After an accident, it’s tempting to take the cash payout and use it for other things. Maybe that short break at the beach you’ve been holding out for, or paying off a few bills. Before you make any rash decisions, take some time to consider what’s really best for you and your car. Below are five reasons for why repairing your car may be the best decision you can make.
Your insurance company may drop the physical damage coverage for your vehicle if you choose not to repair it. This means the next time you’re at fault in an accident, your own vehicle won’t be covered.
Or, the next time the same area is damaged, the insurance company will only pay out for part of the claim, covering only the new damage. They won’t pay twice for the old damage, leaving you to make up the difference. This could end up hurting your pocket at a time you can least afford it, especially if those repairs are necessary to getting your vehicle back on the road.
There’s also a third and maybe, more important point here. Unless you pay out of pocket for a “teardown” estimate by a body shop, the appraiser’s estimate to fix the damage of your car will only cover known damage that can be seen from the surface. If there is more unseen damage uncovered during the repair that can be attributed to the accident, the insurance company will cover these costs. However, if you’ve already been paid out, these damages may not be covered unless you can prove that they were directly related to the accident.
Also, if you have a lien on the vehicle, it is a requirement that you keep the value of the loan company’s “asset” as they still hold the title to the car. If at any time you were unable to make the payments and they were to repossess the vehicle, you would be responsible for the loss of value from the damage.
The more damage to your vehicle, the less value it will hold when it comes to selling it. A few little dents may be easy for a potential buyer to overlook, but the worse it gets, the more likely it will be that a buyer will question what damage lies beneath.
If you want to try to fix the damage yourself, be aware that insurance claims will show up on the vehicle’s history. Even if you think that the repair is invisible to the eye, any buyer will want to be assured that the repair was made by a reputable collision auto body shop. If you can’t provide this, any offered price will be below expectations.
Causes additional damage
It may look like a light impact on the surface, but without looking below the surface, it’s hard to see any internal damage that may have occurred. Even then, hidden damages may not be visible to the human eye and may require advanced equipment to spot. If this damage isn’t found and fixed, it could lead to irreparable future damage. For example, a break in the fender could lead to water being able to access the internal structure and causing corrosion.
Underlying safety damage
It’s to be expected that you aren’t aware of the importance of every part of your vehicle. Whether the damage can be seen or is hidden, it can still have an enormous impact on safety factors and how your vehicle will protect you the next time you’re in an accident.
A vehicle is designed so that everything from the fender to the body reacts together when involved in an accident. A simple bump to the fender may misalign it. The next accident that involves your fender may be a major one. With the aligning out, it takes an extra millisecond to send a message to your airbag to release. This millisecond could be the difference between you surviving the accident or not.
State inspections and traffic stops
Your state may or may not require annual inspections of your vehicle. If they do, the damage to your vehicle may need to be repaired prior to being passed. Again, this may be at a time you can least afford to get it done. Aside from state inspections, a simple traffic stop may result in a ticket if say, your damage included a broken tail light.
Fixing the damage to your vehicle is more than just making it pretty again. There are many more factors that need to be taken into account, first and foremost, your safety. LG Auto Body are experts at finding the damage and making sure the next time you’re on the road, your car will protect you just as well as it did the first time. They will give you an estimate that is competitive and will work with you to file your claim, working for you and not the insurance company.
We offer services for every manufacturer including being a Subaru Body Shop.