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Car owners face repair headaches 2 weeks after hailstorm

DENVER -- Thousands of people continue to deal with insurance and repair shop issues nearly two weeks after a powerful hailstorm punished Colorado.

Drivers are still reporting long waits at repair shops as crews feverishly work to get ahead on their workload.

State Farm, Colorado’s largest auto insurer, has received more than 20,000 auto hail-related claims. A company representative reports the insurance giant has been able to provide a robust response.

Five metro Denver State Farm mobile sites have been set up to complete estimates on damaged vehicles, according to the insurance provider.

Other insurers, however, have not been able to provide that type of response.

Two weeks later, some car owners say they are finally getting the help they need at area repair shops. Susan Brach of Lakewood is one of the many still waiting since the storm hit on May 8.

Golf ball-sized hail left behind severe damage on the body and windshield of her 2016 Outback SUV. Her vehicle received more than 60 impact marks, according to a recent inspection.

Brach said she called her insurance company moments after the assault from Mother Nature. She is insured through The Hartford.

“No one ever called me back,” Brach said.

Call after call went unreturned and emails went unanswered, according to Brach.

Nearly two weeks after the storm, an appraiser found time to inspect her car. With a busted window, Brach and others have been unable to drive legally for the past two weeks.

That wait continues as car owners try to get their vehicles into crowded Denver-area body shops.

“It is going to be a great challenge, yes,” Brach said.

People who don’t want to wait have turned to mobile hail repair centers that are scattered across the metropolitan area.

Representatives from many rental car locations report being able to meet the demand for those needing vehicles while cars are being repaired.

The total cost on May’s hailstorm is still unknown, but experts are confident it will rank near the top for Colorado.