‘Can all my car’s damages go under one insurance claim?’ [Newbie Guide]

Whatever car you’re driving, you can never be too careful whenever you’re behind the wheel out on the road. But occasionally, despite our best efforts, something untoward happens and the vehicle ends up getting damaged.

Car headlight crash damage

Comprehensive car insurance comes in handy at times like this

Of course, being the responsible motorist that you are, there’s the relative consolation of knowing that your car is protected by comprehensive insurance. But then, rather than having the damage fixed right away, you think of waiting until the car sustains more scratches, dents, or dings before making an insurance claim.

It’s understandably due to your wish to streamline the process, instead of having to repeatedly file multiple claims (and paying multiple participation fees). Just gather everything and file it in one go. But while this sounds good in theory, the reality is that you won’t be able to do so.

Contract signing

A car insurance claim corresponds to a particular incident only 

Why is that? Auto insurance works on a per-incident basis, meaning that you can only file a claim for a particular event. For example, insurance will cover repairs on a warped hood that resulted from your car hitting a wall, but it does not include that dented door you got when another car T-boned you at an intersection three months prior.

Two separate causes resulting in damage to your car will require two separate insurance filings and, yes, two separate payments of the participation fee. It will be up to you to prove through documentation and pictures that all the physical damage on your car came from just one incident. Otherwise, you would be liable for insurance fraud.

Dented car roof

You’ll have to prove that those dents on the roof are connected to the smashed grille your car sustained

There’s also the validity of your policy to consider. If your car sustains damage in a particular instance, don’t wait for a year in the hopes of lumping it together with something else on a future insurance claim. The original damage will no longer be covered since it falls under your policy’s previous validity period before your insurance renewal.    

At the very least, waiting for bigger or more substantial damage to come along before you decide to file an insurance claim is irresponsible. This is true especially if the initial damage already compromises the vehicle’s performance, comfort, or safety to begin with, and that’s going to cost you far more in the long run.

Find more tips for beginner car owners at Philkotse.com.

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