Delaying hail damage repairs could cost you - - The News for South Mississippi

Delaying hail damage repairs could cost you

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Most drivers who have submitted a claim have received a check from their insurance company. Most drivers who have submitted a claim have received a check from their insurance company.
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

It's pretty easy to spot hail damaged cars in the Metro. More than 75,000 home and auto claims have been submitted from the March 18 hail storm, which could carry a $300 million price tag.

"[It] is worse than the tornadoes that came through here in April 2010 and the tornado that hit Yazoo City," said state Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney.

Most drivers who have submitted a claim have received a check from their insurance company.

Some have opted to keep the cash and live with the dents, while others are waiting for their vehicle to be repaired. But a warning from Chaney touches on a possibility few drivers may have considered. If you cash the hail damage repair check from your insurance company and keep the money rather than using it for repairs, you will end up paying for those repairs out of pocket if you happen to be in a car crash, or another type of damage occurs to your vehicle.

"If they have paid you [for hail damage], they are going to deduct that payment for the actual damage you suffer in the second accident. They are going to deduct the payment on the first before they pay you," explained Chaney.

He says policy holders should document all of their damage.

"The [insurance companies] keep records and they know how much they paid you and you're not going to be paid twice. You can't game the system here and that's not the idea. The idea of insurance is to protect you. It's not to be a maintenance policy," said Chaney.

Chaney has another warning for drivers. If you're in the market for a new ride and want to pay a lower price for a hail damaged vehicle, you have to report those dings to your insurance company when you buy insurance. Also, you can only buy certain coverage if the vehicle has been totaled.

"You can get liability but you can't get collision on them. You need to know that," explained Chaney. He also says you can get uninsured motorist coverage.

Chaney encourages every driver to get a second opinion on the cost of your damage repairs and asks for patience while the body shops in the area work to help each customer.

Finally, Chaney warns customers not to pay money up front to speed up the process.

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