What can car dealerships do when a hail storm strikes?

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By Emily Evans

MISHAWAKA, Ind.-- Gurley Leep in Mishawaka carries many different vehicles of different makes. A severe hail storm can quickly become thier worst nightmare.
 
“When you carry as broad a selection of inventory as we do, it’s very hard or impossible to protect all of the inventory,” Gurley Leep Accounting Manager John MacDonald said.
 
Dealerships like Gurley Leep are forced to pay a hefty price to fix or lower the cost of these vehicles if they are severely damaged from hail.
 
“Indiana statute requires that if it has more than four percent of the sticker price in damage, it has to be disclosed to the customer,” MacDonald said.
 
Wednesday salesmen were checking out their inventory, but MacDonald said they will conduct a full inspection Thursday.
 
“What we’ll do is we’ll have all of our general managers tomorrow check their inventory to see if there was any damage to any of the vehicles,” MacDonald said.
 
Insurance agent Calvin Johnson said finding shelter for your car is the best thing you can do to avoid having to file an insurance claim, or worse, paying for the damage.

“If you hear the hail is coming, pull your car, your boat, your patio furniture into the garage and it helps to prevent that damage,” State Farm Insurance Agent Calvin Johnson said.
 
If your car was damaged in Wednesday's storm, MacDonald said you can make one stop at a Gurley Leep body shop without having to contact your insurance agent first.
 
“They have direct pay with most insurance companies so you don’t have to go to the insurance company and then go to the body shop, you can bring it into the body shop, they can do the estimate and communicate directly with your insurance,” MacDonald said.
 
Johnson also advises you to check to make sure your insurance policy is comprehensive, not just a collision plan, so that it covers hail damage.

There were more than 20,000 hail claims filed with State Farm in the state of Indiana in 2012, according to Johnson.

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