Being involved in a car accident can literally change your life. Even if you walk away unscathed, the damage to your car could be significant. That’s why it’s so important to have collision damage fixed right away. The one obvious exception is when the insurance company totals the vehicle.
You may be hard-pressed to understand why fixing collision damage is so important. If that’s the case, perhaps this post can encourage you to give it more thought. Here are five reasons to fix collision damage to your car:
A dent here or there is definitely unsightly. But if you don’t take your car to a mechanic to have it looked at following an accident, how do you know that the damage is merely cosmetic? What appears to be just a dent could actually be the tip of the iceberg. You could be dealing with a bent or cracked frame. The collision could have thrown your front end out of alignment. The possibilities are endless.
The fact is that even what appears to be minor damage could belie some serious safety issues. Do you really want to be driving down the highway at 65 mph and have a wheel fly off or your frame break clean through?
Even if collision damage isn’t serious enough to create an immediate hazard condition, failing to fix the damage could mean your car can’t pass future safety inspections. For example, many states require headlights and taillights to be in good working condition with no cracked or broken lenses.
Let’s say a minor collision takes out one of your taillights. Let’s also assume you let it go for three or four months. It may cost you more to fix the damage later on down the road, which you’ll have to do to pass inspection. Had you taken care of the damage right away, your bill would have been lower and there would have been no worries about inspection.
Fail to repair existing collision damage and you may find that your insurance company drops your collision coverage. This could mean two things. First, if you still have an outstanding loan, your bank could go ahead and obtain a new, more expensive collision policy and charge you for it. Second, in the event you don’t have an outstanding loan, being dropped from collision reduces the chances that full liability will be covered should you be involved in another accident you cause.
Next, even minor damage can get worse over time. A dent in that seems like little more than a nuisance could be the starting point for corrosion, for example. Anyone who lives where winters can get nasty knows just how potentially problematic this is. Once corrosion is embedded, it’s awfully tough to stop it without spending a lot of money.
Finally, collision damage automatically reduces the value of your car. Simply put, a damaged car is worth less on the open market. Any hopes of selling it for its blue book value go out the window if you don’t repair collision damage. You’ll even have trouble getting maximum value should you decide to trade the car in on something new.
There are other reasons to fix collision damage to your car. These five are sufficient motivation for most people. Here’s the bottom line: fixing collision damage as soon as possible after an accident is in your best interests.