Here are five hidden costs of auto repair after a car accident.
1. Your Deductible
Unless another driver was at fault for the damage to your car, you’ll need to pay your deductible to get it fixed. Your deductible is tied in to your car insurance rate, and if you’ve opted for a higher deductible to get a lower rate, then you could be looking at a big expense just to get your car fixed. Even on the low end, deductibles are usually at least $250, and many policies have deductibles of $500 or $1,000.
2. Higher Insurance Premiums
When your insurance company needs to pay for your car to get fixed, you can expect them to bump up your rates. Although the increase will be higher if you caused an accident, your insurance premiums could still go up even if your car wasn’t damaged due to any fault of your own – for example, if you came out to the parking lot to find that someone smashed into your bumper. That’s why many drivers avoid reporting incidents like that and choose to pay for the repairs out of pocket.
3. A Rental Car
You’ll still need to get around while your car is out of commission, or while you shop for a new car, in situations where your old car is declared a total loss. If you don’t have any alternate methods of transportation that can get you to school, work or wherever else you need to go, then you’ll need a rental car. Although rental cars don’t cost too much per day if you go with an affordable option, that daily rate adds up if your car is in the shop for too long. If your insurance policy has rental car coverage on it, then you’ll at least have this covered.
4. Damages Beyond Your Insurance Coverage
If you’ve caused an accident, then you’re responsible for the damages suffered by anyone else involved, including bodily injuries, property damage and lost wages. Your insurance carrier will cover these damages, but only to your policy’s limits. That means you could face a lawsuit if the damages exceed the limits of your insurance policy. Considering how much medical expenses and lost wages could add up to, it’s important to have a policy with adequate coverage to hopefully avoid ending up in this situation.
5. New Vehicle Costs
Hopefully, a shop can repair your car and get it into good shape again. This doesn’t always happen, though, as the damage from an accident could cost more to repair than your car is worth. At that point, your insurance carrier will declare your car a total loss. If another driver was at fault for the accident, their insurance will be responsible for paying you the value of your car.
If you were at fault, then your insurance will pay you the value minus your deductible, assuming you have collision coverage. Although you won’t have any repair costs in this situation, you will need to get a new vehicle, which means you’ll at least need to make a down payment and finance the rest.
The hidden costs you experience while getting your car repaired will depend on your specific situation and your insurance policy. Still, it’s wise to be prepared for these costs so that you have an accurate idea of how much you’ll be paying. Being aware of the hidden costs listed above may also motivate you to purchase additional insurance coverage or lower your deductible.
Image Credit: Pixabay
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Last update on 2019-05-31 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API