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Damage by hail
Most hail storms typically last only about 5-6 minutes, but the damage caused can be extensive.
Much of the damage is generally cosmetic: dings and dents. But in a fierce hail storm, a windshield and other glass may be shattered.
If you’re caught in a hail storm
- Help protect your car by seeking shelter under an overpass or in a structure with a strong roof. Or pull to the side of the road and cover your face with clothing to protect it from possible broken glass.
- 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 insurance claim
Starting your claim
- Your insurance policy number
- Vehicle year, make, model and body style
- Date of the incident
Usually within 24 hours, a claims associate will contact you to make an appointment to bring your car to a repair facility for a repair estimate. If your vehicle isn’t drivable or is at another location, we may examine it there.
We’ll review your insurance policy and the facts of the loss to determine what damages are covered under your policy.
Addressing large-scale hail damage
In the event of a major hail storm, we may send Automated Mobile Hail Estimating units to an area where large numbers of members’ vehicles have been damaged.
The mobile units use high-definition cameras to scan the dents and generate a highly accurate damage report within minutes.
Arranging for hail damage repairs
In the instance of a major event when Automated Mobile Hail Estimating units are on site, your vehicle could be scheduled and repaired at the same location if you choose that option. You have the option to select your own repair shop or you can choose a facility from our On Your Side Auto Repair Network®1, where you'll receive fast, seamless service. We work directly with these pre-screened, pre-qualified shops to streamline estimates, repairs and payments.
Repairing hail damage
- Paintless Dent Removal (PDR). Special molded tools are used on the underside of the vehicle panels to push out and smooth dents, so the painted surface is not disturbed. Generally, repairs may take only a few days. PDR may not be effective on large dents or extensive damage by hail.
- Conventional vehicle repair. Working mostly on the exterior of the vehicle, dents are pulled out and irregularities filled in with a body filler While the method is most effective on deep dents, repair time is generally longer because the repaired area must be primed and repainted.
The repair facility you selected can recommend which method is best suited to repair the damage to your vehicle.
Settling your hail damage insurance claim
 Guarantee covers replacement of any defective alternative parts identified on appraisal and used in repair for as long as you own or lease your repaired vehicle. Also, work performed at an On Your Side® Auto Repair Center includes a guarantee on the workmanship of the appraised and completed repairs for as long as you own or lease your vehicle.
Each claim is handled on the basis of its individual facts and circumstances, in accordance with policy language, including applicable exclusions, conditions and limitations, as well as applicable controlling law.
Product, coverage, discounts, insurance terms, definitions and other descriptions are intended for informational purposes only and do not in any way replace or modify the definitions and information contained in your individual insurance contracts, policies, and/or declaration pages from Nationwide-affiliated underwriting companies, which are controlling. Such products, coverages, terms and discounts may vary by state and exclusions may apply.