Scratch and dent cover works in the same way as most short term insurance policies. You buy a level of cover for certain eventualities and claim when necessary without being subjected to the financial impact of having to pay from your own pocket. This type of car cover only applies to minor damage to the body work of your car. It saves you from having to claim from your regular comprehensive car insurance for minor repairs that can lead to substantial premium increases and loss of your no claim bonus.
1. Buy Cover Online
These days most people opt to buy their scratch and dent cover online, or sometimes telephonically. There are many insurers offering scratch and dent insurance, from certain chain stores to brokers and you can buy it directly from an insurer. Select the level of cover that is suitable for you if the provider does have different product options available. Ensure that it is affordable so you can maintain the cover in the long term. Once your application has been approved, you are covered. Keep your policy number and documents in a safe place.
2. Take Your Car For An Inspection
Some insurers will require that you take your car in for an inspection even before approving your cover. The insurer will notify you of the nearest inspecting centre in your area. It is important to ensure that you do take your car in for the inspection if required. Some insurers will approve your application but need an inspection to be done in order for the cover to continue. Inspections ensure that people do not fraudulently claim for minor damage that was already present on the vehicle prior to the inception of cover.
3. Look After Your Car
Even though you now have scratch and dent cover, you should still take care of your car like you always did. Wash it regularly. Be careful when opening doors or maneuvering into tight spots, do not tail gate or overtake in a small gap and try to ensure enough space between you and the next car when parking. Blatant negligence and any sign that you have been extremely reckless in preventing the incursion of damage can lead to your insurer refusing to pay for a claim. Even though you have cover, you should save it for a time when you really need it.
4. Lay A Claim When Necessary
It is is important to understand how scratch and dent cover differs from your car insurance. Should your car sustain minor damage such as a small dent that does not need panel beating, scratches or chips then you can phone your insurer to make a claim. Remember that your claim will only be approved if it is below a threshold limit. Any claim higher than this limit may be rejected. You will need to take your car into a panel beater for a quote. Some scratch and dent insurers will require three quotes from three different panel beaters. Send these quotes to the insurer and if approved, an authorisation number will be issued.
5. Go To The Panel Beater Mentioned
You can only go to the panel beater that was approved at the time of your claim. The panel beater will be forwarded the authorisation by the insurer or you should provide the authorisation number for the panel beater to clarify that they will get paid. Your repair work will be done by the panel beater and your insurer will then pay the panel beater. If an excess is applicable on the claim, you may have to pay it directly to the panel beater unless your insurer states otherwise.