Only some types of auto insurance cover pre-existing damage

Sheen Panel Service on 11 June 2019

It can be a bit of a worry if you want to take out car insurance, but your vehicle has dents, scratches or other pre-existing damage. You may wonder if you're eligible for any auto insurance at all. 

The good news is that you can still insure a damaged car. However, you may encounter challenges trying to get physical damage protection and be unable to buy comprehensive car insurance.

Here's what you need to know about insuring a car with pre-existing damage so you can protect it (and yourself) from future accidents.

Confused about car insurance? At Sheen Panel Service, we work with insurers to get people back on the road. If you want to take the stress out of choosing an insurance policy, call Sheen first on 1300 REPAIR.

Understand your options

woman in distress wondering can you insure a damaged car

It may seem unfair to you that no one is keen to insure your perfectly functional but superficially damaged car. However, look at it from the insurer's perspective. They will be understandably concerned about the potential for a future-filed claim to include the prior damage or associate the previous damage to your vehicle with high-risk driving.

  • In most cases, you will still be able to take out third party property damage cover, provided your car is roadworthy and registered. The prior damage to your vehicle will not nullify any future car insurance claims.

  • Comprehensive cover may be trickier to come by as insurers may be wary of providing physical damage coverage for a vehicle with prior damage. Again, this is about them preventing insurance fraud.

Always disclose the pre-existing damage and don't try to hide it from your insurance carrier. Provided the damage is superficial and not significant, you may still be able to get physical damage coverage so long as it's easy for them to identify which damages are new and which damages are old in the event of an accident.

Shop around

If the damage is significant, rather than superficial, keep in mind that you will not be able to get any insurance for the prior damage.

What to think about

  • If you are buying a new car, you may want to actually knock off the cost of repairs from the vehicle, and then insure it from there.

  • Each car insurance policy will offer varying levels of cover depending on the type of policy you are purchasing, and your Certificate of Insurance will show the amount of excess you have to pay in the event of an incident.

  • Always review your car insurance PDS to ensure you get the best out of your insurance policy - whether your vehicle has pre-existing damage or not.

Consider smash repairs

will auto insurance cover pre existing damage

It may seem like an obvious 'fix', but sometimes the easiest way to avoid the issue of finding auto insurance for a car with pre-existing damage is to get the dents, scratches or scuffs repaired at your local panel beating shop

It makes good financial sense to get the damage assessed and repaired by a reputable panel beater before throwing in the towel and settling for a lower grade of insurance than you would like. Then, you're able to decide if you want to get repairs done and insure based on the repaired value of your car.

It not only ensures you get about on the road more easily, it gets you more bang for your buck in terms of insurance and gets your pride and joy looking, well, like something to be proud of and take delight in again.

At Sheen Panel Service, we have 26 locations across Victoria for expert smash repairs and panel beating services. We know how to fix pre-existing damage to an insurance-approved standard and can give you insider tips on how to make dealing with your insurer as painless as possible, even assisting you through their claims process.

If you have any questions at all about pre-existing vehicle damage or car insurance policies, call Sheen first on 1300 REPAIR and talk to a real person straight away.