Repairing hail damage
Most hail storms last only about 5-6 minutes, but the damage caused can be extensive.
Much of the damage is cosmetic: dings and dents. But in a fierce hail storm, a windshield and other glass may be shattered.
If your vehicle has been damaged by hail, remember that we are here to help.
Reacting to hail and its damage
- If you’re driving in a hail storm, help protect your vehicle by seeking shelter under an overpass or in a structure with a strong roof.
- Otherwise, pull to the side of the road and cover your face with clothing to protect it from possible broken glass.
- Call our On Your Side® Claims Service at 1-800-421-3535 or log in to start your claim online.
- Have the following information handy:
- Your insurance policy number- Vehicle year, make, model and body style- Date of the incident
- From a safe spot, photograph any damage.
- Cover any broken windows to protect your vehicle from any further damage from the elements.
Filing a hail damage claim
Starting your claim
Call our On Your Side® Claims Service at 1-800-421-3535 or you may log in to start your claim online.
Usually within 24 hours, a claims representative will contact you to make an appointment to bring your car to one of our drive-in claims facilities for a repair estimate. If your vehicle isn’t drivable or is at another location, we may examine it there.
We review your insurance policy to determine the cause of the incident and determine what damages are covered under your policy.
Addressing large-scale hail damage
In the event of a major hail storm, Nationwide may send its Automated Mobile Hail Estimating units to an area where large numbers of policyholders’ vehicles have been damaged.
The mobile units use high-definition cameras to scan the dents and generate, within minutes, a highly accurate damage report - thereby reducing the time and effort of creating the report manually and expediting the repair process.
Learn more about our Automated Mobile Hail Estimating units.
Arranging for repairs
You can select your own repair shop or you can choose a facility from our On Your Side Auto Repair Network®, if your vehicle qualifies for service at one of our repair network shops, where you'll receive fast, seamless service. We work directly with pre-screened, pre-qualified shops to streamline estimates, repairs, and payments.
Repairing hail damage
There are generally two methods to repair hail damage to vehicles, depending on the extent of the damage:
- Paintless Dent Removal or PDR
Special molded tools are used on the underside of the vehicle to push out and smooth dents, so the painted surface is not disturbed. Although repairs may take only a few days, PDR is not effective on large dents or extensive damage.
- Conventional vehicle repair
Working mostly on the exterior of the vehicle, dents are pulled out and irregularities filled in with compound. While the method is most effect on deep dents, repair time is longer because the repaired area must be primed and repainted.
Your claims representative and body shop can recommend which method is best suited to repair the damage to your vehicle.
Settling your hail damage claim
Once your car is repaired, you’ll receive payment and your claim will be settled, minus any applicable deductible.
You may choose to have the payment direct-deposited into a bank account, a check mailed to you or, in some instances, you may receive a debit bank card.
Learn more about our claims process.