Sometimes collision damage doesn’t look like it hurts the structure of a vehicle. And sometimes, the vehicle looks cosmetically fine, or close enough to fine that you think about keeping the insurance money rather than having it repaired. You’re free to do that, if you own the vehicle outright, and the insurance check is made out to you personally. Go for it; good for you.
Or is it?
The answer is “sometimes.” If the vehicle’s appearance is acceptable, and there is absolutely no damage that could come back to haunt you in the future, sure, take the money and pay off that student loan or buy your spouse something nice.
But minor structural damage can be difficult to detect, and even a collision repair expert can’t always predict problems that may crop up in the future. If they do crop up after you decide not to go through with the repair, the insurance company can deny coverage for future claims related to the same parts.
Getting the repair done also protects you if you’re ever in another accident, and some of the same parts are damaged. Again, the insurance company is within its rights to deny coverage if you previously opted not to repair any of the newly damaged parts.
Also important: if the vehicle is totaled, you won’t be able to keep both the money and the car. The insurance company will possess it as a condition of paying off the claim.
If you ever find yourself in this situation, it’s more important than ever to work with the best collision repair shop you can find. A good body shop will have trustworthy people with the experience to give you reliable information. If you’re looking for the top auto body shop in Hampton Roads, be sure to put Macks Auto Body on your short list. We’ll use the latest technology to give the best information we can.