Falling Chestnuts Can Cause a Total Write Off!

I wanted to write about a job I did late last year that really illustrates the value of what we do and to explain a bit about a complicated type of repair we encounter once in awhile in the paintless dent repair business in Vancouver.  

In mid-October last year, a customer named Tim, got in touch with me. He had recently purchased a 2006 Acura TSX for around $10,000. He bought it because the car was in great shape and had low mileage. He brought it to his place on the west side of Vancouver and parked it on the street for a week.

He went out and started clearing all the leaves that fell on it and noticed a dent. He told me he was a bit upset because he was sure the dent wasn’t there when he parked it. Then he noticed another one. And another. And another. With each new dent, he got more and more aggravated and discouraged. Then he noticed all the chestnuts on the ground.

The 2006 TSX roof before the repair

The 2006 TSX roof before the repair

Around the end of September through mid-October, Vancouver’s chestnut trees drop their seeds in the form of chestnuts. These nuts are like little golf balls dropping from 20 to 40 feet up and they can cause a lot of damage similar to the damage caused by a hail storm.

Tim did some research online and found the Dent Craft website. He read up about paintless dent removal and decided to give us a call. I set up an appointment at his home to assess the dent damage on his car.

When I got there, I went over the car carefully. I counted around 100 dents varying between tiny little sharp dents to quarter size shallow dents to loonie size deep dents. They were all over his roof, hood, deck lid and fenders.

I used our price guide and quoted Tim about $2,400. He was floored that falling chestnuts could cause that much damage. I told him that even though my price seems high, it would most likely be a quarter of the price of using a conventional body shop repair.

And sure enough, when he took it to ICBC, the adjuster priced it as a conventional body shop repair and said that the vehicle was very close to being a total write off! That is, the cost to repair the damage at a conventional body shop was close to the value of the vehicle – $10,000. 

Using my paintless dent repair tools, I went to work fixing every one of the dents on Tim’s vehicle. It was not a short job or an easy job but the difference in the appearance of his car was huge.

The roof after the repair. Glassed, as they say in our business.

The roof after the repair. Glassed, as they say in our business.

Most of our jobs are below the insurance deductible, but in this case Tim wisely went through ICBC. Here’s the way it works with ICBC: Tim paid me for the full cost of the repair, then submitted my invoice to ICBC and ICBC repaid Tim minus his deductible. It is a very straightforward transaction.

Chestnut dent damage and hail damage on vehicles are perfect for paintless dent repair and for insurance companies. The paintless dent repair process frequently saves vehicles from being total losses and it saves insurance companies thousands of dollars. Furthermore, it saves the original paint on your vehicle, keeping your vehicle much closer to its original condition which is always a good thing. 

ICBC will want to put the vehicle through the conventional body shop because that is what they have been doing all along. We would love for ICBC to start recommending our services where it is applicable but that will take some time. In the meantime, as a vehicle owner, you can request that the repair be done using paintless dent repair. At the moment, ICBC is not able to recommend a specific paintless dent repair company so it is up to you to do some research and find a company with a good reputation to do the repair. 

I hope that you do not have to experience the disappointment of seeing your vehicle peppered with dents by a chestnut tree or by a hail storm, but if you do, now you know there is a dent repair company that could save your vehicle from being a total loss and bring it back to its previously untouched appearance.