Owning a Car: What Newbies Need to Know

Self Pay Vs. Insurance Pay

by Avery Ellis

Paying for automotive collision repair can cause even the toughest among us to sweat. Insurance deductibles can be burdensome, and are nothing when compared to the increase in premiums any policy-holder faces after reporting an accident they are liable for. On the flip side of the coin collision repair isn't inexpensive, and paying out of pocket can be difficult too. What does one do? Self pay, or file an insurance claim? 

What's Covered? 

All policies exist with a common goal: Getting you back on the road. This does not mean they are all created equal. 

When you file an insurance claim for a vehicle that has been involved in a collision you should know what can be covered. Read your policy carefully. Is there comprehensive coverage? Collision coverage? Liability coverage? Does your policy include towing, or rental car coverage? Does enough coverage exist to pay for OEM parts, or will you be forced by your insurance company to accept aftermarket and used parts? 


Most insurance policies have a deductible. The higher the deductible, the lower the monthly premium. The more accidents reported on a policy, the higher the premium. What is a deductible for, and can you get away with not paying it? 

The deductible puts your skin in the game. The idea is that you will consider the expense of collision repair before engaging in risky driving behaviors. It is unavoidable, and asking your local auto body shop to waive it is insurance fraud. If a deductible exists you WILL be paying something. 

Self Pay

Choosing to pay for work at an auto body shop, such as Central Ave Auto Body, is a serious decision. In some cases though the immediate expenditure to repair the vehicle out of pocket can be offset by long-term savings. The increase of an insurance premium combined with the deductible are your primary long-term financial considerations. 

You should know that there are a variety of ways in which body shops can trim costs in order to get you back on the road. They can make use of used parts from a recycler, or aftermarket parts of like kind and quality. They can use less expensive refinishing materials, and cut costs by refinishing with butt blends. As the paying customer the ball is in your court. You call all the shots. Whether money is a consideration or not. 

You are empowered with the information necessary to get your family's car back on the road, and still have some change left over for gas.