Taking on any damage to your vehicle can be a frustrating and stressful experience. Navigating through the insurance issues related to that damage can be even worse. If the problem is something mainly cosmetic, such as a dent or scratch, it's highly likely you can get it fixed through a full coverage insurance plan. However, that decision could end up costing a lot more than you think.
Most people won't use their insurance for cosmetic problems as long as the car still runs. They'll just put up with the bad look. Some people don't even carry full coverage on less valuable cars, so they have no intention of ever paying for self-inflicted light damage. Full coverage is nice to have, though, in case you get a dent so deep the entire panel of a car needs to be replaced. That will cost more than a simple fix, and could require all of your available insurance options.
If you're considered the responsible party in a two-car wreck, your insurer is on the hook for repairs to both cars. Your car is protected by collision coverage, while your liability protection pays for the other car. Dents and scratches are usually included as reparable items if they were caused by that accident. If they're the only problem, you'll have the choice to pay for them or not based on your deductible. If the other driver is at fault, his insurer covers your dents and scratches along with other repairs.
Dents and scratches are common types of damage with comprehensive claims. If a car backs into you in a parking lot and drives off, the car gets struck by a ball or someone scratches your car with keys, your comprehensive protection takes care of the repairs. The deductible applies just as it does under collision protection.
If these nicks aren't too bad, and you're responsible for them, it may make more sense to fix them yourself. Some could be such low-cost repairs they won't exceed your deductible anyway. Even if they do, and it's not by much, filing a claim for such a small matter could encourage the insurance company to raise your premium. On that point, if you're the cause of minor damage to another vehicle, offer to pay for it out of pocket. If you can keep the insurance companies out of the matter, both of you can avoid potential premium hikes.
Stand back and look at your vehicle. Do you have a number of dents and scratches on it? That is not uncommon, but repairing them can be costly in some cases. image of car pulled over after accident
In some situations, auto insurance can cover the damage repair. In other situations, it will not. The type of insurance you have plays a role in this decision. The type of incident that causes them also matters. Here’s what you need to know.
Were You in an Accident?
If the vehicle has scratches on it, but they are not from a particular incident, car insurance is unlikely to help. If an accident caused them, then there may be coverage available to you. Dents and scratches that occur due to poor maintenance and upkeep on the car do not have coverage. Discuss your incident with your agent. He or she can tell you if the incident has coverage.
What Type of Auto Insurance Do You Have?
Not all coverage applies here. Did someone else cause the damage to your car? If so, their liability insurance may cover it. Yours will not. Did you collide with something causing the damage? Your car insurance will cover this incident if you have collision insurance. Did a tree fall on the vehicle or hail cause the damage? Comprehensive insurance will help in this case. If you only have liability insurance, you may not have any protection from this incident.
What Is Your Deductible?
A deductible is the amount you must pay towards the incident before the insurer makes a payment on a covered claim. Let’s say you have hail damage and dents resulting from it. It will cost $500 for the repairs. If your deductible is $500, the insurer will not pay for the incident. If the deductible is less than this, it will pay the difference. You can set your deductible around the terms you would like. However, you must meet this obligation before any claim will occur.
Dents and scratches can be severe after an accident. If so, they should be a part of your car insurance claim. Discuss all of the damage to your vehicle with your agent by calling 269.441.5156. This is the best way to learn what amount of protection you have. And, adjust your coverage amounts to meet your financial goals going forward. You’ll appreciate having ample protection should you need it later on to file a claim.