Severe thunderstorm can often be accompanied by hail of varying size, resulting in extensive damage to cars and homes. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what happened in and around St. Francois County, Missouri. Local car dealerships were hit hard by the golf ball-sized hail storm of April 8, with reports that most of their inventories of new and used vehicles sitting outdoors sustained various stages of damage, creating havoc in the area. Not to mention, an unexpected boon for local hotels as hordes of auto insurance, homeowners insurance and business insurance adjusters descended on the area to handle claims.
In fact, according to local hoteliers, finding a vacancy at a local hotel over the course of several days ranged from difficult to impossible as adjusters had taken over any available rooms they could find.
The most affected were probably the auto dealerships, as literally thousands of new and used vehicles suffered damage, with a large number beyond repair. And, many of the adjusters who came down were there specifically to work with dealerships wanting to get their inventory of vehicles back in shape to sell as soon as possible. In fact, some vehicles are already being sold at a discount to those would-be car buyers who are willing to take a damaged one home.
While similar in certain respects, the process is a little different from what the average person experiences when filing a claim with an auto insurance company to have their car repaired. In this case, the extent of the endeavor is multiplied by the hundreds. Virtually all dealerships, from Chevrolet, to Ford, to Cadillac, were greatly affected by the over-sized hail stones, causing them to file large numbers of claims for damage, ranging from 120 cars to 300 cars.
While for some auto dealerships it encompasses a percentage of the cars on their lots, for others it turns out to be their entire inventory that has been lost, forcing them to deal with teams of insurance adjusters swarming about, inspecting the damage to all 300 cars, from minor to serious.
Getting their business back up and running is their number one priority. As long as buyers are willing to accept a substantial discount to take a damaged vehicle off the lot, in “as is” condition, the dealerships can continue to operate during the claims and reimbursement process. Meanwhile, others will hold off and attempt to repair the vehicles that can be fixed, but others may have no choice but to replace the majority of their existing inventory.
Repairing a vehicle damaged by hail stones is no small feat. Quite often the damage extends to the whole car. And, unless the buyer is willing to accept the damage, resale of the vehicle down the line could be almost impossible. The same dealership you buy it from will most likely turn you down should you want to trade it in. That’s definitely something to consider before signing on the dotted line.
If you reside in an area that is susceptible to unpredictable weather, you already know that damage to your vehicle or home is something you have to expect. But, paying too much for coverage is not.
Make sure you’re getting the best rate on your Missouri auto insurance or homeowners insurance. Why not get a free auto insurance quote or homeowners insurance quote today?
Have you ever been caught in a hail storm that severely damaged your vehicle? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.