There’s No Winning With Car Insurance

Written by Karen Bryan

I recently had a close encounter with a wall when parking the car in the lane at the back of our son’s flat in Glasgow.

It was so stupid. I knew that it was tight to park there. I thought I was being careful, but as I turned in the back passenger door of the car scrapped along the edge of a wall. The car door was scratched and slightly dented.

I was cursing myself, but the damage was done. I wasn’t keen to claim for the damage through the car insurance. Although I had protected the no claims discount, next year’s premium would still increase. So although I’d get the same discount, I’d still pay more.

Initially, I thought that it would probably cost around £200 to do a repair. As the car insurance excess is £100, it seemed to make more sense not to claim on the insurance, but pay the garage directly myself.

I was amazed when I went to a local garage to ask for quote for the repair. They said it would cost £600 to £700. They told me that the cost would be higher through an insurance claim, as the door would be replaced, as opposed to being repaired.

It just didn’t make sense to spend so much on a repair, when the five year old Fabia is only worth around £4,000.

As I plan to keep the car for another three to five years, I didn’t think that the damaged bodywork would affect the value of the car by the time I went to trade it in aged eight to ten years. I also reckoned that there was a fair chance of me having another scrape or bump when parking in the next three to five years.

My husband did a pretty good job covering up the scratches with primer and spray paint.

We bought the car for cash when it was new. If the car had been on a Personal Contract Hire (PCH) agreement, I would have been forced to either claim through the car insurance or pay privately for the repair.

In my opinion, car insurance is essential when your car is seriously damaged and/or there are other parties involved. When the damage is less serious, it may not always be a good idea to make a claim on the car insurance policy.