Will car insurance pay for paintless dent removal?

Cheap Insurance fills you in on when paintless dent removal might be covered by insurance.


A worker performing dent repairs on the door of a red car.

Iakovleva Daria // Shutterstock

Dings and dents happen and can be an eyesore for car owners. Whether it's a rogue shopping cart in a parking lot or a surprise hailstorm, these unwelcome marks can put a damper on your car's appearance and potentially affect its resale value. Everyone understands the frustration that comes with car damage. In this article, Cheap Insurance presents the details surrounding paintless dent removal (PDR) and explores how your car insurance policy can help.

Key Takeaways:

  • Car insurance might cover PDR, depending on your policy and cause of damage.
  • Consider deductible vs. repair cost before filing a claim.
  • PDR repairs can indirectly save money by preserving the car's resale value.
  • Opt for certified and experienced PDR technicians.
  • PDR is fast, efficient, and eco-friendly compared to traditional repairs.

What Is Paintless Dent Removal?

Paintless dent removal (PDR) is a technique for restoring minor dents and dings in car body panels without disturbing the original paint job. Skilled technicians have two main approaches.

Metal Massaging. For some dents, technicians use specialized tools to access the backside of the dent. By applying gentle pressure and leveraging their expertise, they can massage the metal back to its original shape.

Glue Pull Tabs. For other dents, particularly those on flatter surfaces, technicians utilize a unique method. They apply a small amount of specialized glue to a specially designed "glue pull tab." The tab is then carefully positioned on the dent. Once the glue cures, a pulling device, often a slide hammer or pulling bar, is attached to the tab. With controlled pulling, the technician carefully manipulates the dent back into place.

Addressing the Main Question

Car dings and dents are a drag, but the good news is that paintless dent removal (PDR) offers a quick and often affordable way to restore your car's smooth look. But the following question remains.

Does Car Insurance Cover Paintless Dent Repair (PDR)?

The answer, like most questions about insurance, is, it depends. But generally, yes, auto insurance can cover PDR.

Insurance companies often prefer PDR because it's a cost effective repair method compared to traditional body shop techniques. This translates to lower repair costs for them, which can benefit you in the long run.

However, coverage can vary depending on your specific policy. Here's where things get a little more nuanced.

Collision vs. Comprehensive Coverage. If you only have liability coverage, PDR won't be covered. You'll need collision coverage or comprehensive coverage for PDR to be a potential option.

Cause of the Damage. Insurance companies are more likely to cover PDR for damage caused by events covered under your policy, like hail storms or vandalism. Dings from minor collisions or unknown causes might require a closer look at your policy details.

When Will Insurance Pay for PDR? (Hail Damage vs. Other Causes)

Let's take a closer look at the specific situations where insurance is more likely to cover PDR costs:

Hail Damage. Hailstorms are a common culprit for car dents, and PDR is often the preferred repair method for insurance companies in these cases. It's a faster and more cost-effective way to address multiple dents compared to traditional bodywork.

Other Covered Events. Depending on your policy, PDR might also be covered for dents caused by vandalism or other events outlined in your comprehensive coverage section in your policy.

Remember, it's always best to consult your car insurance carrier and understand your specific policy details before assuming coverage for PDR. They can advise you on the best course of action for your situation.

Cost Considerations

Now that we know car insurance can potentially cover PDR, let's explore the financial side of things.

Should You File an Insurance Claim for PDR? (Considering Deductible)

Filing an auto insurance claim for PDR isn't always a straightforward decision. Here's why.

Remember, you'll be responsible for paying your deductible before your insurance pays for any repairs on a claim. So, if the PDR repair cost is less than your deductible, filing a claim might not make financial sense.

Filing frequent claims, even for minor repairs, can potentially raise the price of car insurance. Weigh the cost of the PDR repair against the potential increase on your insurance.

Here's a tip. Contact a reputable PDR technician and get an estimate for the repair. If the estimate is lower than your deductible, you might be better off paying out of pocket to avoid a potential premium increase.

Can PDR Repairs Save You Money on Insurance?

While filing a claim for minor PDR might not always be the best financial move, here's an interesting flip side.

Maintaining Your Car's Value. Dents can affect your car's resale value. Keeping your car dent free with PDR can potentially get you a higher price when you sell it. This could indirectly save you money compared to the cost of repairs at the time of sale.

Additional Information

Now that you have a better understanding of insurance coverage and cost considerations for PDR, here's some additional information to help you make an informed decision.

Benefits of Paintless Dent Repair

Fast and Efficient. PDR repairs are typically much faster than traditional body shop methods, often taking just a few hours.

Preserves Original Finish. PDR doesn't involve sanding, repainting, or body fillers. This means your car retains its original factory paint job, which can be crucial for resale value.

Environmentally Friendly. PDR is a green repair option as it doesn't involve harsh chemicals or solvents used in traditional bodywork.

Finding a Reputable PDR Technician

Finding a skilled PDR technician is key to achieving optimal results. Here are some tips.

Look for Certification. Reputable PDR technicians often have certifications from organizations like the National Dent Repair Association (NDRA).

Experience Matters. Ask about the technician's experience, especially with dents similar to yours.

Get Quotes and Reviews. Compare quotes from different PDR technicians and read online reviews to gauge customer experiences.

By considering these factors, you can find a qualified technician to restore your car's smooth look with confidence.

Here's a Quick Recap to Help You Make the Right Choice

Check your insurance policy. Understand your coverage details for PDR, including collision or comprehensive requirements for covering this claim.

Consider the cost. Weigh the PDR repair cost against your deductible and potential premium increase to your auto insurance, for filing a claim.

Benefits of PDR. Consider the advantages of PDR like speed of repair, paint preservation, and environmental friendliness.

Find a qualified technician. Look for certifications, experience, and positive customer reviews.

By following these tips, you can keep your car looking its best, while saving money on repairs, and on your car insurance costs.

This story was produced by CheapInsurance.com and reviewed and distributed by Stacker Media.