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Hi,

I really need your opinion on my situation. I just bought a used car with hail damage. It has small dents in many parts of the car. However, with its price, I couldn't resist buying it(got it for $7,500 while Black Book Trade-in is $11,400 and the engine is still in great condition!). A few mechanics I took the car to inspect quoted around $1,600-1,800 to fix the dents problem.

I now got a 31-day paper plate to drive around and after that I need to register the car with the DMV. The carfax has yet to show the hail damage in its report (does the dealer have to report that???). My problems are:

1. When I register, will the DMV check and report the hail damage if I don't fix it prior to the registration?
2. If I decide to do nothing, will I have problem with insurance company (deny to insure hail damaged vehicle/ask me to fix it before starting my policy: I am a foreign student and this will be my first car in the US)

What you guys think? Initially, I plan to do nothing with the car since I don't care about how it looks. Now I am not too sure that's the best way to go.

Thanks for all your input.

CJ


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You can insure a damaged car. You just can't file a claim to have the pre-existing damage fixed by your insurance.

I have never once had an insurance agent look at my vehicle before insuring it. The DMV in Colorado doesn't look at the car either...they don't care what it looks like. As long as it passes the emmissions test its fine...other states may be different on inspections though.

I would say you won't have a problem keeping it like that, as long as you don't mind it

Doubt the state DMV will care, but if you are getting more than basic liability insurance, the insurance company very likely will want to take pictures or have it inspected.

You must disclose pre-existing damage to your insurance company.

If you don't, you commit a fraud.

[Q]You must disclose pre-existing damage to your insurance company.


I just signed up with Statefarm last week and was never asked about pre-existing damage.


AAA made me take the car to their office and they took a picture of my care.



DMV in California never looks at your car and does not care about damage.

WhiteGuy said: [Q]DMV in California never looks at your car and does not care about damage.they only care about salvaged titles

valerieobrien said: [Q]I have never once had an insurance agent look at my vehicle before insuring it.

Depends on the company. I know of companies that look at every vehicle.

OP, either you will have the hail damage repaired or you won't.

If you do, do NOT charge the insurance company for it. That's fraud.

If you don't, no issue.

The DMV doesn' care about hail damage. They might care about rust with respect to inspections though, but I don't see hail damage causing that.

StevenColorado said: [Q]OP, either you will have the hail damage repaired or you won't.

If you do, do NOT charge the insurance company for it. That's fraud.

If you don't, no issue.

I'm suspicious that claiming it later could be the OP's plan.


Edit: Forgot to add *sarcasm* tag. ;-P

demingy said: [Q]


I'm suspicious that claiming it later could be the OP's plan.

That's pretty obvious.

If OP puts collision or comp on the car, most states will require that the vehicle be inspected. The states make the ins co inspect the car via a CARCO or similiar inspection site.

i've never had a car need pre-inspection. i just add (progressive) the car and go. new used, whatever. i must have gone through about 10 cars in the last 10 years with them. never had a claim other than windshield star-crack.


If insurance was paid for hail damage, I believe there will be a computer record associated with the VIN somewhere.

Any claim on a car will be on it's record and an insurance company will easily find it when they run a check on the cars VIN#. If you try to file a claim for it you will get "black balled" and have a very difficult time getting anyone to insure you. My Daughter has a car that we only put on the road and insure when she's home from college during the summer. The first Two years they took pictures when it went back on the road and this year they did not. The agent told me they were using a different carrier this year who did not require it while the other required it for all but brand new cars

marketingmike said: [Q]demingy said: [Q]


I'm suspicious that claiming it later could be the OP's plan.

That's pretty obvious.

I would like to thank all of you to share your opinions. Really appreciate them. However, some replies are speechless.

It hurts when someone accuse you of something you do not intend to do. And fraud is such a big accusation.

It may be my fault that I phrase my questions too vaguely hence lead to all these accusations but my only concern when I start the thread is that the insurance company won't insure my car. Remember this is my first car in the US and I am a foreigner. I was just apprehensive.


>> some replies are speechless.

That's pretty funny !

OP --

Buying personal injurty insurance is unrelated to your car having hail damage.
You have to decide whether to buy property coverage, and whether you have taken on liability in case of an accident that the other driver is at fault in.

The mechanic's estimate to repair is not the number you are looking for. Ask a body repair shop how much they will *charge your insurance company* for repair. Subtract this number from whatever value your car insurance company thinks your car without hail damage is worth today (presuming no other defects). This is the 'totaled car' value of your car, and is the maximum property insurance you will recover in an accident.

If it turns out to be a startling low number (and I suspect it might be), the comp/collision premiums may not be a good buy. There is nothing from a practical standpoint you can do now about an at-fault driver's insurance company using this totaled car value to limit their liability towards you.

----
Quite a few years ago, friends took my banged up, but mechanically well-running car out for the day and another driver at fault smashed a light. The 3rd party insuer valued my car at $200 -- not even enough to replace the light at out of pocket rates. I was young and naieve, and took the company to small claims, arguing that all I wanted was the car repaired to a pre-accident *functional* (not esthetic) state, and that I could not find a replacement for $200. I lost.

Sell it on eBay

Of all 4 of my cars that had hail damage, none of them showed up on CarFax.

Each car cost about $2,000 a piece to fix, paid by my insurance.



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