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If I damage my car, will my insurance pay for it?

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...

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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...

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Reviewed byDaniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agenthttps://res.cloudinary.com/quotellc/image/upload/insurance-site-images/insproviders-live/ca745a12-daniel-walker.png

UPDATED: Mar 19, 2020

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The lowdown...
  • How you damage your car will determine if insurance pays for it
  • You will have more financial protection in place if you add more coverage than what a basic insurance policy covers
  • Going above the minimum levels will help to provide you with more coverage and reduce the likelihood of paying out-of-pocket

You have car insurance as a way of providing yourself with financial protection.

If you damage your car, you want to know that insurance will take care of the damages. The type of damages and the level of coverage you have on your policy will determine whether a claim will be accepted or not.

If you damaged your car recently and need better auto insurance, compare at least three to four policies today! Enter your ZIP code above to find the best rates for you!

Damages Caused by a Car Accident

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If you damage your car as a result of getting involved in an accident, your auto insurance is likely going to take care of the repairs.

Most states require that you have car insurance. A basic policy will provide you with liability coverage for both property damage and bodily injury.

Property damage takes care of anything that might happen to your car, including:

  • Broken windows
  • Crushed fenders
  • Scratched doors, etc.

The state you live in will determine what level of coverage you need to have. It is then up to you to decide whether you want to go above and beyond the state requirements.

If you have damaged your car, insurance will pay up to the level that you have in your policy.

For example, if you cause $15,000 worth of damage and you only have $10,000 worth of coverage, the remaining $5,000 would be your phone financial responsibility. However, if the damages are less than the limits on your policy, the only thing you need to pay is your deductible.

The damages would be covered regardless of whether the car accident was your fault or someone else’s.

Adding more coverage than what the state requires is often more affordable than you might think.

When you get quotes online, you can add more coverage to see what the total financial impact is going to be on your premiums. By choosing to add more coverage, you have more financial protection in the event your car does get damaged in an accident with another vehicle.

Damages Caused by a Collision

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Damages are not caused just because of car accidents.

You might get into a collision with another object, such as a telephone pole, a guardrail, or mailbox. You could also roll your car on the highway because of slick roads, have to swerve to avoid an accident, and more.

Any of these types of damages would be covered by auto insurance if you have collision coverage.

Collision coverage is not a mandatory form of insurance required by the state. It’s up to you to decide if you want to add it to your policy or not. Additionally, if you are leasing or purchasing your car, the lienholder might require you to have this coverage.

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An insurance claim will only be accepted if you have collision coverage on your policy.

When you get quotes from various insurance companies, it’s a good idea to look at how much extra it will cost you to add collision coverage to your policy. Often, it’s only a few extra dollars per month.

You can then choose how much coverage you want so that you have a greater level of financial protection in place.

Damages Caused by Scenarios Out of Your Control

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Some damage might be caused when you are not behind the wheel of a car. Some might also occur while behind the wheel but are completely unpreventable. These scenarios are covered by comprehensive coverage.

Some of the scenarios you have no control over include:

  • Vandalism
  • Riots
  • Hit and runs
  • Road debris
  • Hail
  • Acts of God

If anything like this happens, you need to have comprehensive coverage on your car insurance policy in order for your insurance company to pay for the damages.

Comprehensive coverage is not required by the state, though a lienholder might require you to have a certain level of coverage.

The cost of adding comprehensive coverage to your policy is not a significant amount per month.

When you get quotes online, you can add comprehensive coverage to the form in order to get quotes. Quotes will allow you to see how much it’s going to cost you extra in comparison to a basic policy as required by the state.

Adding at least some level of coverage will help cover you when you experience damages out of your control. It will be much easier to file a claim with the insurance company than to have to pay out-of-pocket.

Filing the Claim

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Any time you experience damage to your car, you will need to file a claim with the insurance company. Some insurance companies define a specific amount of time to report accidents.

If you wait too long from the time the incident occurred, your claim could be denied. It’s in your best interest to report the accident as soon as possible.

Some damage, such as a cracked windshield, might be covered “sight unseen” assuming you have comprehensive coverage. Other damage, such as what would happen if you got into an accident with another car, involves bringing your car down to a collision center.

It’s also a good idea to get a police report regarding accidents that involve another party. Even acts of vandalism should be reported to the police. Police reports can help speed up the investigations process and allow the claim to be settled faster.

Many damages are covered by car insurance. You simply need to have the right coverage in place based on how the car was damaged.

It’s a good idea to have more than what the state requires. Besides the standard liability insurance, get collision and comprehensive coverage as well.

Go above and beyond the minimum levels, too, and you will have more financial protection. This way, if there are damages, you can file a claim with confidence knowing that insurance will take care of the repairs.

Had an accident recently and damaged your car? If you’d like better coverage, start comparison shopping by entering your ZIP code below!

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