Filing a claim isn’t always worth it, even if you have collision and comprehensive coverage.
One purpose of car insurance is to reimburse you for the cost of any needed car repairs and replacements. For coverage of physical damages, you need collision and comprehensive coverage, which come with deductibles. However, because of these deductibles, it’s not always worth it to file a physical damage claim for bumper damage. So how do you know when to file?
The answer depends on the size of your deductible, the extent of the damage and your insurance company’s policies surrounding car insurance rate increases post-accident.
It’s worth filing an insurance claim for bumper damage when:
It’s not worth filing an insurance claim for bumper damage when:
If you choose to file a claim, make sure you do it within your state’s statute of limitations for property damage claims. Otherwise, your insurance company won’t be obligated to uphold your coverage.2 Find your state’s time frame for submitting claims in the chart below.
|State||Property damage claims statutes of limitations (in years)|
Was the bumper damage your fault or did another driver cause it? That’s a critical factor to consider when weighing whether to file a claim. Typically, your rates will increase more following at-fault accidents, although rate increases are possible even if someone hits your parked car. That’s why it’s essential to figure out if a claim will increase your rates before you file.
Car insurance will only cover your bumper damage if you have collision or comprehensive coverage. Collision insurance will pay for damage due to collisions while comprehensive covers damage from noncollisions, including inclement weather, theft and vandalism. Meanwhile, if you caused bumper damage to another car, your liability coverage will cover the other driver’s damages.
No state requires comprehensive or collision insurance, so if you only get the minimum coverage in any state, you’d have to pay for any property damage out of pocket.
While car repair costs differ greatly based on location, here are the average repair and replacement costs for bumpers.
|Repair/Replacement||Minimum Cost||Maximum Cost|
|Traditional dent repair||$125||$800|
|Cracks, holes and punctures||$250||$617|
Most likely, your auto insurance premiums will increase if you file a claim for bumper repair. However, they will increase less if you weren’t at fault and won’t increase at all if your accident forgiveness applies.
New Progressive customers won’t see rate increases following claims worth $500 or less in most states. Learn more about the price of Progressive car insurance.
Having collision and comprehensive insurance coverage is wise if you want to avoid paying out of pocket for any physical damages. To get these coverages, either contact your insurance agent or, with online auto insurance, add it manually to your policy via the insurance company’s website or mobile app.
If you decide to file a claim for bumper damage, be sure to submit photographs, detailed notes about the cause, and, if there was a collision, a police report to use in your claim. The more evidence you have, the greater chance of a payout that will make you whole again, such as cover your total losses.
Typically, it is cheaper to repair rather than replace a bumper. It costs about $125 to $800 to repair dents; $250 to $617 to fix punctures, cracks, and holes; and $67 to $733 to repair scratches. Bumper replacement, on the other hand, costs about $467 to $1,783 — much more expensive.
However, sometimes bumper repairs aren’t an option, depending on the extent of the damages. For a minor accident, filing a claim with your insurance company under collision coverage may not be worthwhile.
Whether or not you should claim a dent on your car insurance depends on the cost of repairs, the size of your deductible and your insurance company’s accident forgiveness policy, if there is one. If the repairs cost less than your deductible, it’s not worth claiming a dent. However, if the repairs cost more than your deductible and your rates won’t increase, file a claim for the dent.
It is only worth it to make a small claim on car insurance if the cost of repairs is more than your collision/comprehensive deductible. Otherwise, it makes more sense to pay for the repairs out of pocket and avoid car insurance premium increases.
What happens if you don’t inform your insurance company about an accident depends on the company and the state you reside in. Technically, you should report any accident to your company, but state laws and policies differ on the consequences of not reporting.
Does car insurance cover bumper damage? Progressive. (2023).
Car Accidents: Statutes of Limitations. Enjuris. (2023).