Hail Damage Repair Claim Process.

(For policy holders who have hail damage repair coverage.)


Post storm, look over your vehicle and document the damage as soon as you can.
  • Take pictures of each damaged panel.
  • Note the number of dents on each panel.
  • Note  the avg size of dents on each panel.
  • Note damaged trim, glass, mirrors, and lenses.
Have the following ready for your insurance company;
  • Policy Number.
  • Vehicle information.
  • Date of storm.
  • Location of vehicle.
Go to the link above “DIY HAIL ESTIMATE KIT”, fill out the form and we will email you the kit.


Contact your insurance company to start the claim process. (You can always cancel claim later, if necessary.)


Give them the information you had collected in step one.
Once they have gathered what they need, they TYPICALLY give you one of the following options:
  • Insurance co. will send out an assessor.
  • Insurance co. will ask you to do a virtual.
  • Insurance co. will tell you to get estimates from body shops or hail repair specialists.
  • Insurance co. will tell to go to a shop or catastrophic site to inspect themselves.
Go to the link above “INSURANCE CLAIM NUMBERS” and click on the number listed next to your insurer to initiate your claim.


A few notes about having your vehicle estimated.
  • You are allowed by law to use whatever shop you want. (But following the insurance company lead will be simpler for you.)
  • WE STONGLY SUGGEST you find a HAIL PROFESSIONAL. (We don’t charge you, FYI.)
  • The initial estimate is just that; an ESTIMATE of the damages.  Once your vehicle is in our hail repair facility for repair, we can issue a SUPPLEMENT. (A supplement is a request for additional payment for missed services and parts on the original estimate.)
Go to the link above “DO NOT USE VIRTUAL ESTIMATING APP” to read our PROFESSIONAL opinion regarding these apps.


When you decide to repair your vehicle remember these few things:
  • You can use whatever shop you desire. Insurance companies are not allowed to legally steer. 
They are required to compensate you up to the point of total loss (See below link for information about TOTAL LOSS THRESHOLD.)
  • You are responsible for your deductible.  Insurance responsibility starts after that amount has been deducted from your claim check. Many shops waive up to $500.00 of your deductible. 
  • Calling us is the smartest thing you can do. We will give you the best direction we can. Even if you aren’t repairing your vehicle, we will answer you as accurate as possible.
Go to the link above “TOTAL LOSS PDF” to either download or read the PDF created by Matthiesen, Wickert & Lehrer, S.C. 



We have written over three thousand estimates for hail since 1994 and we understand how to write it, what should be included and how to get the insurance companies to properly compensate for the damage.
Furthermore, we are approved by all insurance carriers and work with all insurance companies. 
As a family and veteran owned and operated auto hail damage repair company, SF Hail understands the importance of helping you through the hail claim/repair process.
A few ways SF HAIL makes it an easier process by using us for your hail repair needs:
  1. Free loaner cars (when necessary.)
  2. We waive up to $500.00 of your deductible.
  3. Once scheduled and dropped we perform a complete CCC1 estimate that is complete and ensures your vehicles repairs are properly paid for.
  4. Drop off and pick up service.
  5. Guaranteed workmanship.
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Smooth Finishes Hail and Dent Team: We are the Experts in Repairing Hail Damaged Vehicles

Smooth Finishes Hail and Dent Team is the leading auto hail damage repair shop in the Killeen TX area . Our two owners have over 55 years of combined experience in repairing hail damaged vehicles, and have EARNED a reputation for providing high-quality repairs and exceptional customer service.

The Cost of Automotive Hail Damage

Automotive hail damage can be costly, with repairs ranging from a few hundred to several thousand dollars depending on the severity of the damage. According to an interview performed by KXAN, out of Austin, Tx, This year, “Texas is ranked number two at about $510 million in hail claims. That is down. Texas has been, from our data, the number one state in hail claims since 2019.”

The average individual hail damage repair in the USA has increased $2,000 per claim according to STATE FARM. This placed the average claim across the USA at $5500.00.  

As an auto hail repair provider with the tenure we possess, we understand the frustration and inconvenience that hail damage can cause. With the loss of your vehicle during the repair process, the potential loss of value, the questions you wonder about, etc, the hail damage repair process can be a difficult time.

Rest assured, we use state-of-the-art PDR tools, we have years of growth and learning in the paintless dent repair industry, so we understand the insurance process and are well prepared to repair your vehicle quickly and effectively, ensuring that it looks as good as new.

The Number of Claims for Hail Damage Each Year

According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), there are approximately 235,000 insurance claims for hail damage to vehicles in the United States each year. Texas leads the country in auto hail damage claims every year and the hail stones tend to be big and they move fast.

While the number of claims for hail damage varies from year to year and from state to state, hail storms simply tend to cause a lot of damage. At Smooth Finishes Hail and Dent Team, we work with every insurance company and have learned to negotiate/work with each to ensure that your claim is processed quickly and that you receive the proper compensation followed with the repairs necessary to get your vehicle back to pre-loss condition and back on the road.

Paintless Dent Repair as the repair method of Choice for Automotive Hail Damage Repair

Paintless dent repair is the most NON-INVASIVE, GREEN, TIMELY repair method you could use on your vehicle.  This causes several things:

  • The value of your vehicle is retained.
  • The vehicle is repaired quicker.
  • It’s better for the environment (less chemicals used).
  • Just a less costly experience.
  • Insurance companies defer to it.

Should (and can) I repair the hail damage myself?

Hail damage to cars can be costly to repair, but some drivers may think they can save money by fixing it themselves. However, DIY hail damage repairs come with their own set of challenges and risks. In this article, we’ll examine the pros and cons of DIY hail damage repairs, explore the most common hail damage repair techniques, and discuss the potential risks involved in attempting a DIY repair.

The Pros and Cons of DIY Hail Damage Repairs

Hail storms can be a nightmare for car owners, leaving behind unsightly dents and dings that can be expensive to repair. While some drivers might choose to take their car to a professional repair shop, others might consider attempting a DIY hail damage repair. In this article, we’ll explore the pros and cons of DIY hail damage repairs.

The Pros of DIY Hail Damage Repairs

One of the biggest advantages of attempting a DIY hail damage repair is the potential cost savings. Professional repair services can be quite expensive, and a DIY repair can help car owners save money on those costs. Additionally, some drivers might enjoy the challenge of fixing the damage themselves and feel a sense of satisfaction from completing the repair on their own.

Another benefit of a DIY repair is that it can be done on the car owner’s schedule. Rather than having to wait for an appointment with a repair shop, a DIY repair can be done at any time that is convenient for the car owner.

The Cons of DIY Hail Damage Repairs

While attempting a DIY hail damage repair might seem like a good idea, there are several downsides to consider. For starters, it requires a significant amount of time, effort, and skill. Without the proper tools and experience, a DIY repair could end up causing more harm than good. In some cases, attempting a repair without the proper tools could even cause additional damage to the car.

Furthermore, if the repair is not done correctly, it could potentially decrease the value of the car. A poorly executed repair could be noticeable to potential buyers and could make the car less desirable on the resale market.


Overall, attempting a DIY hail damage repair can be a cost-effective and satisfying option for some car owners. However, it’s important to consider the potential downsides and to be honest about one’s own abilities and experience before attempting a repair. When in doubt, it’s always best to consult with a professional repair shop to ensure that the damage is fixed correctly and that the car retains its value.

The Most Common Hail Damage Repair Techniques

When it comes to repairing hail damage, there are several techniques that professionals use, including paintless dent repair, cosmetic repair, and traditional body shop repairs. Each technique has its own unique advantages and disadvantages, and the best option for your vehicle will depend on the extent and severity of the damage.

Paintless dent repair is a technique that involves removing dents from the car’s surface without affecting the original paint. This technique is often preferred because it is less invasive and typically more affordable than traditional body shop repairs. Paintless dent repair is also a faster process, as it does not require the use of fillers, sanding, or repainting.

Traditional body shop repairs involve replacing or repairing damaged panels and repainting the car’s surface. This technique is often necessary for more severe hail damage, such as large dents or broken windows. While traditional body shop repairs may be more expensive and time-consuming than other techniques, they are often necessary for restoring the vehicle’s structural integrity.

It is important to note that the cost of hail damage repair will vary depending on the severity and extent of the damage, as well as the type of repair technique used. It is recommended to consult with a professional auto body shop to determine the best course of action for your vehicle.

Understanding the Potential Risks Involved in DIY Hail Damage Repairs

If you’re considering a DIY hail damage repair, it’s important to understand the potential risks involved. One of the biggest risks is causing further damage to the car, which could end up costing more in repairs than it would have initially. This is especially true if you don’t have the proper tools and experience to complete the repair. For example, if you use the wrong type of filler or don’t properly sand down the damaged area, it could lead to rust or corrosion down the line.

Another risk to consider is the impact on your car’s resale value. While a DIY repair may seem like a cost-effective option in the short term, if it’s not done correctly, it could potentially decrease the car’s value in the long run. This is because buyers will often look for signs of previous damage and may be hesitant to purchase a car that has been repaired by an amateur.

It’s also important to consider the safety risks of attempting a DIY repair. Working with harmful chemicals, such as paint thinner or body filler, can be dangerous if you don’t take the proper precautions. Inhaling these chemicals can cause respiratory problems, while getting them on your skin can lead to chemical burns. Additionally, working with sharp tools, such as a grinder or sander, can put you at risk for cuts and other injuries.

Before attempting a DIY hail damage repair, it’s important to weigh the potential risks against the potential benefits. While it may seem like a cost-effective option, if you’re not confident in your abilities or don’t have the proper tools, it’s best to leave the repair to a professional. A professional repair may cost more upfront, but it could save you money and headaches down the line.

Various methods that work, but do not.

While there are several methods that professionals use to repair hail damage, there are also several DIY methods that drivers might attempt. However, it’s important to note that not all of these methods are effective or safe.

One common DIY method that drivers might try is using a plunger to remove dents from the car’s surface. While this might work in some cases, it’s important to note that it could also end up causing further damage to the car. This is because the suction from the plunger can create additional dents or scratches on the car’s surface, which can be difficult to repair. Along with damaging the surface, most plungers aren’t very accurate.

Another DIY method that drivers might attempt is using a hair dryer and compressed air to remove dents. This method involves heating up the dent with a hair dryer and then using compressed air to cool the area quickly. While this might work in some cases, it’s important to note that it can also cause further damage to the car’s surface. This is because the sudden change in temperature can cause the paint to crack or peel, which can be costly to repair. Paint will bubble way before the metal is at a point you can use compressed air.  We have used this technique with success, and failure.

It’s always best to consult with a professional when it comes to repairing hail damage, as they have the knowledge and experience to ensure that the repair is done correctly. A professional will be able to assess the damage and recommend the best course of action, whether that’s using paintless dent repair or traditional bodywork techniques.

When choosing a professional to repair your hail damage, it’s important to do your research and choose a reputable company. Look for a company that has experience working with your make and model of car, as well as one that offers a warranty on their work. You should also ask for references and read online reviews to ensure that you’re choosing a company that you can trust.

In conclusion, while some drivers might be tempted to attempt a DIY hail damage repair, it’s important to consider the potential risks and downsides before doing so. While it might save you money in the short-term, a DIY repair could end up causing further damage and possibly decreasing the car’s value. Ultimately, it’s best to consult with a professional who can offer guidance and ensure that the repair is done correctly.

When it comes to car hail damage repair, trusting a specialized automotive hail repair company like SF Hail is a smart choice for several reasons. Here’s why you should consider relying on SF Hail, a company with over 55 years of experience in the industry:

Unmatched Expertise and Experience:

SF Hail specializes in automotive hail repair, accumulating extensive knowledge and experience over the years. With over 55 years in the industry, they have encountered various types of hail damage and are familiar with the most effective repair techniques for different situations. Their expertise ensures that your car will be repaired to the highest standards.

Skilled and Certified Technicians:

SF Hail employs highly skilled and certified technicians who have undergone rigorous training in hail damage repair. These technicians possess the necessary expertise and knowledge to assess the extent of the damage accurately and determine the best repair approach. Their skills guarantee that your car will be in capable hands throughout the repair process.

State-of-the-Art Repair Tools and Techniques:

SF Hail is equipped with modern tools and technology, including paintless dent repair (PDR), to efficiently and effectively address hail damage. PDR is a non-intrusive method that involves manipulating the metal from underneath the vehicle’s surface to restore it to its original condition. This technique, when performed by SF Hail’s trained professionals using specialized tools, can successfully eliminate dents without the need for repainting or replacing panels, preserving your car’s original factory finish.

Comprehensive Repair Solutions:

As a specialized automotive hail repair company, SF Hail offers a range of repair options to cater to the varying degrees of hail damage. They can assess the damage accurately and recommend the most appropriate solutions, such as paintless dent repair for minor dents, crack repair for windshield damage, filler/glazing for surface imperfections, or body panel replacements for severe damage. Having various repair options ensures that your car receives the specific repairs it needs, restoring it to its pre-damaged condition.

Repair Guarantee:

SF Hail stands behind the quality of their work and provides a repair guarantee. This guarantee assures you that the repairs performed by SF Hail will be of the highest standard and that the company is committed to your satisfaction. Whether it’s a guarantee for the lifetime of the vehicle or for as long as you own it, this added assurance gives you peace of mind regarding the longevity of the repairs.

Insurance Coordination:

SF Hail understands that dealing with insurance claims can be time-consuming and complex. As a specialized automotive hail repair company, they can simplify the process for you. SF Hail can work directly with your insurance company, handling the necessary paperwork and communication, so you don’t have to. This streamlined approach allows you to entrust your vehicle to SF Hail and have them coordinate the entire repair process with your insurer, minimizing the hassle involved in filing insurance claims.

By trusting a specialized automotive hail repair company like SF Hail, you benefit from their unmatched expertise, state-of-the-art repair techniques, and commitment to quality. With their skilled technicians, comprehensive repair options, and repair guarantee, SF Hail ensures that your car will be restored to its pre-damaged condition. Their insurance coordination services further enhance the convenience of the repair process, allowing you to have a hassle-free experience while your vehicle receives the specialized hail damage repair it needs.

Coverage for hail damage repair can vary depending on your insurance policy.

What coverage do you have and how much your deductible is. Do you have;

  • collision coverage?
  • comprehensive coverage?
  • liability coverage?

And how much is your deductible?

Collision coverage primarily applies to damages caused by collisions with other vehicles or objects. Unfortunately, it does not typically cover hail damage repair. On the other hand, comprehensive coverage is designed to protect your vehicle from non-collision incidents, including hail damage, fire, and natural disasters.

Comprehensive coverage, is the coverage most use that will cover the cost of hail damage repair.

Liability coverage, although crucial for protecting you in the event of causing damage to others, does not typically cover repairs for hail damage. It is mainly focused on covering damages to other individuals or their property in an accident where you are at fault.

Deductible. The deductible is the amount you’re responsible for paying out of pocket before your insurance coverage takes effect. Depending on the severity of the hail damage and your deductible amount, it may be more cost-effective to pay for the repairs without involving your insurance.

An interesting note: Most big chain body shops have contracts with the insurance companies. THEY HAVE TO CHARGE you for the deductible. We do not….

At our repair shop, we have experience working with insurance companies and can help guide you through the process. We can assess the hail damage on your vehicle, provide an estimate, and assist you in navigating the insurance claim if necessary. Our goal is to ensure you receive the necessary repairs while maximizing the benefits available to you through your insurance coverage.

The average cost for a hail repair claim has gone up significantly over the last few years. According to State Farm it has increased over $2,000.00 over the last year alone.  


The insurance companies are pointing at COVID, more storms, etc. 

Our belief?

Automotive hail repair companies are learning to use proper software, they are ensuring the insurance company pays the proper amount toward the claim, and understands the process much better. As our company pivoted to a standard auto body software system years ago, we saw our average claim go up tremendously. 

The insurance companies never tell you what you don’t know. They are in it for the money.

Our best approximation?

For a hail shop? For each $1000.00 on the claim expect  it to be in shop for a business day. 

CCC1 (the primary software used by over 80% of the auto body shops) states the norm for a repair is 4-6 hours per working day. So if an estimate has 40 hours of labor and paint, that vehicle will take 8 days plus 2-3 at the beginning to accommodate insurance appraiser delays and supplementing.  Give the job another day at the end for QC and clean up and the job now sits at around 11 working days. 

If the job is PDR intense, time is typically reduced.  If the same job was in a PDR shop, you would likely get your hail damaged car or truck back 3-4 days faster. 


We have written over 4,000 estimates and written over 2,500 supplements. 

Almost 85% of the hail estimates written by insurance companies are low. This isn’t opinion.  Overall, in the year 2018, insurance companies were almost a 1,000 dollars off on ALL estimates. 

It’s estimated that almost 50% of all hail claims aren’t repaired. Based on that data, insurance companies “happen” to write hail claims low. 

Currently in our shop is 2016 Ford F150. Progressive wrote this claim at around $5,500.00.  The estimate had the labor at $54.00 an hour (current area rate is $75.00). They “didn’t see” two areas where paint was cracked, and they claimed a hood with over 50 3 inch wide and very deep dents were, “quarter” sized. 

Our estimate is over $9,500.  We sent in the supplement request on the 19th. As of the 29th of May, they had not come to reinspect.

Insurance companies are in this business to make money. That should tell you all you need to know.

If you go to most big shops (ie Gerber, Caliber etc) they are required to charge the deductible as they are in a contract with many of insurance companies. If they do not charge it, they can lose their DRP (direct repair program) status. 

Our shop is not controlled by the insurance companies. As long as our estimate isn’t overcharging for anything and we are honest, we are allowed to negotiate with you regarding pricing. 

So we waive deductibles up to $500.oo (sometimes even $1000, just call and ask).

You can choose to repair it however you want. This includes NOT repairing it.

The issue is; IF you didn’t repair a panel and it’s damaged in an ensuing accident or claim, it WILL NOT BE PAID FOR a second time. 

Additionally, the value of your vehicle drops dollar for dollar with the ACTUAL cost of the repair (not what they paid).

And since the insurance companies know a lot of people do not repair their vehicle, do you think it effects how they write their estimates? 

Hint: It does.

SF Hail and Dent Team Links: