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Are Deep scratches covered by car insurance?

Someone Scratched My Car

Someone scratched my car. What should you do when you have scratches on your car? Will auto insurance help you?

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Published: Mar 27, 2019 | Updated: Apr 8, 2019

Someone Scratched My Car

You walk out of a retail location, walk to your vehicle, and instantly are angry, saying “someone scratched my car!” While this may not be exactly what happens in your situation, it can be very frustrating when you have damage to your car like this, especially because it can reduce the value of your vehicle. When someone scratches your car, you have a few options to help you. If you cannot prove who did it, though, you may want a few tips to learn how to remove scratches from your car. Here’s what you need to know.

What to Do When Someone Scratched My Car

In some situations, it is best to not leave the scene of what happened and to contact the police. If you have significant damage to your car from scratches, it may be due to an act of vandalism. You may be able to file a police report. The authorities may also be able to seek out help from surrounding buildings and resident security cameras to get a better idea of what happened and who is responsible.

In other situations, such as when someone causes a small scratch due to a shopping cart, it can be hard to prove who did it. In most areas, the retailer is not responsible for the damage to the car. However, if their employee caused the scratches, and you can prove that is the case, you may be able to file a claim for coverage for the repair costs.

How to Fix Scratches on a Car – Will Auto Insurance Help?

Learning how to fix scratches on your car may start with this step. In some situations, you may be able to file a claim with your auto insurance company for the damage. As noted before, it may fall under the claim of vandalism. If you have comprehensive auto insurance, it may cover vandalism claims like this. In this case, the insurance company would pay to have the repairs taken care of to get your car back to the previous condition.

There is a concern with the deductible, though. In most situations, car insurance has a deductible or a specific amount you are responsible for paying first before the policy pays you anything. If the deductible is higher than the cost to repair the scratches, you may not be able to file a claim. Your agent can offer insight into this for you.

Do Shelf Bought Scratch Remover Products Work?

When it comes down to it, you may need to handle the repairs to your car on your own. You may be able to find a scratch remover product at your local auto parts store. This could be a good option especially for slight scratches and scuff marks. Sometimes, you can buff out these insignificant scratches as well. Though it may take a bit of time and hard work, this is one of the easiest ways to get rid of a small scratch on your car.

How to Remove Scratches from Car Paint

What if the scratches are not that small? There are some scratch repair kits on the market that may offer some help to you. You can learn how to remove scratches from car paint using these products. Your auto mechanic may also offer some insight into which product is best for your car based on the level of damage present. Be sure to test out these kits on the paint first to make sure they don’t otherwise damage it.

When there is paint chipping, though, this may be less beneficial. These types of damages may require the help of a professional who can work to restore the paint coating. It is best to leave this to an expert.

Deep Scratch Repair from a Technician Benefits

There are a few reasons to turn to a professional technician for deep scratch repair. For example, technicians can handle those areas where paint is missing. This service can also take care of any actual damage to the surface of the car, such as small dents and dings. This helps to restore the value of the car to the proper level. You may also want to turn to a professional to ensure the paint colors match well. It is these details that help to make deep scratch repair from a paint shop professional ideal. Most body shops and dent repair shops can handle this type of work for you.

Even with deep scratch repair, your auto insurance may not cover the damage due to the cost and your deductible. However, if your costs are significant, such as from numerous areas of damage, be sure to take photos of it. Then, send those to your car insurance agent. The agent will give you more insight into what your options are for getting the paint repaired to the highest quality again.

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Are Deep scratches covered by car insurance?

Fixing this scratch costs an average of $650 at a body shop.

Fixing this scratch costs an average of $630.46 at a body shop.

Take a look at the picture to the right: handful of scratches, minor paint damage, and a long scratch that looks like someone might have keyed it. We sent that picture to 30 body shops and asked for a damage assessment. We also asked how long they would need the car, and mentioned that we would not be using insurance. After four days and thirteen replies, here is what we got:

  • The cheapest estimate we received was $300.
  • The most expensive response was $1,161.
  • The average price to restore the Civic was $630.46.
  • Time frames varied from a couple of hours to 17 hours.

Learn The 4 Types Of Paint Scratches, and their Fixes.

If you are looking for the cost of paint scratch repair, the key determining factor is the type of damage that is involved. All cars have three layers that make up a paint job: the first layer is clear coat, the second is paint and the third is primer. Though the size and length of the scratch is a factor in repair costs, the fewer the layers it penetrates the better. For example if the scratch only penetrates the first layer, that’s going to cost less to fix than one that penetrates all three layers. Here is a break down of four types of well known scratches.

Scratch Type 1: Scuffs

Scuffs are a collection of very light surface scratches that have only damaged the clear coat of the paint job. To find out if the scuffs have only damaged your clear coat, rub with spit (really) and see if the scuffs vanish.

The fix: You can get rid of these yourself with some rubbing compound from an auto parts store. Or have an auto body shop do it for you ($50-70).

Scratch Type 2: Clear-Coat Scratch

These are deeper, longer scratches than a scuff, but since the scratch has not penetrated past the clear coat layer you do not have to do any painting to repair it. To find out if the scuffs have only damaged your clear coat, rub with spit (really) and see if the scuffs vanish.

The fix:You can get rid of these yourself with some rubbing compound from an auto parts store. Or have an auto body shop do it for you ($50-70). If the scratch is a deeper one, but has still not reached the paint layer, you will need some wet/dry sandpaper to get rid of it. The sandpaper will cost around $10, with wet 2000 grit being preferred. Soak the sandpaper in water and sand the scratch. You will also need rubbing compound to get rid of the sand scratches, as well as polisher so that you can shine it when you are done. All told this will cost about $30 to do it yourself, which is a fraction of the $150-300 that a body shop will charge you.

Scratch Type 3: Paint Scratch

Since the scratch has gotten into the paint layer, you are going to need to do some painting to fix it.

The fix: Apply touch up paint: pen or bottle-and-brush. Use as little paint as possible, and the smallest brush available. Auto body shops will charge you anywhere from $400 to $1000, and it does not matter if the repair is a small one: once it hits the paint layer the entire part must be repainted.

This deep scratch penetrates all 3 layers and reveals the exposed metal.

This deep scratch penetrates all 3 layers and reveals the exposed metal.

Scratch Type 4: Deep Paint Scratch

These jobs include fixing very deep scratches that have exposed bare metal or plastic.

The fix: Touch up paint, for the do-it-yourselfer. Auto body shops will charge $800 to $1500 for a perfect repair.

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