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If you’ve recently purchased a car and noticed that it has some dents or scratches, don’t worry - you should still be able to find coverage. You may have heard horror stories about insuring cars with pre-existing damage, but the good news is that pre-existing damage usually refers to things that are major, not minor. A few dents and scratches won’t disqualify you, but there is some information you should know.
Consider paying for repairs first
If you are worried about finding insurance coverage because your car has small dents or scratches, consider paying for repairs out-of-pocket before getting insured. Repair costs for small damages are usually low, and you wouldn’t be able to get them covered by your insurance since they were already on the car.
Repairing any damage first will save you from needing to disclose it to your insurance company, and potentially save you money on the premium, depending on the extent of the damage.
Be transparent with your insurance provider
If you elect not to repair the damage first, but are unsure if it will be a problem, then full disclosure is the best policy. Take pictures of any dents or scratches and let your insurance agent know. They might send someone out to assess the damage to see if it will affect your plan.
Insurance companies are mainly looking out for cases of insurance fraud. This type of crime has been on the rise, and they want to protect themselves. Being transparent lets them know that you are open and honest.
Use a good driving record to your advantage
One of the best tools an individual can use is their clean driving record. You will likely qualify for lower insurance rates if you haven’t had an accident.
If your record isn’t so clean, consider taking a safe driving course. Insurance companies sometimes take these into account when insuring new or existing customers, so use it to your advantage and save more down the road.
Shop around for the best deal
There are a lot of insurance providers besides just the big names you see advertised in commercials. If you are having a hard time, then shop around and expand your search to smaller or newer companies. Be on the lookout for coverage specific to your situation, age, or style of vehicle.
Remember that small dents and scratches don’t usually qualify as pre-existing damage. You shouldn’t have to worry about getting comprehensive insurance as long as the issue is minor and doesn’t affect the safety performance of the car. Insurance terminology can be hard to decipher, but don’t let it scare you.