Car insurance protects drivers from having catastrophic bills to pay after a car wreck, but does it cover scratches and dents? Having a pristine car is the pride and joy of every driver. A scratch can ruin that perfect coat of paint and leave you less than happy.
Of course, you’ll want to fix the scratch immediately, which raises the question of whether your car insurance covers scratches and dents. The answer? It depends.
Today’s blog details how car insurance works and in what cases it does – and doesn’t – cover scratches and dents. Keep reading to learn more about how car insurance works for scratches and dents!
The Basics of Car/Auto Insurance
Auto insurance is divided into multiple categories:
- Liability Insurance
- Collision Coverage
- Comprehensive Coverage
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
- Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Protection
There’s a lot to unpack here. It’s important to know that not all of these coverages are required. You must have basic liability coverage, personal injury protection, and uninsured/underinsured motorist protection. These coverages will protect you in the most catastrophic accidents that would otherwise bankrupt you.
But collision and comprehensive coverages are optional. Granted, if you lease your car, the terms of your lease might mandate these coverages. But state law doesn’t since the condition of your vehicle doesn’t affect anyone’s health or wellbeing.
While all of these coverages matter, we’re focusing on the two types of optional coverage that you should still get for your vehicle: collision and comprehensive. Collision and comprehensive are the insurance coverages responsible for scratch and dent repair.
Auto Collision Coverage
As the name implies, collision coverage covers your car after it’s been in a collision with another vehicle or object or after a single-car accident like running into a guardrail or hitting a curb.
Collision coverage would handle massive accidents that total your car or leave it in the shop for weeks for repairs. But collision can cover dents and scratches, too, depending on how those dents and scratches got there.
Let’s say your car slams into a barbed-wire fence, scratching and lifting your paint and slightly denting your front bumper. In this case, your auto collision coverage would pay for the repairs.
Auto Comprehensive Coverage
Comprehensive coverage covers damage to your vehicle that you couldn’t control and wasn’t caused by a collision.
Was your car vandalized? Did a deer run right in front of your car? Did a tree branch fall on your vehicle during a thunderstorm? Did road gravel kick rocks up that cracked your windshield?
Comprehensive insurance would cover all of these incidents.
Caveats In Coverage
File Your Claim Right Away
There are caveats to having comprehensive or collision insurance cover scratch and dent repairs. First, you must file your claim right away. Failure to do so could result in your insurance company denying your claim.
Insurance companies don’t cover repairs that aren’t reported promptly. Most policies state how much time you have to file a claim after an accident has occurred. Too long of a time-lapse means you’ll be stuck paying for your repairs.
General Wear and Tear
Insurance companies don’t cover the normal wear and tear that cars experience over time. In the same way your car collects dirt and needs to go through a car wash, it will also collect dents and scratches.
Car insurance is only suitable for scratches and dents specifically related to an unexpected event outside your control or a collision with another vehicle or object.
Thankfully, minor dents and scratches are easy to fix on your own, and most repair shops will repair them for a fair price.
The Insurance Process
To have your insurance cover the cost of scratch and dent repairs, you’ll need to report the damage to your car insurance company by filing a claim. You can easily do this by calling your car insurance company, visiting their website, or pulling up the app on your smartphone.
Filing a claim is simple. It involves reporting the date and time of the accident, details of what happened, contact info for witnesses, and photos of the damage to your vehicle. Once your insurance company reviews your claim, they’ll provide the information you need to have a repair shop fix your car.
Remember that reporting your accident – as small as it might be – could negatively affect your car insurance. Because your insurance company will pay out of their pocket for your repairs (once you’ve met your deductible), they’ll often raise your premium to compensate themselves.
So, depending on your insurance, paying out of your pocket for the repairs might be better. It depends on how bad the scratch or dent is and how much it will cost to repair.
Also, remember that you’ll need to pay your deductible before your insurance “kicks in.” If your deductible is higher than the cost of repairs, you’ll still be paying out of pocket. If the dent costs less than your deductible, it might not be worth reporting the accident to your insurance company.
Schneider Auto Body & Paint
Is your car dented, scratched, or worse? Whether we work with you directly or with your car insurance company, Schneider Auto Body & Paint in Salt Lake City, Utah, will gladly repair your car. We’ll have it looking as good as new in no time.
We cover more than dents and scratches, too, so if you’ve been in an accident, we’re your one-stop shop for everything. No need to handle the stress of taking your car to more than one auto body repair shop.
If you fill out our online form, we’ll get back to you within two business days. We’ll be happy to answer your questions and guide you through the car repair process so you can get on your way as quickly as possible.
Bring your car to Schneider Auto Body & Paint for your repairs today!