Major Damage vs Minor Damage
At Island Color, we are frequently asked the difference between “minor collision damage” and “major collision damage”. Here’s the breakdown.
Island Color has been doing small collision repair for Southern Vancouver Island motorists for decades – one question we get a lot is, “what defines minor collision damage from major?” This question can be answered in many different ways, and can make the difference between investing in a repair now, waiting a while, or scrapping the vehicle altogether.
Here is a link for small collision repair at Island Color.
Minor damage can be fixed quickly and for relatively little expense – the cost of repair will often be less than your insurance deductible, so it might be in your best interest to forgo an insurance claim. For more serious damage, it is probably worth it to make an insurance claim, as repair costs could total many thousands of dollars. In extreme cases, the repair costs are larger than the value of the car, and aren’t worth it (this is what it means for a car to be “totalled”)
The major question that auto body professionals will ask is, “can the vehicle be driven safely without these repairs?”
We all know that a vehicle can be driven safely with scratched paint, or a scuffed bumper. The only repairs that absolutely need to be done are those to fix problems that threaten the function of your vehicle. Generally speaking, safety related and mechanical repairs fall into the “major repair” category. This could include damage that interferes with airbags, broken windows or lights, or the inability to close doors.
While minor damage doesn’t necessarily pose an immediate threat to your safety, neglected minor damage can snowball into major problems. It’s always worth getting damage repaired so that it doesn’t get worse. When damage happens, the least expensive option is always to deal with it immediately.
The Tools of the Trade Make All the Difference
Another way to break down the difference between major and minor damage is to consider the equipment that is required to conduct the repair. All shops have professional quality tools, but if a job requires heavy-duty hydraulic equipment, you can bet that the technician is dealing with more than a scuffed bumper.
That being said, even minor repairs benefit from the use of professional tools and products that aren’t available to most consumers. Tooling is a major reason why it makes sense to come to the pros for your repairs. We’ve seen too many botched DIY repairs that ended up costing the client much more to repair the repair than it would have if they’d just brought the vehicle to us in the first place.
How Does Insurance Factor in?
After any kind of accident, big or small, many people’s first instinct is to immediately call up their insurance providers. If the damage is significant, then it’s definitely worth contacting your insurance.
Unfortunately, what many people don’t consider is that the cost of minor repairs (think parking lot fender bender, not high speed crash) can actually be lower than the deductible on their insurance policy. In this scenario, not only would skipping the insurance claim lower your out-of-pocket expense, but you also wouldn’t have to worry about an increase to your premiums.
When in Doubt, Ask the Experts
At Island Color, we want to make the repair process as easy for you as possible. Simply snap a photo of the damage with your phone and send it to us – we’ll respond with a quote or follow up questions to get you back on the road as soon as we can.