Nov 20, 2019
What To Do If You Get In A Fender Bender?
Get in a fender bender? They are one of the most common types of accidents. They can also be the most confusing. Should you file a police report? Do you need to visit the collision reporting centre? Should you privately settle the damage with the other driver? Do you call your insurance provider to open a claim?
If you are not sure what to do after a fender bender, you’re not alone. In this blog we will discuss what fender benders are, how much they cost, what do to afterwards, and answer common questions about this type of minor car accident.
Fender Bender Meaning
What Is A Fender Bender?
A fender bender is a term used to describe a minor accident between two vehicles. These types of car accidents typically have minimal damage – such as dents or scratches on the fenders of the vehicles involved.
Fender benders commonly occur at intersections, stop lights, parking lots and stop and go traffic on the highway. They are minor and you can typically drive your vehicle after the accident.
However, while fender benders seem harmless, they can still cause injuries, and do serious damage to your vehicle. They can be costly to fix. A full inspection of your vehicle is required because there can be more damage you can’t see.
Fender Bender Laws – Do I Need To Report A Fender Bender?
Fender benders are NOT reported nearly as much as other more serious accident. Many drivers assume small scratches and dents are the only damage. While it may be tempting to settle the accident privately and not involve insurance, the minor repair bill could be higher than you think.
The appearance and condition of your vehicle can be deceptive. If you don’t report the accident or notify your insurer, you could be on the hook for an unexpected repair bill.
Plus, there is always the chance the other driver will file a police report. If you fail to report an accident, you could face fines and demerit points.
What Info To Exchange In A Fender Bender?
Treat a fender bender like any other accident. Collect as much information as possible about the situation :
- Exchange insurance information and contact information with the other driver.
- Take pictures of both vehicles.
- Take notes of what happen.
- Call the police if anyone is injured or damage exceeds $2000.
What To Do After A Fender Bender Accident – Assess The Damage
Not sure what to do after a fender bender accident? Assuming no one is hurt and no laws were broken, assess the damage very carefully :
- Inspect the area of impact carefully.
- Check to make sure there is no fluid leaking from your vehicle.
- Check the wheel wells to ensure tire alignment looks normal, tires are properly inflated.
- Test your engine.
- Do you notice any new or odd smells or smoke?
Even if your vehicle appears fine and there is only surface damage, have it inspected by a mechanic as soon as possible. If you believe the damage exceeds $2000, take your vehicle to the accident reporting centre.
Fender Bender Hit And Run Situations
If you are involved in a fender bender hit and run accident, report it to the police. A hit and run and leaving the scene of an accident is against the law. File a police report and speak with your insurer about your claim.
Fender Bender In A Parking Lot
If the accident occurs on private property, such as a parking lot, the accident should be treated similar to any other type of accident. Only call the police if someone is injured. Visit the reporting centre to file a report.
Learn more about what to do if you are involved in a parking lot accident.
Fender Bender With No Damage
A fender bender with no damage is possible, especially if you make contact with another vehicle at very low speed. It’s still important to check the damage and exchange information. Have your vehicle looked at by your mechanic as a precautionary measure.
Fender Benders And Insurance Claims
Is It Better To Pay Out Of Pocket Or Use Insurance?
Should you file a claim for a fender bender? It depends. Whether or not to open an insurance claim for a fender bender depends on the damage to your vehicle. If the damage is less than or slightly higher than your deductible amount, it may not make financial sense to file a claim. An at-fault accident claim will increase your rates. In this instance, it may be better to pay for the damage to your vehicle out of pocket.
If the damage is more significant than you anticipated, it may be worthwhile to file a claim. Speak with your insurance professional about your options.
Does A Fender Bender Raise Your Insurance?
Yes it could. If you are the at fault driver your car insurance rates could increase. If you are not at fault, you will not see your rates increase.
How Much Does A Fender Bender Cost To Fix?
The average fender bender cost can range from a few hundred to thousands of dollars. For example, even a small dent or scratched paint can cost anywhere from $300 to $1000 to repair. However, if there is additional damage to things like your suspension, alignment, tires, or parts under your vehicle or behind your bumper, costs could quickly reach in excess of $1000. Every accident is different.
Fender Bender And Insurance FAQs
Here are some additional questions drivers often ask about fender benders and insurance :
What Do You Do If You Get Into A Fender Bender?
Follow the same procedures as any other accident type. Check to make sure there are no injuries, assess your car for damage, and report the accident at the reporting centre and with your insurer.
How Much Will A Fender Bender Increase My Insurance?
It depends on the details of the accident, if you are at fault, and other details surrounding the accident.
Should I File A Claim For A Fender Bender?
It depends. If there is no damage or very little, it may not make financial sense to file a claim. If the damage exceeds your insurance deductible amount, then consider opening a claim.
Should I Report a Fender Bender To Insurance?
Yes. Even if you don’t plan to file a claim, it’s important to report the accident to your insurer, and at the accident reporting centre to ensure you are covered.
What Happens If You Leave The Scene Of A Fender Bender?
You could be charged for leaving the scene of an accident. You could face fines, demerit points and have your insurance rates increase.
Can A Fender Bender Cause Whiplash?
It’s possible. Even at lower speeds, a collision could cause injury, including whiplash and other related trauma.
Do You Have To Call The Police For A Fender Bender?
You only need to call the police if someone is injured, a criminal act was committed, and if you believe the damage is in excess of $2000. Minor fender benders can be dealt with at the reporting centre.
Can A Fender Bender Cause Engine Damage?
It’s possible. Even though a fender bender may seem minor, it could cause damage to engine components and many other areas of your vehicle.
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