By Jennifer Brice

DENVER (CBS4) – The devastating hail storm that hit the Front Range almost two weeks ago is on pace to be the most expensive in state history.

The Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association says more than 150,000 auto claims have been filed. Of those damaged cars, nearly half of the vehicles are not drivable.

Hail left holes in a car parked at the Colorado Mills (credit: CBS)

Now car owners are running into another issue– the long wait to get the cars repaired.

Lindsey Unhock’s car took a beating in the hailstorm and it has been frustrating to find an auto body shop near Wheat Ridge to fix it.

Lindsey Unhock shows off the damage to her vehicle (credit: CBS)

She assumed it would take a few months, “But six, nine or a year… that is just crazy to me,” says Unhock.

RMIIA says the story of the May 8 storm is the number of cars that were damaged, making it the state’s most expensive storm for a few reasons according to Executive Director Carole Walker.

(credit: CBS)

“The vehicles are almost double in what they are costing to repair because of all the technology in the cars,” said Walker.

The folks at Maaco in Littleton say the damages are being grossly underestimated by insurance companies, in many cases.

CBS4’s Jennifer Brice interviews Maaco owner Brian Greenley (credit: CBS)

That makes the wait for the car owners longer according to Maaco owner Brian Greenley.

He showed CBS4’s Jennifer Brice a car that was initially estimated by an adjuster at $6,200 to fix but it will actually cost $14,000.

(credit: CBS)

“If you look at the amount of damage these cars sustained when the glass explodes,” says Greenley. “The amount of hidden damage, additional damage that’s found during the repair process is extraordinary.”

Greenley says he has never seen a storm with this kind of damage.

(credit: CBS)

The RMIIA says the preliminary cost of the hailstorm is $1.4 billion dollars. The largest hail pelted areas west of Denver, including Wheat Ridge, Golden and Lakewood.

Jennifer Brice is a reporter with CBS4 focusing on crime and courts. Follow her on Facebook or on Twitter @CBS4Jenn.

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