What is worse than walking up to the driver’s side of a car and noticing the side-view mirror is smashed?
Regardless of when the damaged mirror is noticed, steps should be taken to get the mirror fixed right away. Repairing a broken side mirror in the proper manner can be costly. Making those repairs is important since the side mirror greatly assists with your safety on the road.
Hopefully, the current auto insurance in place is extensive enough to include coverage for repairing the much-needed mirror, but many drivers wonder if their policy will cover the loss.
How the side mirror was damaged determines whether a particular insurance policy pays for the necessary repair work.
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Damage from a Negligent Driver
If the side mirror was damaged because another driver hit the vehicle, then his/her insurance could cover the loss through liability coverage. The claim would be filed against the at-fault driver’s policy. Of course, the claim should cover all damage inflicted on the car.
Likely, a car hit by another suffers body dents and, possibly, more damage. Along with the side mirror, the entire door or front fender may need to be replaced.
Again, filing a damage claim against the other driver’s policy is required to acquire a settlement. Working with an attorney just might help this process.
Exceptions to this approach do exist.
In the case the at-fault driver does not have insurance, the injured party could file a claim against his/her own insurance policy under uninsured driver coverage.
Granted, this coverage option needs to be in place in order to file a claim.
Comparison shopping often leads to the best deals on auto insurance. With really good deals in place, maximizing insurance coverage becomes both accessible and affordable.
In the no-fault state of Michigan, for example, filing a claim against a negligent driver’s property protection insurance (PPI) coverage is possible if the driver were to hit a legally parked car. This likely would include damage inflicted on the side mirror.
Other Instances of Damage
A side mirror can be damaged in a variety of different ways. A very common way is when a bicyclist rides a little too close to a parked car and clips the mirror breaking it. The odds of this occurring increase at night when visibility is hampered.
Sadly, vandals do cause mischief for no apparent reason. Breaking someone’s mirror for kicks along with slashing car tires are traditional malicious acts.
Side mirrors break even without a human element involved. In winter time, melting ice and hardened snow falls off roofs. The flying ice might shear off a side-view mirror. Really, all sorts of non-collision oriented damage could impact a vehicle in many ways.
Filing a claim for the damage is possible as long as comprehensive insurance coverage is in place.
Comprehensive insurance won’t cover damages in which the car was involved in an actual collision. And, if the driver damaged his/her own car in a collision, claims on the policy would be addressed through collision insurance.
As is the case with uninsured motorist coverage, comprehensive and collision insurance are not mandatory. Drivers need to request this coverage from an insurance company.
As always, effective comparison shopping helps with maximizing insurance coverage in order to get the best deals at the best prices.
The government of Massachusetts has done a good job publishing a nice overview of the type of insurance available to consumers.
Claims, Coverage, and Deductibles
Those unsure of whether or not comprehensive or collision insurance cover specific losses find out in two ways. The first is to contact the insurance company and ask to clarify whether the policy covers a certain instance.
Since most people won’t know whether a specific incident is even going to occur, they are left with the other option.
They need to file a claim and hope the insurance company approves the claim. In certain instances, the claim likely will be approved. Such would be the case when an obviously covered loss incident occurs.
Even when the claim is approved, the issue of the deductible arises. The deductible refers to the out-of-pocket expenses paid by the insured before any collision or comprehensive insurance can be tapped.
When only the glass on the mirror is cracked, the replacement cost is very minimal and well below a deductible’s threshold. Insurance would come into play to pay for such a minor repair.
Most annoying would be a detached side mirror and accompanying door damage. Repair costs of $350, however, end up being below the common $500 or higher deductible. So, insurance would not pay for the repair work.
Properly Fixing the Side Mirror
Patch kits are available to repair a dangling side mirror. Certain kits involve soldering metal and others strictly employ adhesives. A host of caveats exists with employing these do-it-yourself fixes. While less expensive, they may be less reliable.
Why take the risk of the mirror falling off the car while driving and causing an injury or property damage? For safety purposes, taking the vehicle to a body shop for a reliable repair is advised.
Not fixing the damaged mirror would be a bad plan as well.
- The elimination of a side mirror undermines safety on many levels.
- Parking is more difficult without a side mirror.
- The state the driver resides may require the issuance of a traffic citation for driving with a damaged side mirror.
The cost of a ticket plus the cost of repairs can put a proverbial dent in the driver’s wallet.
Pay for the repair work and look for the best insurance deals without delay. Compare car insurance rates today by using our free quote tool below.