Ask an Agent
Have a question? We're here to help.
Ask an agent for free
Question

How does my insurance company handle a claim if I hit a car that was already damaged?

I was approaching an intersection when the light was yellow. The car in front of me slammed on their brakes before the light turned red and I lightly tapped their back bumper. I noticed before I hit them that their bumper had already been damaged and I'm worried that they will say that I was the cause of the the dents that were already there. What should I do?

Jul 6, 2017 Upper Marlboro, MD

Answer
Author profile picture

The Zebra

The nation's leading independent insurance comparison site

The Zebra is an independent insurance advisor and quote comparison site with headquarters in Austin, Texas. Utilizing its real-time quote comparison …

After any sort of collision, it's always recommended that you take pictures at the scene. Pictures should be taken of both vehicles, the location of the crash, and the other driver's info and license plate. When your insurance company investigates the crash and assesses the damage on the car that you hit, they will likely be able to tell if there was damage on the vehicle prior to the accident. I would also recommend letting them know about the existing damage when you first give your statement so they can be aware of the details before they begin their investigation.

Ask an Agent
Have a question? We're here to help.
Ask an agent for free

Insurance is complicated, but it doesn't have to be.

The Zebra searches all of the top insurance companies, in one place, so you can compare the cost and coverage you need to protect your car, home and other property.

Step 1: Tell us a little about yourself

Choose an insurance product and enter your zip code to get started.

Step 2: Sip your coffee while we find the best quotes

Enter the necessary information and then sit back while we find quotes from 100 top insurance carriers.

Icon Fill Form

Step 3: Compare your quotes

Compare quotes side-by-side to find the right match for you, whether it's home, auto, or more.

Icon Agent

Step 4: Let our agents do the hard work for you

Once you pick your policy, our agents are here to get you over the finish line. Then just relax and enjoy your savings.

Compare insurance rates today!

Location pin icon
No junk mail. No spam calls. Free quotes.

Related Questions

Other people are also asking...

Will my rates increase if I hit a fence?

If you have liability coverage on your vehicle, which your state requires, the damage will be covered. However, if you file a claim you will most likely suffer a rate increase for what your car insurance company would consider an at-fault accident. In California in 2017, the average rate increase a…
Apr 21, 2018 Modesto, CA

If my car was hit by a family member, can I claim the damage with my insurance company to help them avoid a higher rate?

You could claim the damage as a hit-and-run, but that's technically not what happened so I would avoid lying to your insurance company. I would recommend getting a repair estimate first so you can factor that into your decision. The only way to avoid causing an increase to your family member&#…
Nov 20, 2016 Sacramento, CA

If my car was damaged in a car wash, who pays for the repair?

The answer to your question will depend completely on the specifics of how the damage occurred. The gas station will pay for the damage if: If your vehicle was not moving and the brushes or moving parts of the car wash damaged your vehicle then the liability would be on the owner of the wash. …
Aug 3, 2018 Bloomington, MN

Will my rate go up if I file a claim for a damaged side mirror?

Put simply, any time you file a claim, there is usually a rate increase. Since you don't know who it is that hit you, you would have to go through your coverage. Glass claims fall under a comprehensive claim, which tends to be small. However, even small claims can lead to a rate increase.I rec…
Jun 18, 2019 Houston, TX