A Nebraska Car Dealer Had 4,500 Cars Damaged by Hail: $152M in Losses

Tremendous hail storms ravaged the Midwest over the last day, and the true cost of the damage is starting to hit insurers. One car dealership in Nebraska sustained damage to 4,500 cars, and the cost is staggering. Estimates are running past $15o million to repair damage, including dented bodywork, broken glass, and even mirrors and trim broken off. Part of the issue is that dealers in the Midwest can be massive. Woodhouse Auto Family, for example, owns 10 dealerships in Nebraska and Iowa, and is -- according to their own materials -- the number one Ford Truck dealer in the country. RELATED VIDEO: Drifting During Hurricane Sandy You don't get that kind of volume without a huge inventory, and a lot of vehicles parked outside with no protection from the elements. That's no big deal on a sunny day, but when hailstones the size of baseballs start raining down from the sky, it's a huge issue. Woodhouse Auto Family's twitter feed is littered with photos of vehicles damaged by the weather: The hail didn't just damage cars, either. Woodhouse's facility in Blair, Nebraska has the pockmarks of a building near in a war zone: What's this mean for you, the car owner anywhere else in the country? If you're shopping for used cars in the next few months, a lot of these vehicles are going to end up running through the auction. Keep a sharp eye on the VIN of any late-model used cars you're interested in and see if any of them have been reported as having significant damage from the storm. RELATED PHOTOS: The Story of Hurricane Sandy Told Through Cars You won't have the electrical issues that a car rescued from Hurricane Sandy may have, but if you're buying something advertised as a "demo" or an "executive car," make sure to run a Carfax to see if it's ever been damaged. If it was ever delivered via Blair, Nebraska, chances are good it had extensive bodywork.

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