Ding and Dent Car Insurance (What It Costs + Whether It’s Worth It)
While there is no specific ding and dent car insurance, a comprehensive policy can help cover ding and dent repair. On average, scratch and dent insurance costs between $300 to $500 annually.
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UPDATED: May 18, 2022
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- Car dings and dents can cost anywhere from $50 to $500 to repair
- A comprehensive car insurance policy will help pay for ding and dent repairs on your vehicle
- Comprehensive car insurance policies cost between $300 and $500 annually on average
Ding and dent car insurance: what is it, how much does it cost, and is it worth it?
Spotting mystery dings and dents on your vehicle is an inevitable part of owning a car. The money to repair this cosmetic damage will most likely come out of your pocket, especially if you try to do it yourself and end up buying special tools.
Most door dings cost between $60 and $100 to repair, well below most car insurance deductibles. Fortunately, there are ways to use comprehensive coverage as a form of ding and dent insurance.
Even though the liability car insurance coverage required in your state will not include ding and dent insurance, it might be worth your while to invest in this additional coverage.
For between $300 and $600 a year, you can get affordable ding and dent car insurance and not worry about those repairs.
But is filing an insurance claim with scratch and dent insurance worth it? You may not need dent removal services for various reasons. Or you may have a vehicle with severe dents that are making you consider this coverage.
Read through our complete guide to better understand how ding and dent insurance works so you can decide if it is right for you.
We’ll provide a complete scratch and dent insurance cost comparison and explore how filing such a claim could impact your premiums.
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Is filing a car insurance claim for dings and dents worth it?
Dings and dents are unsightly and can be annoying. Not everyone has specialized tools or dent removal kits lying around to be able to fix them, and the cost of dent repair might not fit into your budget right away. In most cases, dings and dents aren’t looked at as a serious repair problem. Your car will work just fine, it just won’t be quite as pretty as it was before.
If you are unbothered by dings and dents on your vehicle, you don’t need to worry about investing in insurance policies that will help pay for this type of repair.
If you are bothered by blemishes on your vehicle, the question you need to ask yourself is how much money are you willing to spend? Because you’re going to need to spend some money, even if your dent repair is covered by your insurance policy.
First, you’ll have to purchase a comprehensive insurance policy on your vehicle, which has a deductible associated with it. No matter what, you’ll have to pay for anything up to your deductible amount out of your own pocket.
You’ll also have to take the chance that your premiums will go up due to filing a claim. The average cost depends on a number of factors, including what type of deductible you choose.
Depending on what deductible level you chose for your comprehensive policy, filing a claim for a dent on car insurance might not be worth it.
Check out the table below to see how much the repair costs need to be to make filing a claim worthwhile.
Filing a Car Insurance Claim: Deductible vs. Repair Cost
|Car Insurance Deductibles||Repair Costs||Should I File a Claim?||Explanations|
|$500||$1,500||Probably||Repair cost is greater than deductible; your policy will cover $1,000, but you'll still have to pay the $500 deductible|
|$500||$800||Probably||Repair cost is greater than deductible; your policy will cover $300, but you'll still have to pay the $500 deductible|
|$1,000||$800||No||Repair cost is less than deductible; you'll have to pay the full $800|
|$1,000||$2,500||Probably||Repair cost is greater than deductible; your policy will cover $1,500, but you'll still have to pay $1,000|
|$3,000||$2,500||No||Repair cost is less than deductible; you'll have to pay the $2,500|
You can use the data from the above table for more situations than just dents and dings. For example, if you find yourself wondering is it worth claiming on car insurance for a scratch, just compare the repair estimates with your deductible amount to calculate if the claim is worth it.
Generally, if the cost to repair your car costs more than your deductible amount, filing an insurance claim might be the right choice for you.
However, we say ‘probably’ because filing a car insurance claim with your insurance company could result in increased premiums.
There are different types of dents, and size accounts for what you’ll pay. Repairing blemishes on a vehicle usually does not cost more than $500, which is the standard amount for most deductibles. Auto body shop costs will run between $60 and $110 for a one-inch dent, with $25 to $50 added for every half inch. See some dent repair cost estimates in the table below.
Average Car Repair Costs by Dent Size
|Size of Dent (inches)||Lower Cost Estimates||Higher Cost Estimates|
A single 3.5 inch dent still costs less than the basic deductible amount. If you’re fixing a handful of dents but your deductible amount is low, you only have to pay a relatively small amount for the repair above the deductible. If you can afford it, you might just want to pay for the whole repair yourself to avoid rate increases.
However, if your vehicle is covered in hundreds of dents as a result of a severe hail storm, then filing a claim is definitely the right choice.
Why not get a really low deductible and not have to pay so much for these repairs? Lower deductibles will mean higher monthly premiums. You could accidentally end up paying more for your premiums than you would on any dent repairs.
We recommend comparing rates from different repair shops before you choose to get your vehicle fixed. There are dozens of dent repair shops out there, all charging drastically different amounts.
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Does insurance always cover dents and dings on cars?
Not all car insurance policies will cover minor dings and dents. If you have a basic policy that only meets your state’s minimum car insurance requirements, your insurance will not pay to fix any dents on your car.
According to data gathered by the Insurance Information Institute, of the 49 states that legally require drivers to carry car insurance, none require comprehensive insurance. As stated above, this is the most common policy that helps take care of dings and dents.
There are many different kinds of car insurance, and each company offers slightly different services through each policy type. Take a look at the table below to better understand the different types of car insurance.
Average Annual Car Insurance Rates by Coverage Type
|Car Insurance Coverage Types||Coverage Description||Average Annual Rates|
|Underinsured/Uninsured||Injuries caused by collision with an uninsured or underinsured driver||$61.10|
|Comprehensive||Theft or damage to the insured's car not resulting from a collision||$159.72|
|Property Damage Liability||Damage caused to someone else's property||$164.54|
|Personal Injury Protection||Treatment of injuries to the insured driver and passengers||$175.81|
|Collision||Damage to the insured's car caused by a collision||$363.08|
|Bodily Injury Liability||Treatment of injuries caused to others||$611.12|
As you can see, there is no specific ding and dent insurance or door ding insurance. As mentioned before, you’ll typically file a dent or ding claim using your comprehensive insurance, which not everybody has.
Your minimum requirements for car insurance coverage will depend on what state you live in. For example, if you live in California, you’re required to carry bodily injury and property damage liability, whereas in Illinois you need to have both of these plus uninsured/underinsured coverage.
Of course, if you want your dings and dents covered by your insurance provider, you’ll have to choose to carry more than your state’s minimum requirements. This includes comprehensive coverage, which covers damage to our vehicle resulting from events like vandalism, falling objects, weather damage, or animal attacks.
However, there’s no standard for what’s covered in a comprehensive policy, so make sure that you know what specific events your insurance company will cover and will not cover when you’re buying comprehensive insurance. You want to know this before something happens, not after.
How common are car dings and dents?
It’s difficult to get statistics on door dings because people rarely want to report a claim to their insurance companies, especially if their deductible is higher than the cost of repairing the ding.
What we do know is that like it or not, car dents are pretty common. Even the most careful and respectful driver can get one just by parking at the mall next to the wrong car at the wrong time.
Take hail damages for example. If you live in an area that gets hail, you’ve no doubt heard the phrase ‘hail the size of golf balls’ before. Those can certainly leave dings and dents on your vehicle. Whether you report it or fix it without filing a claim is entirely up to you.
So basically, getting a ding is inevitable, although there are things you can do to lower your chances, such as keeping a distance from other cars in a parking lot or parking garage.
Dent and Ding Car Inspection for Used Vehicles
If you’ve bought a used car and want to get it insured, you should get your car inspected by the insurance company’s professional. This way, there will be no doubt about if a dent found on your vehicle is new, or if it was caused by the previous owner.
This will not only help make filing a car insurance claim easier, but it could also help keep your ding and dent car insurance rates low.
Before you do the inspection, though, you’ll probably want to get your car professionally cleaned. Dirt can be easily mistaken for a ding, dent, or scratch.
You may also want to follow the inspector and take photographs of every possible flaw on the body of your car. Keep these photos for your records, to help with any future claims you might need to file.
Remember, insurance companies are only going to pay out for damage that occurred to your car after you purchased a policy. Documenting the inspection process as soon as you purchase a used car will help you prove to your insurance provider when a dent actually occurred.
Ding and Dent Repair Options
There are many effective ways to fix dings and dents on your vehicle besides filing a claim and going through an auto body repair shop. Different techniques have different costs and different levels of effectiveness.
There are some companies that provide a set of services to repair car dents. These services are not part of your car insurance, but rather are a package of dent repairs where you can get a certain quantity of dents fixed within a certain time period for the price of the service.
Depending on the company and the package being offered, and your likelihood of sustaining damage to your car on a regular basis, you may decide to purchase these services rather than file claims through your insurance company.
Volkswagen offers VW scratch and dent insurance in conjunction with other services such as windshield chip repair and certain interior fabric damage. Toyota scratch and dent protection, more formally known as Toyota Dent and Ding Protection, is a similar service.
Although not a specific service, Hyundai dent and ding protection falls under their Excess Wear & Tear program, an option for customers with leased vehicles. Again, while technically not insurance, these service packages are available for a set price and often for a specific period of time.
For small dings, you don’t even need to go to the body shop. All you need to do is apply something very cold to the dent, and the metal will contract, popping it right out. You can do this with dry ice, a computer air duster held upside down, or anything else extremely cold.
For larger dents, you might purchase the tools needed for something like paintless dent repair. Currently, this is the most common dent technique because it’s both much cheaper and simpler than other bodywork techniques.
According to expert auto repair advice from NAPA Auto Parts, with paintless dent repair, you use a specialized set of tools to essentially pop the dent out from the inside, which also has the advantage of allowing you to fix creases in the metal.
Although you can buy these tools online for less than the cost of a professional doing it, you can also easily mess it up; one slip and you can break the paint. Therefore, we highly suggest you be careful with this approach.
If paintless dent repair is not something you feel comfortable doing on your own, contact your ding and dent car insurance company and see what types of coverage will cover common dings and dents.
The company might even have a relationship with a paintless dent repair service provider where you could go to get these small repairs made.
Other ding and dent fixes include borrowing your friend’s tools, or even having your friend give the repair a try.
Not every driver will be able to fill a dent with Bondo, or sand and paint, or take off a door panel and literally hammer a dent out. You could cause even more damage to your vehicle on accident if you do not properly follow the directions for do-it-yourself dent repair. You also might end up voiding your car’s warranty. Especially because there are so many dent repair methods floating around out there.
A lot of people think that it’s as easy as pouring hot water onto the dent and using something to pull the dent up. However as mentioned above you need to be careful, because if you’re working with deep dents, or you’re unfamiliar with the process, you could damage your car further.
What should I do if someone scratched my car?
A car scratch can be a bit more serious than a small dent or ding. If the paint on your car is scratched, you should probably consider having the paint repaired, especially if it’s the original paint job. Paint resists rust and other problems that can wreck your car. And, of course, if you want to sell the car, you’ll probably want to make it as attractive as possible.
How much does it cost to fix a dent and scratch on a car, including a minor paint job? About $630, according to the experts.
Does car insurance pay for paint jobs? Whether or not car insurance pays for a paint job depends on the type of car insurance you have and the event that caused the scratch.
If your car was vandalized, keyed, or scratched while not moving, file a comprehensive car insurance claim with your insurance provider to help cover the damages. A good body shop will match the paint on your vehicle and do a thorough job of helping the damaged area look as good as new.
Don’t forget that you’re still responsible for paying for your deductible out of pocket when you use your comprehensive insurance.
If your car is scratched during the course of an accident with another car, and you have collision insurance, you’ll likely want to file a claim with your car insurance company.
It is very uncommon that a collision with another object or vehicle only causes minor dent and ding damage to your car. This is why we primarily focused on using comprehensive insurance for those kinds of repairs. However, if a dent was caused by the collision and you invested in additional collision coverage, your insurance will assist with these costs.
Like comprehensive insurance, collision insurance also has a deductible associated with it that you will be responsible for paying out of pocket.
It can be difficult to know what the right answer is, but you’re not alone in this. At the time you purchase your insurance policy, you should talk with your insurance company about the types of coverages you have, clarifying your deductible for each of them, and specifying what events are covered by them.
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How can you avoid getting dents in your car?
Even if you don’t care about dents or dings on your vehicle, you can still keep them limited by following a few easy tips.
First, park politely. Don’t hem in the cars on either side of you if at all possible. Many door dings are caused by people trying to squeeze into their cars after somebody parks too close to them in a garage or parking lot. Park in the correct position of the lines as well. Many scratches occur because people park outside the lines or at strange angles when they pull into a space.
Similarly, you may avoid parking next to other people entirely. It’s worth trying to limit the possibility of getting tagged by someone else’s door.
Make sure you are not inflicting dings on your car yourself. Open your door carefully and respect the other drivers around you. We have no statistics on how many dings are inflicted out of vengeance, but consider how furious people get about, well, anything.
Another effective way to avoid dents is by avoiding gravel and roads covered in rocks. The rocks and gravel can severely damage your car and are likely to scratch the paint as well.
Finally, keep an eye on weather reports. Get your car under cover, especially if hail might be in the forecast. Hail storms can cause thousands of dollars of damage to your vehicle in ding and dent repair costs.
You are now an expert on all there is to know about getting dings and dents covered by your car insurance policy. Is ding and dent protection worth it?
In short, ding and dent car insurance is worth it if you get a lot of dings, really hate dings and can reasonably afford the repairs, or are excessively protective of your car. Just remember that courtesy in parking lots can also prevent door dents just as well as a good car insurance policy.
Don’t forget about our comparison tool, which will help you to compare quotes from various companies.
Frequently Asked Questions: Ding and Dent Car Insurance
Do you have more questions about dings, dents, and scratches and your car insurance policy? Check out our frequently asked questions below for even more information.
#1 – Are costs to repair car dents covered by insurance?
Dented car door repair costs are usually covered by comprehensive insurance, so more than likely the answer is yes. But be sure that you understand the terms of your policy with regard to dent repairs before you get any work done.
#2 – Will insurance cover door ding repair costs?
Again, if you have comprehensive coverage, more than likely the answer is yes, but double-check with your policy and company to be sure you understand what’s covered as well as what deductibles are in place.
#3 – Is it better to pay out of pocket or use ding and dent car insurance?
Generally, the rule of thumb is that if it’s cosmetic, let it go, but if the paint is scratched and you risk additional damage due to rust or corrosion, then get it fixed. Then you’ll want to weigh your estimated repair costs against your deductible and any possibility of your premiums increasing due to filing a claim, and make your decision from there.
#4 – What if I’m leasing my car?
Your car dealership will likely require that you carry specific car insurance that will cover the costs of repairs to larger dents or scratches. Depending on your lease agreement, you may need to get these repairs completed prior to returning the car or pay a damage penalty to the dealership.
#5 – How much does it cost to repaint a car?
Repainting a car can cost as low as a few hundred dollars or as much as you want to spend. Some factors that will impact your cost include the quality of the paint job you’d like, how much prep work is involved, how closely you want the paint to match, and whether you include any high-end options such as airbrushing.
#6 – What happens if I hit a parked car?
Each state may differ in what they require for adequate notification of the other vehicle’s owner, who is responsible for paying for the repairs, whether the police need to be called to the scene, and how long the owner of the other car has to file a claim.
Knowing what the laws are in your state can help with determining what actions you need to take, and when.
#7 – What do I do if I have an accident in a parking lot?
Experts advise that it’s best to treat any parking lot incident involving your car just like any other accident. Remain calm, exchange information with the other driver, call the police, take photos, and contact your insurance company. Worst case, there isn’t much damage, and you’ve protected yourself against any further action.
#8 – How much will my insurance go up if I scratch someone else’s car?
Depending on your driving history, your policy, and the severity of the repair, you’ll likely see a minor increase in your premiums. To avoid the increase, it might be worth paying for the repairs for the other vehicle out of pocket rather than filing an insurance claim.
However, if it’s a very large scratch, you will want to treat the incident like any other car accident. Remain calm, exchange information with the other driver, call the police, take photos, and contact your insurance company.
Don’t buy ding and dent car insurance without comparing rates from multiple car insurance companies.
If you’re interested in going beyond ding and dent to get a comprehensive quote on car insurance, just enter your five-digit ZIP code into our FREE quote tool below to compare car insurance rates from top companies in your area.