Can I claim insurance for car dents?

Whether or not you have car dent insurance coverage depends on your policy and the cause of the dent. Continue reading to learn how to choose the best kind of insurance for car dents.

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Rachel Bodine graduated from college with a BA in English. She has since worked as a Feature Writer in the insurance industry and gained a deep knowledge of state and countrywide insurance laws and rates. Her research and writing focus on helping readers understand their insurance coverage and how to find savings. Her expert advice on insurance has been featured on sites like PhotoEnforced, All...

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Written by Rachel Bodine
Feature Writer Rachel Bodine

Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years (BBB A+). He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like Reviews.com and Safeco. He reviews content, ensuring that ex...

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent Daniel Walker

UPDATED: Jun 10, 2022

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Here's what you need to know...

  • Most basic auto insurance plans consist of liability insurance, which only covers damage to the other party’s automobile
  • Collision and comprehensive coverage may cover dent repair if the damage is from specific causes
  • If you have collision and comprehensive coverage, it may not be worth it to file a claim if the damage is minor

It can be frustrating to see dents mar the once-smooth, gleaming surface of your car, and even more so to find that the price to restore your vehicle to its former condition is so high. If you have a wreck involving another party, their insurer may offer compensation for cosmetic damage, but this is not always the case. You may wonder if you can file a claim for car dent insurance to cover the cost of fixing any dents that arise.

Whether or not you can file a claim for dents depends on the extent of your coverage. Most basic auto insurance policies come only with liability insurance, which only covers medical bills for the other party and the cost of repairs for their vehicle if you become involved in a car accident.

What kinds of insurance for car dents are available?

The majority of policies compel you to have, at minimum, bodily injury liability insurance and property damage coverage. Your state car insurance coverage requirements may also mandate that you have medical payments, personal injury protection, or uninsured motorist coverage. However, none of these generally pay to repair dents unless they negatively affect the performance ability of your vehicle. Physical damage coverage is an option that may cover the fees for fixing dents if certain conditions apply.

This covers damage done to your automobile and is usually found in the physical damage section of your policy papers. There are two kinds of physical damage coverage that you can opt to get that may provide funds for dents: comprehensive coverage and collision coverage. However, having them in your policy is not a guarantee of payment. Each one covers different situations. Whether or not they pay depends largely on what circumstances resulted in the disfigurement.

Comprehensive Coverage

Getting low-cost full coverage insurance may be wise, as it covers sudden and unexpected damage that is not your fault. Incidents that fall under the umbrella of comprehensive coverage may occur when you are not in the vehicle (sleeping, shopping, etc.) and include:

  • Hail falling on your vehicle during a storm
  • Non-weather related objects, such as tree limbs, rocks, cargo, or fruit, hitting your vehicle
  • People keying or otherwise vandalizing your vehicle
  • Other vehicles’ doors or shopping carts slamming into your vehicle
  • Your vehicle hitting wildlife or pets

Comprehensive coverage essentially covers what is not covered by collision coverage, leading to it commonly being referred to as “Other Than Collision” coverage.

Collision Coverage

This covers any damage caused by your automobile colliding with another vehicle or an object. Examples of items that you may collide with that are included in collision coverage are:

  • Rails
  • Sidewalks
  • Mailboxes
  • Trash cans
  • Walls

Note that in accidents where two or more vehicles are involved, the insurance company will only pay if you are at fault.

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How much is the deductible on car dent insurance?

Both collision and comprehensive coverage include a deductible. This is a payment you must make before your insurance company will cover any of the costs. Both forms of coverage also require the price of repairs to exceed the deductible before the company will cover any costs. The deductibles for these coverages are usually less than the deductibles for other coverages included in your policy. Some companies even offer some as low as $50.

Insurance companies often set limits on the amount they will pay. Some may have deals with certain repair businesses for more affordable labor. In these cases, they may only provide compensation for the amount the repairs would cost if you used those services, so if you decide to go with an auto repair shop that does not have a deal with your insurance company, then you need to obtain an estimated cost first.

Also, keep in mind that companies will only cover costs up to your car’s value. For collision damage, if the repairs exceed the actual cash value of your vehicle, the company will treat the claim as a total loss rather than a collision loss.

What other factors affect if the dents are paid for?

Time also plays a role in whether or not the company will cover repair costs. Your claim will likely be denied if a long period passes between the incident and your claim. Companies will not pay to fix dents that have worsened over time. Damage from general wear and tear is also not covered by either collision or comprehensive insurance.

Is additional insurance for car dents worth it?

Because comprehensive and collision coverage are additions, you have to consider whether or not you care about aesthetics enough to add them to your policy. If cosmetic damage does not bother you or you have no problem paying the full cost of repairing it yourself, then it may not be worth it for you to obtain them.

You must also decide after the incident whether it is worth filing a claim. Even if you have the coverage, doing so is not always the financially wisest decision. The price of fixing dents can range from a small amount to thousands of dollars.

If the dent is minor and the cost of repairs is not significantly higher than the deductible, it may be cheaper to pay out of pocket than to pay the raised rates that result from the claim. However, if the cost is high in comparison with the deductible, filing a claim may be the better option.

The liability insurance and other required coverage that typically comes with basic auto insurance policies usually do not cover the cost of fixing dents unless they negatively impact your vehicle’s functionality. If you want to ensure you have coverage in the case that your car acquires cosmetic damage, you may want to consider obtaining collision or comprehensive insurance or both. You can get quotes for a full coverage policy through a reputable site, and an online quote comparison tool can help ensure that you get the fairest deal.

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