of it this way: now you have a $3400 car with the same utility as it had before!

welliamwallace

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Re: Hail Damage Check - To Fix the Car or Save the $$
« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2014, 03:07:04 PM »
Think of it this way: now you have a $3400 car with the same utility as it had before!

Awesome way to think about it. I would pocket the cash.

Joggernot

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Re: Hail Damage Check - To Fix the Car or Save the $$
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2014, 03:59:11 PM »
2000 Accord got hail damage (pretty bad) in 2010.  Insurance totaled the car and paid me for it; I bought the car back right then for scrap value.  Can't see the dents now (they pop out with the sun/heat) and it's up to 260k miles.  Had a scrap title in NM, but moved to Texas where they don't have scrap titles; just titles.  I'll drive it until it stops somewhere and won't go anymore.  Then sell it for scrap and get my money back. <grin>

dbanta

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Re: Hail Damage Check - To Fix the Car or Save the $$
« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2014, 04:03:40 PM »
2000 Accord got hail damage (pretty bad) in 2010.  Insurance totaled the car and paid me for it; I bought the car back right then for scrap value.  Can't see the dents now (they pop out with the sun/heat) and it's up to 260k miles.  Had a scrap title in NM, but moved to Texas where they don't have scrap titles; just titles.  I'll drive it until it stops somewhere and won't go anymore.  Then sell it for scrap and get my money back. <grin>

We also have a 2003 subaru wrx that we are expecting them to total.  We have the same plan as you - buy it back, drive it until it dies and then sell it for scrap or someone's rallycross hobby.

Joggernot

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Re: Hail Damage Check - To Fix the Car or Save the $$
« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2014, 04:19:35 PM »
Don't forget to cancel your insurance coverage (keep liability, though).  Save a lot of money.

dbanta

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Re: Hail Damage Check - To Fix the Car or Save the $$
« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2014, 04:20:44 PM »
Don't forget to cancel your insurance coverage (keep liability, though).  Save a lot of money.

Definitely.  That is another benefit of all this hail damage :-)

Dyk

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Re: Hail Damage Check - To Fix the Car or Save the $$
« Reply #10 on: July 15, 2014, 07:52:13 PM »
+1 on the recommendations to not repair, and keep driving without collision/comprehensive insurance.  With the combined savings, I guess money did really fall from the sky for you!
(We recently had a lesser situation where the neighbor backed into our parked car.  Somehow the PLPD insurance covered it, and while my wife doesn't like the dented door, she's more than happy to drive it for $1,300!)

haflander

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Re: Hail Damage Check - To Fix the Car or Save the $$
« Reply #11 on: June 07, 2018, 09:48:46 AM »
I wanted to resurrect this thread as I have a similar situation and some additional ?s that weren't answered here.

Situation...A hail storm rolled through my neighborhood in the middle of the night a couple days ago. I could have a rant about that, but I'll try to refrain. The damage to my car is minimal, such that you have to know it has hail damage and look for it to actually notice it. Maybe 10-20 small dings on the hood and the top.

Details...newish car, a 2014, still making loan payments. Facepunch if you must, but that's not really the advice I'm looking for exactly at this moment. I plan on keeping this car for a long time regardless of the damage. I don't really care about fixing it.

?s...Most importantly: Maybe this is a stupid question, but does cashing a check for hail damage raise your insurance rate? If it matters, my insurance is very high because I suck at driving (another reason to bike more) and I'm a 20-something guy and driving a newish car. It did decrease recently by ~40/month after an old accident (maybe 2?) came off my record. I have Geico.
I live in Texas. Someone mentioned heat pops them out, is that a thing? If that's the case, they would be gone after only this summer after several days of 100+ heat.
If I drive it until the wheels fall off, I guess I shouldn't care about resale value being impacted by hail damage? I probably wouldn't fix the damage even after insurance money unless I got much worse hail damage in the future or bad cosmetic damage for another reason.
Any ideas of how much $ I could expect to get from Geico?

tldr: How do I make the most profit off my situation of a newish car with very minor hail damage WITHOUT being in danger of losing $ in the future due to higher insurance, decreased resale value, etc.

Thanks!

haflander

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Re: Hail Damage Check - To Fix the Car or Save the $$
« Reply #12 on: June 19, 2018, 08:52:06 AM »
Bump and update...

I had the insurance guy look at my car a few days ago and he gave me a check for 1250 (1750-500 deductible). This is lower than I thought it would have been. I asked the guy about this and it seems like they deliberately give you a check for less than it takes to fix it, on the chance that people just cash the check and don't fix their car. He didn't say that directly, but I put 2+2 together.

I've also been getting several ads and guys knocking on the door with hair repair offers. Usually I'd have to pay the shop for the deductible to fix the car. So, they're offering things like pay no deductible, free pick up and drop off, free rental car.

Between the insurance offer being lower than I thought it would be and the incentivized offers for getting it fixed, I'm leaning toward the latter. It would cost me nothing and even saves me somewhere between 500-1000 when considering that I won't have to pay the deductible (or anything) to the shop, saving rental car $, and not missing any work days to take care of this. If the insurance check was 2k or more, I probably would feel differently.

For a real Mustachian, it would be a no-brainer to cash the check if you have an older pos car. Unfortunately, not the case here. Thoughts? I'm guessing this is a common situation.

Slow2FIRE

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Re: Hail Damage Check - To Fix the Car or Save the $$
« Reply #13 on: June 19, 2018, 09:24:27 AM »
Minor dents?

Did you try just waiting for a VERY hot sunny day, getting some dry ice and rubbing the dry ice on dents to get them to pop out?

Mississippi Mudstache

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Re: Hail Damage Check - To Fix the Car or Save the $$
« Reply #14 on: June 19, 2018, 09:43:23 AM »
Same thing happened to us in 2013. We go a check for $1200 for hail damage to our 2007 Prius. We kept the cash, and we still have the car. The dents don't affect its utility a bit. Pocket the cash and don't look back.

haflander

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Re: Hail Damage Check - To Fix the Car or Save the $$
« Reply #15 on: June 19, 2018, 12:07:25 PM »
No, I haven't tried fixing it myself. I did some research about dry ice and most said it was a myth? Also, for the few that did it successfully, the dents reappeared in the heat. Have you done this yourself? I live in an apartment and have to park my car outside, which is the reason I have hail damage in the first place. So, the dents would magically reappear on the next hot day.

I could still cash the check at any time, just looking around for opinions.

Slow2FIRE

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Re: Hail Damage Check - To Fix the Car or Save the $$
« Reply #16 on: June 21, 2018, 10:55:47 AM »
No, I haven't tried fixing it myself. I did some research about dry ice and most said it was a myth? Also, for the few that did it successfully, the dents reappeared in the heat. Have you done this yourself? I live in an apartment and have to park my car outside, which is the reason I have hail damage in the first place. So, the dents would magically reappear on the next hot day.

I could still cash the check at any time, just looking around for opinions.

When I was a kid and we lived in Texas, my dad did this to fix hail damage on the cars.  Haven't lived in an area that has hail as an adult.

He never mentioned the dents coming back and I don't recall one way or the other (it was over 30 years ago).  Dry ice is cheap if you wanted to give it a try.  Many grocery stores carry dry ice (at least Kroger branded stores usually do such as King Sooper, Fry's, Fred Meyer, Harris Teeter, Kroger)

YoungGranny

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Re: Hail Damage Check - To Fix the Car or Save the $$
« Reply #17 on: June 28, 2018, 09:23:22 AM »
IMO if you plan on driving the car until it dies and you don't personally care about the body damage just go cash the check. If you're planning on selling the car it might be a different story but otherwise don't over complicate it. It doesn't effect the performance of the vehicle just the appearance.