Will Car Insurance Cover Scratches
For drivers of new cars, that first ding, bump or scratch is always the most painful. Depending on the extent, a scratch can also threaten the integrity of your cars finish, which is not only a cosmetic consideration, but an airtight shield that keeps the sheet metal of the body from rusting. Depending on your car insurance coverage and how the scratch was caused, its certainly possible repairs could be insurable, but there are a number of factors that may make it an ineffective alternative to paying for repairs yourself.
When Does Car Insurance Cover Scratches To My Vehicle
I walked to my car this morning to go to work and noticed there’s a big scratch on the driver’s side passenger door. I want to get the scratch fixed, but I’m not sure if scratches are covered under general car insurance.
Your car insurance will cover scratches if the scratches are a result of vandalism or a collision. Now, I’m not talking about a major collision, but let’s say you go on vacation in the mountains and you’re driving your car along narrow roads lines with trees and bushes. After your drive, you realize your car has scratches on it from the trees. Your insurance would cover the scratches in this situation.
The thing to remember about using your insurance for scratches is that you always have to pay your deductible. So while your insurance may cover the scratches, you’ll always want to consider the price to fix the scratches outside your insurance vs. under a claim.
In most cases, making a claim for scratches isn’t worth it. While getting a ding in your car at the grocery store is annoying, it’s usually not worth getting fixed. But if you decide you want to, your insurance may cover it.
Some Paint Scratches Can Be Easily Fixed At Home
Before I let you go, be aware that it is fairly easy to minimize or completely remove paint scratches by yourself.
If the scratches in the paint are shallow and do not catch your fingernail, then you can attempt to polish them out. You can apply rubbing compound with a buffer pad drill attachment in a circular motion over the scratches.
Some scratches will require light surface sanding with 3000 grit sandpaper and then moving onto 5000 grit sandpaper . Finally, use rubbing compound across the repair area again and then wax it for a bright finish.
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How Does Car Insurance Cover Cosmetic Damage
When it comes to dents, scratches, and door dings, most car insurance claims fall under collision or comprehensive coverage. These coverages can be optionally added to your policy and should be considered if you are concerned about damage to your vehicle.
Auto collision coverage protects your vehicle from damage caused by a collision with another car or object. Collision coverage also includes single car accidents like running into a guardrail or hitting a curb. For example, if you hit a mailbox or fence post that leaves scratches down the side of your vehicle, collision coverage could cover the cost of repairs. Collision coverage includes a deductible that you’re responsible for if you file a claim.
Auto comprehensive coverage includes unexpected damage that is outside of your control and isn’t caused by a collision with another vehicle or object. Covered events include acts of vandalism like someone keying your car, hitting a deer, pet, or other wild animal, a tree branch falling on your vehicle, or a rock cracking your windshield. Comprehensive coverage also includes a deductible if you file a claim.
How Much Will The Damage Cost To Repair
Some vehicles have very expensive paint jobs. In fact, repairing some deeper scratches may require a part replacement and not just a new coat of paint. If this is the case, the cost of the repairs could be more than you can afford to cover out of pocket.
How much does it cost to fix a scratch on the car? You should get estimates on the repairs before filing anything and then assess the situation. The best way to do this is to get an estimate which is generally free so youll know how to proceed.
The price youll have to pay definitely depends on how bad the scratch is. Is it superficial and only affecting the top layer of paint, or did it split open to where you can see the naked metal?
There are four scratch levels, so you may want to determine yours and go from there.
You may be able to take care of a lighter scratch by yourself, but youll most likely need to take it to an auto shop to properly repair a deep scratch.
Estimated Costs to Repair a Car Scratch
|Severity of Scratch|
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When Does Car Insurance Not Cover Scratches
If you do not have comprehensive and collision coverage then scratches probably wonât be covered, unless you got into a car accident where the other person was found to be at-fault, in which case their insurance will cover damage to your vehicle. There are a few other reasons why a claim might not be covered:
The scratches were caused by general wear and tear over time
You were negligent or acted in a reckless manner
You acted in violation of your car insurance policy
You waited too long to file a claim
Car insurance also has coverage limits, meaning the maximum amount you will be paid out for a claim. If you have low limits, there is a chance you may only be partially paid out for scratches.
How Your Vehicle Got Scratched Makes A Difference
The actual cause of the scratch makes a huge difference when it comes to whether your car insurance carrier is going to pay to repair the damages. Scratches caused by different factors are covered by different types of coverageand for some types of damage, if you dont have a certain type of coverage, youre just plain out of luck.
Knowing what caused the damage is the first step to getting an insurance claim filed.
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What Comprehensive Coverage Doesn’t Cover
If you’re responsible for an accident, your comprehensive coverage won’t pay for collisions with other vehicles or objects , or injuries or fatalities. Youll need separate coverages for these exposures. To insure yourself against the costs of damage from these and other sources, State Farm offers a range of auto insurance coverage options.
Talk to an agent if you own a collector or classic car to learn about options for insuring your treasured car for comprehensive coverage.
Does Car Insurance Cover Dent Repair
Auto insurance companies only cover dent repair if your vehicle has been in an accident. If you dont have collision auto insurance coverage, you wont get coverage if you were at fault in the accident.
If the other person is at fault, their liability coverage will pay for dent repairs. However, your liability insurance coverage wont pay for your own dent repairs.
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Understanding Coverage Options For Your Car Scratch
Comprehensive coverage is a form of physical damage coverage that will apply to the covered auto to pay or reimburse the insured or a loss that is caused by theft, fire, explosion, windstorm, hail, vandalism or something other than a collision. Typically, in order for the carrier to pay out on a comprehensive claim, you must first cover the deductible. While there are several different deductibles to decide upon, most people will choose to carry a lower deductible ranging between $50 and $300 because the premiums are low.
Collision coverage is the second part of physical damage coverage that pays for repairs or reimburses the insured for repairs made to the vehicle after a claim that involves damage resulting from running into another vehicle, object or real property. Generally, if the vehicle is moving, the damage will be a collision loss instead of a comprehensive loss.
The deductible for a collision loss is usually higher than the deductible for a comprehensive loss. The reason is because the risk of a collision claim is higher, which makes the cost for the coverage higher.
You can expect to pay anywhere from $100 to $1000 before your insurer will pay for a collision scratch claim. This is why carrying higher deductibles will limit you if you have a scratch claim.
How Much Does It Cost To Paint Over A Scratch On A Car
The cost to fix a scratch on a car varies, but if youre only applying a coat of paint, it can cost as little as the price of a paint sample. If you have a different paint job, the paint can be the priciest component involved.
In other cases, cleaning and painting over a light scratch can cost less than a hundred dollars.
But if you must visit a repair shop for help, you can expect to pay at least two hundred or more dollars for even the smallest job. Bigger jobs, including those that involve structural damage to your car or even a lot of sanding and priming, can cost upwards of $1,000.
For some drivers, its cheaper to pay out of pocket for repairs versus paying a deductible with their insurer. Of course, filing an insurance claim typically increases your premiums, too, and may void your good driver discount.
Getting a quote on repairs is a smart first step. That way, you can decide whether its worth it to file an insurance claim or if its better to pay on your own .
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If My Car Insurance Does Not Entirely Cover The Scratches How Much Do I Have To Pay
Someone keyed my car while I was at work, and I’m planning on filing a claim. If my insurance doesn’t cover all of the damage, what will I owe?
If your insurance company determines that the cause of the scratches on your car makes them eligible for coverage under your insurance, then they will cover the damage 100%, minus your deductible. Whenever you choose to file a claim, you always have to pay your deductible. Once your insurance company decides they’re covering the damage, they cover all of it.
Alternative Car Rental Insurance
To many peoples surprise, credit card companies do offer rental car insurance, as a perk. You can fin doubt if yours does by contacting your card issuing company. Simply ask if they provide this car insurance coverage, how much they cover, and what limitations there may be. There is no reason to pay extra for coverage if it is already provided. And you are already paying for it.
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How About Those Scratches On Your Rental
We have been sharing a lot of information with you, and the specifics may have been lost. So to help wrap this up. Yes, scratches can be covered by Car Rental Insurance. It just all depends on either your personal car insurance policies, what perks you have from your credit card provider, or if you decided to get the coverage offered by the rental office themselves.
If you know you do not have the coverage when going to get the rental car, ask the office if this can be included in their CDW coverage. If so, great! If not, ask them how you can be protected. At the end of the day, they want the car in tip-top shape, so they can keep leasing it. If they have to take it out for repairs, they will be losing out on possible income. So, just ask! It cannot hurt.
This article was sponsored by Chris Lile, State Farm Agent in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Chris specializes in Auto, Home, Business, Property, Life and Health Insurance. You can visit Chriss website here to learn more about him and his insurance coverage.
How Your Vehicle Was Scratched Matters Too
While you have comprehensive policies to cover you in situations like these, how the damage was done matters too. If that scratch came from someone keying your car on purpose or a shopping cart scrapped across the side of your vehicle, you would receive coverage through comprehensive.
However, if there are dents and dings that look as though someone might have struck your vehicle or scraped alongside it in the parking lot, you may need to turn to your collision policy instead.
Likewise, if you were the one behind the scratch, you can file a claim. Perhaps you scraped a mailbox or pole while trying to park, or your vehicle was scratched at the car wash, and you only noticed when you got home all covered.
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What Does The Policy Cover When Filing A Car Scratch Claim
If youve filed a legitimate key scratch claim, your insurance will pay to restore your vehicle back to its pre-loss condition. The only time your policy wont pay for the entire cost of repairs is when the fair market value of your vehicle is less than the total estimate to buff out the scratches and repaint the car. If the scratches are too deep to buff out, the insurer might have to replace certain panels. For cars that dont retain much value, deep scratches can actually lead to a total loss claim.
Report Or File A Claim For A Dent
After you notice the damage to your car, you should call your agent and report the damage.
When you report an accident or incident, you are letting your car insurance company know that there is damage to your car, and you might file a claim in the future.
When you file your report, you can also file a claim, which essentially means that you want to see if your auto insurance company will pay part or all of the repair bills.
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How Much Does Comprehensive Coverage Cost
The cost for comprehensive coverage is based on the type of vehicle you drive and the area where you live.
The company will look at how much it costs to repair your car and how many vandalism claims are reported in the area before the actual premium is quoted.
Even though the costs range, statistics show that 78% of policyholders buy comprehensive because its one of the more affordable coverage options. The average cost of comprehensive is $138.82 per year nationwide.
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Is Claiming A Scratch Or A Dent Worth It
There are a few complications if you decide to claim a scratch or a dent. There is a deductible for full coverage insurance claims. Your deductible might cost more than the cost of repair. In this case, you may want to consider paying for the scratch or dent. Take this into consideration, especially if the scratches or dents are your fault.
It truly depends on what you do not mind in a car. The majority of people simply deal with scratches and dents. They will not claim a scratch or a dent on their car insurance because the car still runs.
Most people do not think that it is worth it to pay a deductible and contact their insurance company. Avoiding extra charges on your premium is paramount. Others might want to keep their new car pristine, so they will claim a scratch or a dent. Either option is reasonable.
The severity of the dent is where the situation lies. Some dents are more serious than others, and they may cost more than the price of a new panel. Scratches are similar. One scratch on different sections of the car could require an entirely new coat of paint.
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When You Should Not File A Car Insurance Claim
Imagine that you find yourself in an embarrassing situation wherein you have caused a minor accident, damaging your car. Although you have plenty of motor insurance coverage, you are still inclined towards paying for the damages yourself. The thought of future hike in insurance premium prevents you from reporting the mishap to the insurance company. Is this the right approach?
Not reporting a minor accident to your insurer definitely makes sense if your vehicle was the only one involved in the mishap. Say, for instance, you damaged the rear of your car while backing into a pole. However, if the accident involved a third-party who suffered injuries, death, or property damage, the incident would not be classified as minor in the first place. This is when you will be required to report the case to the insurance company. In a nutshell, small dents/scratches on your cars surface does not require a car insurance claim. In fact, it is best to refrain from raising a claim in such a scenario, as you may otherwise lose a lot of money.
Let us take a look at this in detail.