No one wishes – or takes kindly – to having their car dented. Unfortunately, small accidents happen and you are left to decide whether to repair a car dent by yourself or file a claim with your insurance provider. While it may be sensible to fix any car ding yourself, there are several factors to consider before coming to this stage. The factors will determine if it is worth it to file an insurance claim for a car dent.
Deciding to fix your dented car yourself or filing an insurance claim depends on you – but here are some factors to consider before you proceed:
- Do you have the cash to pay for the repairs?
- Is the other party, who caused the dent, willing to foot the bill?
- Does the dent disfigure your car by marring its aesthetic beauty?
- Is the repair cost below your insurance deductible?
- Are you willing to pay higher premiums if your insurer pays for the fix?
- Are you at fault for the dent or the other party is at fault?
Once you are able to consider the above factors sensibly, you can choose how to proceed. But you must understand that legally, you are bound to report any car incident to your insurance company, even if you are not at fault. This is largely because, if the other party goes behind you to contact your insurer, your provider may sanction you by raising your premium or even revoking your policy.
Some Situations Make Filing For Claim Impossible
So is it still worth it to file insurance claim for a car dent?
The correct answer depends on your consideration of the factors outlined above, and on your peculiar circumstances. Your existing auto insurance policy may or may not cover dents – except you have a collision add-on – but a comprehensive policy will surely cover dents – subject to certain conditions.
It might not be worth it to file an insurance claim for a minor dent except if you ride a very expensive car. But you might want to consider it if the other party is at fault and wishes to fix your dented car – although it is still advisable to inform your insurance provider of the situation.
If a tree falls on your car where it is parked, or your car gets vandalized in some way, your insurance policy may not cover such incidents unless you have a comprehensive coverage that protects you. However, you will never be protected if the damage to your car is caused by your own negligence, violated the terms of your policy in any way, failed to report the damage until it got worse, or your car’s dents and scratches are caused by aging and wear.
Think Of The Deductibles And The NCB
Whether you choose to file a claim to have your car repaired or not, the cost of fixing your dented car will likely be lesser than your insurance deductible. The deductible is the out-of-pocket expense you pay toward fixing your car before your insurance company covers the rest. If you pay the deductible – which cannot exceed $1,000 – you will be fine; but if you allow your insurer to pay for the repairs, your premium will increase for several months to cover up for the payment.
If the dent to your car is caused by your own negligence and does not involve any other car, then there is no point in filing any insurance claim. For instance, if you back into a pole or hole and dent your car in the process, you must pay for the repairs without worrying your insurance provider. But you must notify your insurer if another vehicle is involved.
If it is a minor dent that is paid for by the other guilty driver, you may choose not to notify your insurer if you are targeting the No Claim Bonus (NCB). The NCB is the bonus or reward that your insurance company gives to you for not filing any claim in any given year – and the bonus may be very significant if you do not file any claims or involve in any mishap for 5 consecutive years. The NCB is usually a discount on your next annual premium, and it can be a 50% reduction!
When you consider these factors and your own peculiar circumstances, you will be able to determine if it is worth it to file an insurance claim for a car dent.