Generally, an auto insurance policy is designed to protect you against accidents, damages, or losses that occur when your policy is active. But, what about the pre-existing damage? Does insurance cover it? The answer depends on the extent of the damage and the type of policy or provider you choose.
Why Isn’t Pre-Existing Damage Covered by Insurance?
Most auto insurance providers will not cover pre-existing damages. Not only do they deny coverage, but they may also refuse a future claim because of the previous damages. Pre-existing damages include any damage that your vehicle sustained before you bought the insurance policy, including previous repairs and normal wear and tear.
Your insurer will most likely probably deny coverage for pre-existing damages because:
- They are not responsible for damages that happened before the policy period.
- They don’t have any facts to evaluate the repairs and negotiate a settlement for your claim.
If they agree to cover your pre-existing damages, it would be in return for higher premiums.
Can You Buy Insurance with Pre-Existing Damage?
While it is possible to get insurance with pre-existing damage, make sure to keep your insurer informed to avoid future claims denials and higher premiums.
Also, existing damage can make it difficult to buy an auto insurance policy with comprehensive and collision coverages. However, liability insurance is mandatory in most states and can be bought with pre-existing damage. The downside is that liability insurance covers damage to others’ vehicles, not yours, so whether or not you have pre-existing damage does not matter to your insurer.
Is an Inspection Required for Buying Insurance?
An inspection is required in some states to buy collision and comprehensive coverages. It involves checking the:
- Overall vehicle condition
- Vehicle’s total mileage and existing damage
- Additional features, accessories, and after-market parts
- General appearance of the vehicle
If an inspection is not required in your state, minimal pre-existing damage may not prevent you from buying insurance. However, your insurer may use your vehicle’s VIN to review its history and any previous accidents/claims. Based on that, they will decide whether to offer a policy.
Filing a Claim with Pre-Existing Damage
- Take pictures of your pre-existing and recent damages for evidence
- Maintain good vehicle records
- If you have decided to repair the pre-existing damages, inform your insurer about it
- File a claim online or in person
- Assist the insurance adjuster to assess the damage and follow their directions
While you can buy insurance with previous damage, ensure it won’t make your vehicle vulnerable to more accidents and other damages in the future. Make timely repairs and maintenance to keep it safe on the road.
Insure Your Vehicle with Hoffman Brown Company
At Hoffman Brown Company, we offer all-inclusive auto insurance to protect you and your vehicle on and off the road. Contact us today to get started on your personalized auto insurance coverage, tailored to your specific needs.