Side mirror damage is usually fairly minor, and it is one of the easiest and cheapest types of damage to repair. But that doesn’t make it any less frustrating, especially if you’re on a tight budget. Whether or not you should file a claim is based on several different factors. It depends on how the side mirror was broken, what type of coverage you have, and how large your deductible is.
The first steps you should take when your side mirror is broken depends on how it happened. If someone hit your car while it was parked or on the road resulting in the damage to your side mirror, the first thing you will need to do is file a police report. You will also need to file a police report if the side mirror was damaged by vandalism. The police report is usually required to get the insurance company to pay the claim. If your side mirror was broken by other means, such as a storm or other “act of God” then you don’t need to file a report.
When Someone Hits Your Parked Car
If someone hits your parked car and breaks your side mirror, their insurance is responsible for paying for the damage. But what do you do when it’s a hit and run? Often if your car is parked on the street or in a parking lot and someone clips your mirror, they don’t bother to wait around for you to come out and get their information.
If someone does a hit and run, either you or your insurance will be footing the bill. Your car insurance will pay for the side mirror damage if you carry uninsured motorist coverage and file a police report. If you do not have uninsured motorist coverage you will have to pay for the repairs yourself.
When a Vandal Destroys Your Mirror
If your side mirror damage was due to a vandal, such as someone coming along the street with a baseball bat, you will need a different type of coverage to have it paid for by insurance. This type of damage is covered by comprehensive coverage. Comprehensive coverage is not available from all companies, and it is sometimes not automatically included in your policy unless you ask for it.
Natural Disaster or Act of God
If your side mirror was damaged by a storm falling a tree limb or other such causes of nature, you will also be covered for the damage if you have comprehensive coverage. If you do not have comprehensive coverage then this damage to your side mirror will not be covered by insurance.
Deciding When to File a Claim
One of the biggest factors in deciding to file a claim on your own insurance is the deductible. Side mirror damage is usually one of the most inexpensive repairs you could face. If your repair cost is less than your deductible there is no sense in filing a claim. If your repair cost is about the same as your deductible or only slightly higher than the deductible, it may be worth it to pay for the repair yourself.
Remember that any time you file a claim with your insurance company it counts against you. It really doesn’t matter who or what caused the damage. The number of claims you have on your policy can drastically affect your rates, especially if you have numerous claims. Therefore, if you can pay for the damage yourself reasonably, it makes sense not to file a claim if you don’t have to.
If the damage was the fault of another driver and you got that driver’s information, you can go ahead and file a claim with your insurance if you have collision coverage. In this instance, your insurance company will go ahead and cover the repairs of your side mirror while they get reimbursement from the liable party’s insurance carrier. Whether or not your deductible comes into play with this type of claim depends on your policy and insurance carrier.
The Bottom Line
If you have damage to your side mirror, it may or may not be covered by insurance. It really depends on what type of coverage you have. If you only have the state-required minimum coverage, you probably do not have comprehensive coverage. Depending on the state you may have uninsured motorist coverage with the minimum required insurance policy.
Consider carefully before you file a claim for your broken side mirror. Review your policy and what types of coverage you have, and determine your deductible. Get a repair quote from at least one local body shop so that you have a clear understanding of the benefits or downsides to filing a claim with your insurance company.