No matter how careful you are, small accidents happen. Whether a shopping cart hit your car in the supermarket parking lot or you accidentally scratched the car, you will want to get this fixed to avoid further damage. You might be asking does car insurance cover scratches and dents? The answer is not as simple as you might think. It depends on the cause and the coverage you have. Let’s go over the details so you can make an informed decision on whether to make a claim on minor damage to your vehicle.
Does Car Insurance Cover Minor Damage?
Car insurance is a form of protection that covers the cost of repair when your car is damaged by another person, you damage another vehicle, or it is damaged by the elements of nature or fallen objects.
When minor damage is caused by an accident, you will be covered by your collision insurance. It depends on the cost of repair, however, whether or not you want to make a claim. After all, you may be able to get it fixed for a small amount or do it yourself. If you can fix the problem yourself without filing a claim, it will also keep your insurance premium from increasing. Always get a quote before filing the claim to see if it is worth it to do so.
Is It Worth Making a Claim?
Generally speaking, in most cases, it is not worth making a claim on minor damages unless you own a car that is really expensive to repair. What you need to consider before deciding to file a claim is:
- Does the damage significantly reduce the aesthetics of your car?
- Is the cost of the repair within your deductible amount?
- Are you prepared to pay higher premiums after making a claim?
- Do you have the cash to pay for the repairs?
If the damage is found to be your fault, your car insurance payments will go up significantly. Weigh your options before you decide.
You will also have to consider that if the other driver was at fault, their liability insurance should pay for your damage. Settling outside of the insurance might get you into trouble, though. If you don’t tell the company and the other person files a claim (it happens), the company might cancel your insurance due to not disclosing the details on time.
What If Someone Keys Your Car?
Some people might get jealous or take their anger out on your car. This act is considered vandalism, and if you have this protection in your insurance policy, you can make a claim. If the value of your car is reduced as a result — for example, the metallic paint will cost you a lot of money to restore — you might consider filing a claim.
According to The Zebra, your premiums for comprehensive coverage will increase by around 4.35 percent for the following six months, so it is your decision whether you want to pay out of pocket or claim.
Which Car Insurance Policy Protects You From Keying and Vandalism?
Vandalism and accidental damage that is not a result of a collision is covered by comprehensive insurance. As Policygenius explains, if you don’t have this policy, chances are that you cannot make a claim. However, if the dent or scratch is caused by an accident, the collision coverage will kick in, provided that you were not at fault.
If you are not currently covered, you might sign up for a car paint protection add-on insurance.
Comprehensive insurance covers you for various instances not covered by collision coverage, including keying and vandalism, fallen objects, and a shopping cart or moving object hitting your car from the side, causing dents or scratches.
Your collision coverage might kick in if:
- You scrape a stationary object, such as a tree or pole
- A car door hits your car
- Your bodywork gets damaged in the car wash
- Branches scrape your paintwork
- You sideswipe another car
Exclusions for Car Insurance Claims for Small Damages
When it comes to minor damage to your car, there are certain damages that insurance policies will not cover, such as:
- The scratches are caused by aging, wear, and tear.
- Your negligence caused the damage to the car.
- You violated your car insurance policy in any way.
- You didn’t make a claim straight away, and the damage got worse over time.
If your claim gets rejected, you might consider paying for the damage before things get worse.
What If You Scratch A Friend’s Car While Driving It?
If you borrow somebody else’s car and cause damage to another vehicle while driving it, your liability insurance will cover the scratches and dents. If you cause damage to the car you are driving, you can still make a claim on your liability insurance. The owner of the vehicle, however, will still need to contact their insurance company to report the incident and might be liable for damages.
Consider Your Deductible Before Making a Claim on Scratches and Dents
It is important to note that both collision and comprehensive coverage have a deductible amount, which is the money you have to pay before the insurance company pays for the rest of the cost. Deductibles are usually set between $500 and $1000.
If the price of fixing your bodywork costs less than the deductible, it might not be worth filing a claim and having to pay higher premium prices. You will still pay out of pocket, but your insurance premium payments will remain the same.
If, however, there are other damages that are the result of the accident, the coverage will pay for them, along with fixing the dents and scratches.
It is your decision whether to make a claim on your insurance for minor damage. Consider the cost, your deductible, and the increase of your premiums before you submit a claim, but always let your insurance company know about the incident.
Check this out if you need additional information, resources, or guidance on car insurance.
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