Cruuuuuunch. That sickening sound of metal hitting metal is enough to send anyone into a tailspin (pun not intended). If you’ve recently gotten into a fender bender and are looking for the best option for bumper repair, your car insurance might not be the best way to go. This is only true in a couple of instances, so keep reading to find out when you should or shouldn’t involve your insurance in a fender bender.
When You Don’t Have to Report It
The first instance where you wouldn’t want to involve your insurance is if the damage is only cosmetic. This means that there are no dents or scratches and the paint is intact. In this case, it’s usually cheaper to just pay out of pocket to have the repairs done. The second instance where you wouldn’t want to involve your insurance is if you caused the damage and there was no one else involved, like if you hit a pole or your garage door.
When You Definitely Should Report It
If the damage is more than cosmetic, such as a bent bumper or a cracked headlight, you should inform your insurance. Most people underestimate how much the repairs will actually cost and try to just work it out with the other car owner. But, even a small accident can cost a couple thousand dollars to fix.
Also, if you or other people involved in the accident start to feel sore a few days after, it’s better to get insurance involved. Whiplash is a real thing and can often go undiagnosed because the symptoms may not present themselves right away. By involving your insurance from the start, you’ll be able to get the medical attention you need and have it all covered by insurance.
You should also report the accident if the other driver was at fault and doesn’t have insurance, or if they don’t have enough insurance to cover the damages. In these cases, your insurance will be able to help you out by either paying for the repairs or by going after the other driver’s insurance for reimbursement.
Things to Keep in Mind With Bumper Repair
Some people don’t want to ask their insurance about bumper repair because they’re afraid their premiums will go up. And, in some states, if you were at fault for the accident, your rates will go up. But most insurance companies have loyalty forgiveness programs, which means that your rates won’t necessarily go up as long as you’ve been with them for a certain amount of time and you haven’t caused many accidents.
Remember that laws vary from state to state, so what might raise your premium in California, might not have the same effect in Florida. Your best bet is to call your insurance company and ask them directly how much your rates will go up, if at all.
It’s also important to remember that if you have comprehensive or collision coverage, you’ll likely have to pay a deductible before your insurance kicks in. This is usually around $500, so keep that in mind when deciding whether or not to involve insurance. If you think the damages will cost less than your deductible, you don’t have to let your insurance know.
Partner with Valley Collision for High-Quality Bumper Repair
In the end, you should always err on the side of caution and involve your insurance company after a fender bender, even if the damage seems minor. This way, you can be sure that all the damages will be covered and you won’t have to worry about anything down the road.
And, when it comes time for bumper repair, be sure to call Valley Collision. We are a premier collision center in Central and Northern Utah and our technicians work hard to maintain our I-CAR Gold Class Certification—a standard that only 20% of repair shops have countrywide. We work with all insurance companies and can help you through the entire process, from start to finish.