If you have a regular car insurance policy, chances are that you don’t want to use it for your car’s minor scratches, dents, scrapes, and bumps. Why? The reason is simple: the cost of the excess is higher than the amount you have to pay if you just bring the car to the mechanic yourself. Do you know that over half of the motorists in the United States have minor dents and scrapes on their cars?
And yet, 77% of those motorists don’t get the damage fixed under their normal insurance coverage. They have to pay the cost of the excess, which can be a few hundred dollars. The amount they might need to pay the car mechanic is near or lower than the excess cost. Many of them decide they can just live with the dents and minor scratches on their cars. Even those with major cosmetic damage drive their car around with dents and bumps. They don’t even mind the unpleasant aesthetic of the car.
What Happens If It’s a Major Aesthetic Problem, Though?
If it’s a major cosmetic problem, then you can consider claiming coverage for it. However, you have to know that it’s not easy to get covered for major aesthetic problems in your car. You will sometimes need to hire a car accident lawyer to guide you in the legal process of the claim. The attorney is the one who will legitimize the claim that you are making. The lawyer will also need to fill up and sign documents that the insurance companies will require from you and the other party in the accident.
This is when car insurance becomes a handy tool to have when you’re a car owner. The cost of major car repairs and replacements is astronomical. At times, you might even want to reconsider the idea of paying the excess amount because the cost of maintaining the car after a major repair might be higher than repaying a new auto loan. However, if you think that the car is still worth keeping despite the major repairs, it will have to go through, then go ahead and make that claim on your insurance.
When Is It Practical to Use Regular Car Insurance for Cosmetic Claims?
Aside from major car damage, minor cosmetic problems might be a practical reason for you to claim on your regular car insurance. There is a cut-off point for insurers. In the United Kingdom, the cut-off amount is £500, various surveys showed. In the United States, the value may be close to that amount when converted. That will be around $700.
This means that once the repair cost exceeds $700, motorists would rather claim it on their regular insurance rather than pay that off from their own pockets. Car owners consider it worthwhile to make a claim when the damage tops $700. After all, that amount is already higher than the usual cost of the excess.
Should You Worry About the No-claims Bonus?
Motorists are always going after the no-claims bonus. It is a discount applied to the cost of the car insurance when the motorists have been driving for four years and have not made a claim on their insurance. During that time, you would have accrued four years’ worth of no-claims bonuses (NCB). This, however, is not an offer available in every country or every insurance company. You have to check with the insurance company if they offer this kind of bonus or discount.
If your insurance policy does not have a no-claims bonus, the most you can get is a lowered premium when you don’t get in accidents or make claims on your policy. When you make a claim on your policy, you will need to face an increased premium for the next cycle. That throws off many policyholders against having minor dents on their cars fixed through insurance.
Some insurance companies offer a different type of policy for the cosmetics of the car. You might want to check that out if you’re known for denting and scratching your car repeatedly. New drivers should also have this kind of insurance and take advantage of it to get their cars in tip-top shape.
Insurance policies are always tricky because their scopes and limitations vary based on the incident. But that is also why you have to be practical with when you will and will not make a claim on your insurance. You should only make the claim when it is beneficial to you and your future premiums.