Will not repairing cosmetic damage come back to bite me?

Apr 1, 2019

  1. carlton94563

    carlton94563 Expert

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    Hi, I am insured through Liberty Mutual in Nevada and have never made a claim with them. Full coverage for about $1,100 a year. Nevada does not offer UMPD. I have a 2018 Toyota Sienna XLE.

    A car hit me while I was parked, and ran. There is paint damage to my right rear fender and bumper; a lot of long streaks. No dents. My deductible is just $100 for collision.

    This also happened a previous time last year when the car was brand new (paint damage to left front fender and door with two ultra minor dents you could not see, also from a hit and run), and I had $1,000 deductible back then. The damage was $1,150, so I just paid it myself and made no claim.

    This time though my deductible is much lower and I estimate the damage will be $1,500 to $2,000, at least, since the area is a lot bigger.

    1) Should I not make a claim and leave the cosmetic damage unrepaired? Will this come back to bite me? (I do not plan on selling the car ever.) If I have to make a more substantial claim in the future, will my insurance company lower my car's value by the amount of damage not repaired? Or if I change companies in the future, will they demand photographs in the condition before insuring you, like Progressive does?

    Liberty Mutual does not use their own adjuster. Last time my agent said they use a certain collision shop to give estimates, which they abide by, whether you choose to make the repair there or not (the shop gave me the estimate the first time and I, as stated, I decided NOT to make an insurance claim, and paid out of pocket). The estimator then did not look over my car and did not check for any other damage before giving the estimate the first time. So I can I assume they do not check for other damage when giving an estimate?

    2) If I do make a claim, will my rates go up next year when I renew? This would be my first claim ever, and from a hit and run. I have no violations or history of accidents/claims, and been insured with LM for one year now.

    3) I am also considering making a claim for a large crack on my windshield. I do not have no-deductible glass. My comprehensive deductible is $50, which AAA will reimburse me for. I estimate it would be about $300 total (although I have an OEM rider). Should I claim this as well?

  2. fed up

    fed up Guru

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    The hit and run should not count against you and they may cut the deductible because the other driver fled. the windshield is a second individual claim and is Comprehensive so that should not affect the premium moving forward. The only downside would be if you wanted to change companies and Claims history was taken into consideration
    fed up, Apr 2, 2019


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    I think your comp deductible will help decide. @fed up is right, shouldn't dramatically affect you, it's why you buy insurance.
  4. LostDollar

    LostDollar Guru

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    (Note, not an insurance agent or auto repair person.)

    At a rough guess, In the time frame of 2000 to 2010 my State Farm agent required me to come by his office each time I changed vehicles and they took several pictures of the replacement vehicle, and I assume made notes in my file about specific damages.

    I do not know if that was a company wide requirement, or just something this specific agent started doing because of some claim problem he had.

    I also had a specific conversation with them once about being reimbursed for some comprehensive or collision damage I had on a vehicle, and they told me I could file a claim and get paid for it, but if I did not repair it, my insurance would not cover any further damage in that location on the vehicle.

    I had another situation where a Neighbor backed into my car while it was in the driveway (long story). I looked at the damage, thought about it for a bit, and then told him to forget about it. 6 months later, while the car was loaned to a family member, it got hit in the same spot by a hit and run driver while parked on the street. (And the new damage was more severe and covered up any evidence of prior damage.) My insurance fixed my car from that instance without any problems.

    The way some of those things work out is just chance.
  5. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Guru

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    Up to you.

    One way or the other there will be a downward adjustment for the previous damage.

    Some do, some don't.

    It would be foolish to assume that.

    Rates go up all the time. If you mean surcharge for the claim, you shouldn't be.

    It's never a good idea to nickel and dime your insurance company on small claims. AAA is overpriced. You can shop around for a windshield and pay well under $200. Might not be OEM, but so what, OEM is often made in foreign countries and windshields crack no matter where they are made.
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2019