My name is Eric Bowman, and if you have questions about insurance, this is the blog you need to read. I was always confused when I had to purchase insurance. I would either end up paying for insurance I didn't need or I wouldn't buy the right policy. I finally decided that I was going to learn all I could about insurance policies so that I would understand exactly what I was buying. Now, I am completely satisfied with my insurance and the coverage is just what I need. I realized that there are others who are probably just as confused as I was, so I am writing this blog to help others get the best insurance for their needs and budget. I hope that my blog gives you the information you need to make the right choices when purchasing insurance.
When your car gets damaged in an accident, insurance is usually going to pay to fix it assuming that you or the other driver had the right coverage. But do you actually have to put that check towards car repairs, or can you keep it and live with the damage? Here's what you should know.
Do You Own Your Car?
This may seem like a ridiculous question, but you may not actually own your car. If you lease, you're just renting it for a few years and you'd be responsible for bringing it back to the dealer in repaired condition or you'd have to pay for repairs when you turn it in.
If you still have a car loan, your lender also technically owns your car. They can require you to make repairs in order to protect their resale value in case you default on your loan and they have to repossess and sell your car.
Is It a Safety Issue?
Next, you need to figure out if the damage is a safety issue or not. If it's just cosmetic, like scratched paint, you're more likely to not need to repair your car. However, if a safety feature was damaged, like the crash cushion in your bumper, your insurance company may refuse to insure you if you don't get it fixed. That's because there's a greater risk of you getting seriously hurt if you get into another accident. So while you could technically take the money without doing the repair, you may not be able to drive your car on the road if you can't get a car insurance plan.
Some areas, like airbags, may be in gray areas. Since not all cars have airbags or the same type of airbags, your car insurance company may insure you if you don't get your airbags replaced after they go off. However, if they do let you keep your coverage, it may cost more since your car is now less safe.
Do You Want to Protect Future Claims?
While you have the right to not repair your car, the insurance company can check your repair history when deciding on a future claim. If you get into a second accident, they may decline to pay for damage in the same area or reduce your claim if they believe the damage was from or made worse by your first accident. Always check your car insurance company's policies before making decisions.
To learn more about what you can do with the insurance money, talk to your car insurance plan today.