Chelsey Tucker graduated with a Bachelor of History degree from Metropolitan State University in 2019. She now writes about insurance with her specialty being life insurance and has been quoted on Help Smart Phone and MEL Magazine.

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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. 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.

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Mar 19, 2020

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The lowdown...

  • Every auto insurance policy is different in terms of the coverages that you select
  • With comprehensive insurance, you can file a claim for car scratches that did not come from an accident with another car
  • Collision insurance will allow you to take care of a claim for car scratches as a result of hitting another car or object
  • When you think about filing a claim, you must keep in mind the price of your deductible to make sure that it actually makes sense to get compensation from the auto insurance company
  • If you have a newer car and plan to trade it in down the line for your next car, it might be worthwhile to have cosmetic damage repaired

Car scratches are an annoyance for any vehicle owner to deal with. Even the slightest scratches can decrease the value of your car and cost hundreds of dollars to have fixed.

There are certain types of car insurance coverage that will pay for cosmetic damages to your car, but they will require the payment of your deductible.

Before you end up filing a claim, it might be a good idea to get an estimate from an auto body repair shop of how much it will cost to have the scratches buffed out or painted over.

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Coverages that Take Care of Cosmetic Damage to Your Car

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Collision and comprehensive coverages are what you would rely on for a claim for cosmetic damage. If you carry these policies, you almost certainly have coverage for car scratches.

Which coverage applies to your claim depends on how the scratches happened.

If they are from an accident with another vehicle, then collision coverage would apply.

On the other hand, if they are from a falling object or weather damage, your comprehensive coverage would come into play.

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Considering Whether to File a Claim

The decision of whether to file a claim for car scratches will generally depend on how severe the damage is and how much it will cost to repair it.

If you have an older car, you may not be as concerned with the appearance of your car, and you will not want to deal with having minor scratches fixed. For a newer car, you may want to protect your investment and keep it as pristine as possible to preserve its value.

The cost of the damage matters because you are going to pay a deductible when you file the claim. If your deductible is $1,000 or more, it may not make any sense to file an auto insurance claim for car scratches.

This is because the cost of correcting the scratches will probably be less than $1,000. If the repair estimate is more than that amount, the auto insurance may even challenge it as unreasonably high.

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Many drivers have a higher deductible amount than they might actually want because they are using it to get a lower premium. The auto insurance company lowers premiums with higher deductibles because they know that drivers are going to be dissuaded from filing claims.

The responsibility of having to first pay for the repair out of your own finances is a strong deterrent for many insured drivers. They are more likely to let minor cosmetic damage go without being repaired.

The Decision Not to Have Damage Repaired

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If you elect not to have your car repaired, be sure that the damage you are neglecting is purely cosmetic. If the damage is anything beyond paint scratches, you should consider having it repaired because it could affect the safety of your vehicle.

If you are the cause of a car crash and it can be shown that your car was not properly maintained, you could be denied protection from your auto insurance company.

Some people are concerned that their car insurance rates will go up because they had to file a claim. This is not necessarily true, especially if you can show that the auto damage was not your fault.

The auto insurance company will not hold the negligence of other drivers against you with respect to raising your premium.

If you do notice an increase in your rates, you are always free to shop around for a better one. There are free and convenient online tools that make comparing prices on auto insurance a breeze.

Final Thoughts on Insurance Claims for Car Scratches

Even though car scratches are a minor inconvenience when compared to other potential damage to your car, they can be an annoyance for vehicle owners and reduce the value of your vehicle.

If you only have liability coverage, then you would be out of luck in having the auto insurance company take care of your claim for car scratches.

However, with collision and comprehensive coverage, you will be able to file a claim for car scratches and have your car back to pristine condition. Be ready to pay the amount of your deductible when you file the claim and have your car repaired.

So that you avoid any surprises, it is smart to get an estimate for repair costs before you commit to paying the deductible by filing a claim.

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