All too often, we see the look of confusion when we tell customers that the required repair is more than paint and filler, after a fender bender. As a longstanding collision repair shop, CBS Collision has plenty of experience with fender benders.
Anytime you need repairs for your vehicle, you may need to involve your car insurance. In this post, CBS Collision will explain fender bender repair from the perspective of a collision repair shop.
Though these small accidents are safe for you and your passengers, more damage to your vehicle may present itself later in the repair process. For this reason, it is important to report even fender benders to your insurance.
What is a Fender Bender?
“Fender benders” are small, low-speed accidents that usually involve the front or rear fender. They are common in crowded parking lots, blind driveways, and busy intersections.
You may consider these minor accidents insignificant. Sometimes they are. Other times, fender bender repair can be pretty costly.
Though the damage they cause usually looks minor, when all is said and done, these little accidents can be expensive.
The Cost of a Fender Bender
Though fender benders often look like nothing to worry about, there may be more damage than meets the eye. This is especially true when the bumpers don’t match up (think about a pickup truck and a sports car).
When the bumpers of two vehicles don’t match up, these low-speed collisions can cause thousands of dollars of damage. For example, if you drive a regular-sized sedan and you collide with an SUV, there may be expensive mechanical repairs that don’t show up for weeks.
Handling a Fender Bender
If you do get into a fender bender, your number one priority should be to ensure both you and your passengers are safe. For the most part, fender benders do not result in injuries, therefore, it is usually safe to continue driving your car.
However, because this isn’t always the case, and you should make sure you don’t need medical attention first and foremost.
Also, the state of Louisiana has hit-and-run laws. So, if your fender bender occurs in Louisiana (and most other states) you are legally required to stop, regardless of how minor the accident seems.
If you can, you should move your car out of traffic and put your hazard lights on. If you cannot move your car out of traffic, make sure to put on your hazard lights.
Once your car is safely out of traffic, you should get as much information from the other driver as you can. The more information the better, but you should at least get the other driver’s:
- Phone number
- Insurance information
- License plate number
Photographs are always a good idea, after an accident. Not least of which because you can use them to request an estimate from CBS’s handy estimate tool. Though visual damage often isn’t indicative of the true extent of damage, you should always take pictures of both cars.
Why Should I File a Fender Bender Claim?
Even if you feel your fender bender damage is minuscule, you should probably let your insurer know.
Once we get into a minor repair, there’s really no telling what other damage may crop up. For instance, a simple fender bender could lead to front end damage or engine damage. Though it’s unlikely, a fender bender could even cause frame damage, which can be expensive and time-consuming to fix.
The point is, you can’t tell how much a fender bender will cost you. The only way you can know for sure is when an experienced auto body technician examines your car.
Sometimes even then, there isn’t any extensive damage evident.
Just for an example, imagine this: you’re in a small fender bender in heavy traffic. You’re in a rush, and the damage doesn’t look that bad. At the time, you and the other driver decided that both cars are fine apart from some superficial scratching, and you part ways. Maybe you bring your car into a collision repair shop to get rid of that minor scratching. At the time, the shop notices nothing wrong with your vehicle. There probably isn’t anything wrong yet.
But a few weeks later, your engine starts to make a weird noise. After the accident, a few weeks of wear and tear have damaged your engine. If you had reported your fender bender to your insurance company in the first place, you could have any engine damage repaired as part of your fender bender claim.
Will Reporting a Fender Bender Increase My Insurance Premium?
First of all, we aren’t an insurance company. We’re a collision repair shop. But we do have plenty of dealings with insurance through the course of our collision repair work. It is always possible that your premium will go up when you have a car accident.
But remember, your insurer will consider a variety of factors when they are adjusting your insurance premium.
When you consider the risks of not reporting a fender bender, it pays to play it safe.
Contact CBS Collision to Repair Your Fender Bender Damage
At CBS Collision, we have the tools and the knowledge to help you through your collision repair process from start to finish. If you or someone you know is looking for reliable collision repair in the Shreveport-Bossier area, contact us at CBS. You can call our Bossier City location at 318.741.2373, and our Shreveport location at 318.636.6134.