Hail the size of baseballs -- or larger -- was reported Sunday, Aug. 2, 2015, near West Branch, Mich.
Photo courtesy Shelly Evergreen via the National Weather Service.
Destruction from that storm also hit parts of Clare County, with Farwell and Harrison getting the worst of it – although nowhere near the size of the West Branch boulders.
Jim’s Body Shop in Clare has connections and the facility to fast-track the repairs.
Owner Jim Paetschow said many local garages and dealerships actually send vehicles damaged by hail to his shop because of ties to an outside company that specializes in paintless dent repair as well as panel replacement.
As of Friday, Jim’s Body Shop has about 15 cars lined up for hail damage repairs.
A lot of people don’t know what to do after their car is damaged due to hail and some don’t even know it’s covered by their insurance, Paetschow said.
Drivers who have comprehensive insurance will be covered in the event of hail damage because it is considered an “act of nature.” However, the deductible and things like that vary depending on policies.
Paetschow took to social media after the storm hit and encouraged people with dented cars or trucks to bring them in to his shop to get an estimate of the damages.
Once an appointment is scheduled, a repair can be completed in as soon as a day, depending on he damage, he said. While light damage can be quickly handled by the paintless dent professionals, more extensive damage can require entire panels to be replaced, which obviously take longer.
Jim’s Body Shop usually only has to call in back-up once a year, but it all depends on the number of severe storms.Either way, it is starting to be known as the go-to place for dent repair in the area.
“We do a lot of it,” Paetschow said.
In the event of hail storm while driving, he said if a person can keep driving safely that will better help prevent damage than coming to a complete stop. Also, getting under a tree to break up the stones will help or the best bet, finding an overpass.
“If you know a storm is coming, get it covered or at lease put a tarp over it,” said Paetschow.