Author Topic: Should I get minor damage to my car fixed?  (Read 7901 times)

Ellabean

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Should I get minor damage to my car fixed?
« on: May 09, 2016, 08:05:20 AM »
Hi! I got in a minor fender-bender last week (my fault--ugh). My bumper is scratched and chewed up from an encounter with a walled driveway. The inspector came out from the insurance and assessed the damage-- $1,500. Our deductible is $1,000. Clearly, our premiums are going up no matter what at this point :(

The insurance company then mailed us a $500 check. So... should we get the minor damage and scratches fixed? Or just live with it and bank the $500 and use it toward our higher insurance payment?

I don't think there are any structural issues. The car is a 2009 Hyundai Sonata (not an MMM-approved car, I know!) with almost 100,000 miles. We are plan to drive it into the ground.

So...what should we do?

Sidenote: besides not getting into an accident again. Sigh.

terran

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Re: Should I get minor damage to my car fixed?
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2016, 08:10:28 AM »
At that age and mileage I wouldn't fix it.

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Should I get minor damage to my car fixed?
« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2016, 08:12:01 AM »
At that age and mileage I wouldn't fix it.
Agreed.  I've heard people say that they intentionally leave damage unrepaired as a warning to drivers around them :)

Orvell

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Re: Should I get minor damage to my car fixed?
« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2016, 08:18:13 AM »
I drive a 2003 Acura with 159K miles on it that my dad killed 5 deer in. He collected the insurance pay out every single time. XD It looks a little knackered, but it's a reliable car, still.
AKA, it's a solid choice just to pocket the money. I'd do it. :)

Fishindude

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Re: Should I get minor damage to my car fixed?
« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2016, 08:21:32 AM »
I don't like driving a beat up car, and have always fixed dents, dings and damage, regardless of it's age / mileage.
It pays to take good care of equipment.

Ellabean

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Re: Should I get minor damage to my car fixed?
« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2016, 08:50:00 AM »
Thanks! That's three votes against fixing it, and one vote for. Majority wins-- I'll leave the car as is.

GuitarStv

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Re: Should I get minor damage to my car fixed?
« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2016, 08:56:48 AM »
It pays to take good care of things that can have an effect on performance or safety.  Cosmetic damage is neither.  I'd vote for just pocketing the money.

lthenderson

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Re: Should I get minor damage to my car fixed?
« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2016, 08:59:15 AM »
Too late now but why turn the claim in for only $500 and increased insurance premiums? I would have just left it unreported and unfixed and kept my unblemished record and low rates.

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Should I get minor damage to my car fixed?
« Reply #8 on: May 09, 2016, 09:18:08 AM »
Here's another question: unless you're legally required to have Collision and/or Comprehensive coverage on that vehicle, why do you have it?  I'd drop that portion of the coverage and save the money on the insurance premiums.

patchyfacialhair

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Re: Should I get minor damage to my car fixed?
« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2016, 09:22:18 AM »
If you don't want your rates to go up, and if you're fine with the damage as is (assuming its safety is not compromised), then void the check, call your claims adjuster, and tell them you don't want the claim to go through. Rate increases when claims happen usually only go up with paid collision and/or property damage liability losses above a certain threshold (depends on state and insurance company).

Edited to add: If you damaged other people's property/vehicle or another entity's property (like a lightpole/guardrail), your rates may be SOL regardless. The threshold I mentioned before is also for PD liability losses, not just losses to your vehicle. If it's just your vehicle that sustained damage, then my advice stands. If you damaged other things in excess of your state's threshold, then cash the check.
« Last Edit: May 09, 2016, 09:59:05 AM by patchyfacialhair »

Le Barbu

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Re: Should I get minor damage to my car fixed?
« Reply #10 on: May 09, 2016, 09:49:58 AM »
If you don't want your rates to go up, and if you're fine with the damage as is (assuming its safety is not compromised), then void the check, call your claims adjuster, and tell them you don't want the claim to go through. Rate increases when claims happen usually only go up with paid collision and/or property damage liability losses above a certain threshold (depends on state and insurance company).

I would exactly do this ^^

lbmustache

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Re: Should I get minor damage to my car fixed?
« Reply #11 on: May 09, 2016, 09:50:02 AM »
I don't like driving a beat up car, and have always fixed dents, dings and damage, regardless of it's age / mileage.
It pays to take good care of equipment.

This is my opinion as well although I know a lot of people are perfectly fine having a beat up car. My question is why did you report such a minor accident with insurance - unless this was someone else's wall and not your own?

Trudie

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Re: Should I get minor damage to my car fixed?
« Reply #12 on: May 09, 2016, 09:53:22 AM »
I drive a 2003 Acura with 159K miles on it that my dad killed 5 deer in. He collected the insurance pay out every single time. XD It looks a little knackered, but it's a reliable car, still.
AKA, it's a solid choice just to pocket the money. I'd do it. :)

This makes my heart sing.  Totally badass.

BlueMR2

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Re: Should I get minor damage to my car fixed?
« Reply #13 on: May 09, 2016, 09:56:50 AM »
I fix items like that (in that price range).  Leaving them damaged gives a path for water to get in and cause further damage (potentially) structural.  Doing the repair now could save you from having to replace the car in the future.  Also, I would not have even bothered to involve the insurance company.  Just would have paid the "idiot tax" myself.

yyc-phil

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Re: Should I get minor damage to my car fixed?
« Reply #14 on: May 09, 2016, 10:05:51 AM »
Too late now to return the cheque, it will be canceled but the claim will still stay on your record, in general for five years. It happened to me in my pre-MMM days when I had full coverage for my clown car, and I made the mistake of making a claim for an at-fault fender bender. Even though I decided not to pursue the claim, it still appeared on my claims record for five years. Your insurer might have different rules, maybe ask the question. If canceling the claim will still show en entry on your claims record, I'd take the $500, invest it or pay debt, and cancel your collision/comprehensive coverage to only keep the minimum protection required by law, and the maximum deductible.

olivia

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Re: Should I get minor damage to my car fixed?
« Reply #15 on: May 09, 2016, 10:12:37 AM »
Too late now but why turn the claim in for only $500 and increased insurance premiums? I would have just left it unreported and unfixed and kept my unblemished record and low rates.

Ditto

Ellabean

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Re: Should I get minor damage to my car fixed?
« Reply #16 on: May 09, 2016, 10:35:39 AM »
Thanks! I hit another car, and that car sustained more damage than mine. Fortunately, all human beings were fine. So we had to go through insurance.

 (The accident with the neighbor's wall was before that-- their wall was fine, my car had a little damage).

patchyfacialhair

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Re: Should I get minor damage to my car fixed?
« Reply #17 on: May 09, 2016, 10:50:39 AM »
Thanks! I hit another car, and that car sustained more damage than mine. Fortunately, all human beings were fine. So we had to go through insurance.

 (The accident with the neighbor's wall was before that-- their wall was fine, my car had a little damage).

Bummer. Glad y'all are OK. Cash the check and then make your decision to fix it or not based on personal preference.

JAYSLOL

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Re: Should I get minor damage to my car fixed?
« Reply #18 on: May 09, 2016, 11:02:04 AM »
I drive a 2003 Acura with 159K miles on it that my dad killed 5 deer in. He collected the insurance pay out every single time. XD It looks a little knackered, but it's a reliable car, still.
AKA, it's a solid choice just to pocket the money. I'd do it. :)

Holy crap, what kind of Acura was this? Does Acura make an armoured version of something?  I've seen a lot of deer bit by cars and SUVs and pretty much every time they were going fast enough to kill the deer, the car was or was at least close to a write-off. 

Orvell

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Re: Should I get minor damage to my car fixed?
« Reply #19 on: May 09, 2016, 11:13:19 AM »
I drive a 2003 Acura with 159K miles on it that my dad killed 5 deer in. He collected the insurance pay out every single time. XD It looks a little knackered, but it's a reliable car, still.
AKA, it's a solid choice just to pocket the money. I'd do it. :)

Holy crap, what kind of Acura was this? Does Acura make an armoured version of something?  I've seen a lot of deer bit by cars and SUVs and pretty much every time they were going fast enough to kill the deer, the car was or was at least close to a write-off.
Acura TL Type S.
It is definitely Not Pretty: grill is broken, hood requires hulk-like force to latch shut after being opened, fog lights don't work, the passenger door is all effed up, and one of the struts makes a horrible noise in the summers....
So I don't want you to think it's some pristine miracle vehicle. XD

I should also clarify, I don't know the actual DEATH of the deer involved was verified. This is my dad's legacy, so he might have exaggerated on that regard. I do know that 5 deer were HIT in it, though. None of them were a full, front-on collision, which is probably what you're thinking of, and can be quite deadly.

Fred2004

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Re: Should I get minor damage to my car fixed?
« Reply #20 on: May 09, 2016, 11:21:46 AM »
Depends on if it matters if your car is a junker or not.

If I was a real estate agent and had to drive clients around, I probably would want to keep a clean non-damaged vehicle or clients would be hesitant to go for a ride! (and cost you commissions)

If it doesn't matter to anyone (professionally) I would leave damage.

I tend to take care of my vehicles to the point they still have new car smell after 7 years, but that's me...truck I recently got rid of was hit in parking lot by another driver...damage was $2K (bumper was pushed in, mostly cosmetic)...glad he had insurance.

GuitarStv

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Re: Should I get minor damage to my car fixed?
« Reply #21 on: May 09, 2016, 12:40:56 PM »
I drive a 2003 Acura with 159K miles on it that my dad killed 5 deer in. He collected the insurance pay out every single time. XD It looks a little knackered, but it's a reliable car, still.
AKA, it's a solid choice just to pocket the money. I'd do it. :)

This makes my heart sing.  Totally badass.

But did he butcher the deer carcasses for meat?  I mean, the first time it happened you might be too shaken to think of it . . . but by number 5 I'd have a kit for cleaning the animal under my driver's seat.

Tester

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Re: Should I get minor damage to my car fixed?
« Reply #22 on: May 09, 2016, 12:45:52 PM »
I tend to keep my car(s) in the best condition I can without breaking the bank.
I had two new cars, sold in a very good condition and two used cars, both sold in a better condition than they were when I bought them (except the accident damage to one of them which was sold without repairing it :)).
I would not repair real minor cosmetic damage - but if I am not wrong we are talking about bumpers here - I don't consider that minor cosmetic damage, I consider that safety problem.
Plus, the bumper has also a role in protecting the rest of your car from damage by absorbing some of the impact energy.
So if you don't repair it your next fender bender might bend more than just the fender.
But that is just my opinion, I saw plenty of relatively new and well maintained cars with bent fenders, scraped paint (rust risk...) and so on around here.

Ellabean

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Re: Should I get minor damage to my car fixed?
« Reply #23 on: May 09, 2016, 12:50:33 PM »
That's a good point about the professional use of the car. Hmmm... I would hate to have anyone in my car who wasn't related to me! But I do drive around in my car for work and potential donors might see me in my car. But I work for a nonprofit so...

clarkfan1979

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Re: Should I get minor damage to my car fixed?
« Reply #24 on: May 10, 2016, 05:00:53 PM »
no.