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Should fender-bender be reported?

by Berta

On June 13, my son backed out of a parking space and scraped the bumper on the next car over. There didn't appear to be any tears, dents or broken pieces, just a scrape. Both parties agreed not to contact ins companies.

The other driver was supposed to send to me an estimate for repair/replacement. Today he sent it, July 10, and it is $600, which includes 12 hours of labor! First of all, I don't believe it should cost that much. The dealership for his car lists a new bumper at $111.00. A car repair website claims a DIY bumper replacement is quite easy.

While I don't expect him to DIY, a car shop shouldn't take 12 hours to complete this task. Secondly, I don't have $600 to pay for this. Can I call ins agent now and explain situation? Would there be a penalty/fine for not reporting this at the time of incident?

Or is this the other driver's problem and I shouldn't do anything at this point?

He didn't call his ins agent, either. I will do the right thing, but it has to be fair. Thank you for your help.

Answer to Should fender-bender be reported?

Hello Berta,

Most likely you do have a clause on your insurance policy that will require you to report claims as soon as you are able. It is defined as within a reasonable time. What is a reasonable time? Sometimes it is the next day, and sometimes it takes time. In your situation, it sounds like this happened recently, so you need to contact your agent and see what your policy says. Chances are you still have coverage.

Now, you pay insurance for a reason, and this is that reason. There is liability here and you do not have the money to pay out of pocket. So you should see if the coverage you pay for will cover you here.

Lastly, $600.00 for a bumper is not that uncommon. Clearly a DYI job is not what is reasonable. Usually, the labor includes taking the old bumper out, checking that there are no broken bolts and harnesses (fix them if any), then putting a new one in, and if it is not a colored bumper, then paint and drying time.

Since you are in disagreement, then having your insurance company involved is a good policy.

Good Luck

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