Is it worth filing a car insurance claim for a dented door?
That will depend on your car insurance company. Most dings and dents on a vehicle have minimum costs with the average being between $50 to $500. Therefore, most car insurance deductibles are more than what it would cost to fix the damages.
This is not to mention that unless you have a different party at fault (or who is willing to admit they are at fault) you might be stuck with the bill. If you claim the dent on your car with your auto insurance company, you will have a claim on your driving record.
While some car insurance companies have an accident forgiveness clause built right into your policy, some do not. For insurance companies that do not have accident forgiveness, your premium will likely increase if you claim the dent.
Should I fix the dent myself or take it to a body shop instead of claiming it?
If it’s just a dent and no serious damage was done, it’s probably a better idea to take it in either to be fixed or to fix it yourself – note that many people who try to fix it themselves often end up making it worse. If you don’t have the handyman skills then it may be a better idea to simply take your car into an auto body shop and pay out-of-pocket for the removal of the dent. The costs for a one-inch dent is typically between $25-100 and a three-inch dent around $250 to $500 which is still less than your car insurance deductible.
How much could my car insurance premiums increase if I claim a dent in my car?
It really depends on your auto insurance company. Many do not raise rates when it comes to claiming simple repairs. In most cases, you’ll have to cover the cost out-of-pocket anyway because fixing a dent costs less than what your deductible is.
How can I avoid getting dents in my car?
While some people handle dents and dings in their cars fine, others cannot stand the sight of them. There are ways to avoid getting any or getting as few as possible.
When running errands, or parking your car, try to park in an area where there is little traffic and try not to park next to anyone. While this may be difficult to do, it’s a better alternative than getting a dent and having to look at it every day.
Be a polite parker when you do need to park next to someone. Don’t crowd cars on either side of you. Many people don’t mean to ding your car, but if you only give them so much room to get into their seat, it’s inevitable.
Try not to inflict any dings on others when parking. Opening your door carefully and giving yourself enough room to do so when parking is important. You don’t want to dent someone else’s car and yours at the same time.
Watch the weather report. If it looks like a storm is brewing, keep your vehicle sheltered. Keeping your vehicle in a garage is always a good idea even during the day.
Gravel road and roads covered with rocks are trouble when it comes to dents on vehicles. Not only is there a potential for dents and dings, but sometimes rocks and gravel can chip paint and cause scratches as well.
How do I file a claim for a dent in my car to my insurance company?
This can be either a simple process or a frustrating one. First thing, you should call your car insurance agent after you’ve discovered the damage. Even if you’re not in your home state, you still need to find the company information and contact them.
Take pictures of the damage before you leave the area where the accident or dent occurred. Also, find out what paperwork is required and send your insurance agent copies of the paperwork as soon as you fill it out. Always keep the original documents if you can.
You should also keep track of any expense you come across when going through the claims process. If another party is at fault for your damage then they will be liable to pay some if not all of your additional expenses.
When an appraiser comes to check out the damage make sure your car is cleaned. This way the appraiser can give accurate information on the amount of damage done.
Make sure you keep in contact with your car insurance company throughout the whole process of filing a claim. It’s easy to miss a piece of required paperwork or for your paperwork to get lost in the transition. By keeping on top of it, you can get your claim taken care of sooner rather than waiting months for resolution.
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