High Deductible? What Are Your Repair Options?

If your vehicle has recently been damaged in a collision, you may have already rounded up some repair estimates in anticipation of turning in the claim to your insurance company. However, if you have a relatively high deductible, you could find yourself faced with the prospect of paying entirely out of pocket for the repair or paying the full amount of your deductible and taking the risk of a rate hike for just a few hundred dollars in covered repairs. What can you do to lower the amount you'll need to pay to have your vehicle restored to its original glory? Read on to get more info about your options when you have a high deductible.

Shop around -- and offer cash

Even if you've already gotten a couple of quotes for insurance purposes, you may want to revisit these shops -- and some others -- and offer cash payment. Often, avoiding the hassle of negotiating with insurance companies for payment can be enough to drop a sizable percentage from the total. And if you reside in an area with a high cost of living, you may want to drive out into the less-expensive surrounding areas to get a lower quote.

Look into paintless options

Many smaller dents and dings can easily be repaired through the paintless dent repair process. Because the auto body shop won't need to go to the trouble and expense of matching your paint color and creating a seamless appearance, you'll pay much less for this type of repair than for a new quarter panel and paint job. In some cases involving large or complex dents, the paintless dent repair process could leave a small ripple or wave, but this minor imperfection may be preferable to paying a much higher amount for a new panel.

Check out the scrap yard

If your repair involves a new headlight, bumper, windshield, or other commonly-replaced part, you may have some luck in the used market. Many vehicles are sent to scrapyards largely intact, and if you find a vehicle that matches yours in make and model, you'll likely be able to pick up most of the parts you need for a steep discount. Even if you're not up to the challenge of hunting for these bargains in a physical scrapyard, you may be able to search an online database of scrap parts in your area to get an idea of the prices you can expect.