DENVER — Anyone who’s had hail damage repaired in the last few years seems to tell the same story – that often there’s a backup at the body shop.
Your car’s gadgets may be to blame. Newer cars have sensors all over them, which take longer to replace, an insurance industry expert says.
“That technology takes longer to repair,” said Carole Walker, executive director of the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association.
“You have a glut of new cars with new technology out in the path of the hail,” she said.
Walker also said over the past ten years or so, Colorado’s hail storms seem to have intensified, causing more damage. Population growth also means storms now have the potential to damage more vehicles.
“It still is an insurable risk,” Walker said. “Insurance companies, unfortunately, can see this pattern of year after year hail storms and rate that risk.”
The technological improvements also mean once inexpensive hail repairs cost a lot more, which also drives up insurance rates, Walker said.
“What used to be a couple hundred dollar repair now costs several thousand dollars,” she said.
Not to mention, once there is a backup at a body shop, some insured drivers spend more time in rental cars at the expense of insurance companies, Walker added.
She also warned of the potential for scams during hail season. Walker said hail repair companies out seeking business after storms tend to be less reputable. Reputable body shops don’t need to advertise as much, because they’re already backed up with work.
Walker suggests checking reviews of companies before hiring them to do hail dent repairs or working with your insurance company to find a reputable business.