Dings, scratches, and dents can happen for numerous reasons.
Sometimes you might be at fault, sometimes another motorist is at fault, and sometimes damage occurs due to things no one has control over, like a severe storm or other act of nature.
You already know that it’s important to not let car dents go unattended – even minor dings and scratches can lead to greater damage over time.
But the real question is, under which circumstances should you file a claim for a car dent?
When is it worth it to utilize your insurance, and when is it best to just cover the cost of a repair by yourself?
Today we will help you determine when you should (and shouldn’t) file a claim for your car dents.
Types Of Auto Insurance Coverage And What They Cover
To help you better decide when you should file an insurance claim, it’s necessary to understand the two main coverage types that you likely have with your policy.
This type of coverage is typically applied for when there’s an accident of some kind, and it may cover the cost of repairs, or replace your vehicle if the damage is extensive.
This type of coverage is for any damage occurred that is not caused by an auto accident, such as weather related incidents like hail, or vandalism.
- Your car hits an object, such as a tree
- Your car collides with another vehicle
- Your car rolls over
- Your car is damaged due to hitting a pothole
- An object falls on your car, such as a tree
- An animal collides with your car
- Your car is damaged due to fire or natural disaster
- Your car is vandalized or stolen
But even if you have both collision and comprehensive insurance, depending on the severity of the damage to your car, the insurance deductible you are required to meet, and the total value of your car, you may decide it’s best to not file a claim.
“If your new $20,000 car got keyed, the damage is estimated to cost $2,500 to fix, and you have a $500 deductible, filing a claim would be worth it.
If your car is worth $5,000 and sustains the same $2,500 in damage, but you have a $1,000 deductible, it’s not worth shelling out $1,000 to meet your deductible for a car that’s not worth very much — but again, whether or not you decide to file a claim is completely up to you.”
It’s also important to note, that especially if you are filing an at fault collision claim, your insurance premium will likely go up when you file.
Of course, always contact your insurance agency with details regarding your particular plan.
When To File A Claim
So, when is the best time to file a claim for a car dent, generally?
When Someone Else Is At Fault
If you get rear ended, or someone keys your car, your insurance exists to cover things that you have no control over.
The Damage Is Significant
Even if a collision is your fault, if the damage is significant enough, the benefits of filing a claim for repairs will usually be worth it.
The Cost Of The Damage Repair Is Larger Than Your Deductible
No matter whose fault the damage is, if the cost of your car’s damage exceeds your deductible, you may want to consider filing a claim.
Cosmetic issues, for the most part, aren’t worth filing a claim over.
How To File Your Claim
If you feel your car damage warrants filing an insurance claim, here’s what you need to know –
According to Woodlands Car Care And Collision Center,
“Insurance companies collect as much detail as they can to make sure no type of fraud takes place. Have your answers ready to the follow questions:
• Where is the dent?
• Where was the car when it happened?
• How long were you away from the car?
• How big is the dent?
• Were there any witnesses?
• Is there any paint damage?
One important tip is that drivers should take photos of the dent immediately.
The insurance company may ask for pictures or physical proof of the damage. A few photos of the dent and surrounding area should be fine for the insurance claim.”
But, if you want to avoid the headache of filing a claim, and steer clear of higher insurance claims, paying cash for a small dent repair may be your best bet.
The good news is, with Paintless Dent Repair it’s likely much cheaper and easier to repair your car’s dents than you think.