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Door ding | Should I file an insurance claim?

by Don

On a windy day I got out of my vehicle and reached in to get my jacket. The wind came up and pushed the door open further and dinged the car next to me.

I tracked down the owner and he went to get an estimates. The lowest was $700 to repair and repaint the door. How do I proceed? I have been told that if it is less than $1000 I should just pay it out of pocket versus risk the increase in my insurance rates by turning it in to my insurance provider.

Is it best to contact the auto body shop and agree to pay them or get a cashiers check for the estimate amount to give to the owner?

How do I get a liability release so he doesn't end up turning it into my insurance company after that or come back wanting more money?


Hello Don,

Well, you have two questions here:

1. Should you file; and
2. if you don’t file, how do you protect yourself by settling the claim

First, the answer really is up to you. The rates could go up, but usually on lower amount claims like this one, they do not increase significantly ($1 or $2 per month). Something like that would not really have that much of an impact. This is of course depending on your claim history and also in your driving record. If this is your first claim and have a clean record, then making a claim is not a bad idea. For more information on this very subject, please see this article:

Second, if you don’t file but decide to take care of things yourself, then your instinct is correct. You will have to prepare document were there is a release of all claims against you. Usually, you pay with a cashier check or cash at the same time the person signs. If you do not know how to prepare this document, then you will have to talk to an attorney (will probably charge $75 to $200 to draft one for you). Maybe another reason why you need to get your insurance company involved.

I hope this helps,

Good Luck

Comments for Door ding | Should I file an insurance claim?

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Sep 27, 2011
Nice People
by: Anonymous

Don, I wish you had dinged the door of my one month old Suburu instead of whoever did. The estimate to fix my door is $570 and I am stuck with the bill for some other yea-whos actions.

Thanks for being a nice person!!

Sep 04, 2011
Good for you
by: ABS

Don - I'm sorry I don't have an answer to your question, as I'm no insurance expert. I just wanted to tell you that it's nice to see someone honest enough to actually report a door ding. Too many people damage other people's things without a second thought, but you really did the right thing to track down the owner.

I'm glad there are good folks like you out there.

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