What kind of damage is that to my car
We explain to you what is meant by minor damage, when the damage is higher and whether it is worthwhile to report minor damage to the car to the insurance company.
In the case of minor damage, the question quickly arises as to whether it is still minor damage and how best to behave. We will explain this to you and answer further questions on the topic:
• Definition: what is minor damage?
• What to do in the event of minor damage?
• Do I have to call the police in the event of minor damage?
• When is it no longer minor damage?
• Should I report the minor damage to the insurance company?
Definition: what is minor damage?
A minor damage is a small amount of property damage to the car in which only the sheet metal of the vehicle was damaged. If a person is injured in an accident or the vehicle has more than just one sheet metal damage, it is no longer referred to as minor damage.
Examples of minor damage are:
• small scratches in the car paint
• small scratches on the body
• slight dents in the car sheet
So a minor damage is only one small damage, that means the repair costs are low. An exact cost limit is not regulated by law, but in 2004 the Federal Court of Justice set a cost limit of 700 euros. Since then, the limit for minor damage has moved depending on the insurance company between 700 and 750 euros.
The cost of repairing minor damage to the injured person's vehicle is covered by the motor vehicle liability insurance of the person who caused the accident. Damage to your own car may be covered by fully comprehensive insurance.
What to do in the event of minor damage?
Minor damage often occurs when maneuvering on the street or in parking lots. While the owner of the damaged car is usually present on the street, the probability of a parking bump is lower. We will therefore explain to you the best way to behave in both cases.
When the injured party is on site
First you have to Secure the scene of the accidentregardless of whether the accident happened on the street or in a parking lot. For the insurance company, it is important that you photograph the damage and prepare an accident report. It is a good idea to always have duplicate copies of it (one for the other party involved in the accident) with you in the car. The accident should then be reported to the motor vehicle insurance of the person causing the accident on the same day. This is usually done by the person who caused the accident.
When the injured party is not on site
If you have hit a parked car and the vehicle owner is not there, you can have the license plate called out in the surrounding shops or ask local residents whether they know the owner of the vehicle. If you cannot locate the vehicle owner, you will have to wait 30 minutes for the owner. If he still does not appear, you are legally obliged to report the accident to the police. To do this, you can simply call the local police station. The officers will then take your personal details and notify the owner of the car.
For the insurance it is of course also important in the event that you take a photo of the damage and report it directly to your car insurance company.
You should know that: You should absolutely adhere to the legal requirements mentioned, because even with minor damage, it is a hit and run if you simply leave the scene of the accident.
Do I have to call the police in the event of minor damage?
No, for minor damage, including minor damage, the police do not have to officially record the damage. If you want the police to note the damage anyway, that's one thing technical assistancewhich may be chargeable.
Exceptions for which you should call the police are:
• The person who caused the accident is probably under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
• You suspect that the damage is higher and that it is no longer minor damage.
• You cannot agree with the other party involved in the accident who is to blame for the accident.
Exception for rental cars: If you drive a rental car, make sure that the rental agreement stipulates that the police must always be called in the event of an accident. In that case, you have to notify the officials even in the event of minor damage such as minor damage.
When is it no longer a minor damage?
Sometimes it is difficult to tell at first glance whether the damage is still minor. We will explain to you what you can look out for on site to find out whether the damage is still minor or whether a subsequent report is worthwhile.
Are there any signs of hidden damage?
With some types of damage, it is not immediately obvious whether it is just damage to the sheet metal of the car or whether more has been damaged. For example, you can pay attention to the following:
• Has a larger dent possibly damaged the car parts underneath?
• Are the scratches in the car very deep so that the car has to be painstakingly painted?
• Is your car coated with a special paint that is very expensive?
In such cases, the repair costs will probably be significantly higher than 750 euros and you can no longer report the damage to the insurance company as minor damage. You then have to declare it as "normal" damage.
Should I have an appraisal made?
If you are not sure even after your own inspection, you should get a professional assessment. Motor insurance usually only covers the cost of an expert opinion if the damage is more than 700 euros. An appraisal starts at around 400 euros and is therefore often more expensive than the actual repair in the case of minor damage.
Two good alternatives for a comprehensive report are therefore:
• Cost estimate from the car workshop
• Brief reports
A brief appraisal is more detailed than a cost estimate, but not as extensive as a normal appraisal (for example no determination of the depreciation or loss of use) and therefore cheaper. The costs usually range from 50 to 100 euros.
If it turns out that the damage is no longer minor, the car insurance will cover the costs for the brief report. It is also best to ask your insurer beforehand whether you can have a brief appraisal made at the expense of the insurance company, even if the damage is minor.
Should I report the minor damage to the insurance company?
In some cases it is cheaper to pay for the repair yourself and not report the damage to the insurance company.
Because: Damage caused that you report to your car insurance company can turn you into a worse one No damage class get ranked. In the end, this can be more expensive for you than paying for a small damage yourself (for example 100 euros for repairing a dent).
example: The repair for touching up a small dent costs 100 euros. The accident puts you in a worse no-claims class and you have to pay 12 euros more per month for your insurance. After a year that would be 144 euros, which you have to pay more because of the accident.
If you caused the accident and your own car got hit too, only one takes over Fully comprehensive insurance the damage caused to your own car. In addition to a poorer classification within the no-claims class, the agreed deductible also plays a role in many contracts. In the case of minor damage, the specified sum can be higher than the repair costs incurred. In such a case, you will have to pay for the repair yourself.
example: Repairing your own car after an accident costs 200 euros. However, you have agreed a deductible of 300 euros with your fully comprehensive insurance. This means that your insurer only pays the amount in excess of 300 euros in the event of a claim. But if the repair costs are 200 euros, you have to pay the sum yourself.
So before you decide to report the damage to your insurance company, you should read the insurance policy carefully or ask your car insurance company whether it is worth it.
By the way: If you decide to even repair the damage to your own car yourself, we recommend our tips on how to paint your car.
The minor damage summarized
Minor damage always occurs when the vehicle has only received very little damage, the repair costs do not exceed 700 to 750 euros and no people have been injured.
In such a case, it can even be cheaper to pay for minor damage yourself and not report it to the insurance company. If you are unsure whether the damage is minor, you can get a cost estimate from a workshop or have a brief report drawn up to be on the safe side.
We wish you a good trip all the time! Your Allianz Direct
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