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Hail-Damaged Cars Make Auto Shops Busy Place

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(credit: CBS) Esme Murphy
Esme Murphy, a reporter and Sunday morning anchor for WCCO-TV, h...
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By Esme Murphy, WCCO-TV

ST. LOUIS PARK, Minn. (WCCO) — A possible tornado tore the roof off a home and heavily damaged a house in St. Michael Tuesday night.

Several auto body shops in the Twin Cities metro area were busy Wednesday because of the hail damage that came out of the storm. The phone was ringing off the hook at Abra Auto Body and Glass in St. Louis Park with people who got nailed by the storm.

In home video taken just a few blocks from Richard Newmann’s Minneapolis home, golf ball-sized hail stones were bouncing off the patio and also off his SUV. The results were dents and damage.

“I’ve lived here my whole life and the largest hail I had ever seen was marble size. This was golf ball-size,” Newmann said.

And he wasn’t alone. Some hail storms leave small, even tiny dents that are barely noticeable to the naked eye. But these ones were big.

“There are a lot on the larger side and it looks like there were a lot more larger dents in this storm that went through last night,” said Terry Geffre with Abra Auto Body and Glass.

And most of the repair bills are pretty big too, between $2,500 and $5,000. But some dents can be treated with a heating and cooling process that pops the dents back to place.

“That’s why you have insurance,” Geffre said.

Most insurance companies cover hail damage, but there’s still the deductible and the hassle.

If you have hail damage to your car or home, you are encouraged to call your insurance company first. That may speed up the processing of your claim when you get to a body shop like this one.

Of course if your car is unsafe to drive and you’re able to get it to a body shop, you might as well see if you can get to the front of what is a very long line for repairs.

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