Many people make claims for automobile accident damage, then never actually have the car repaired. If you're considering not repairing your car, and keeping the money, there's a few things you will have to consider.
Have You Reported the Accident Yet?
Some people will skip filing a claim altogether if they can comfortably afford a small repair out of pocket. It won't affect your insurance, and you won't have to go through the claim process.
Of course, this can only work if you're in an accident with another driver who agrees not to file a claim, or not to mention your vehicle. Otherwise, you will have to file the claim, and consider repairs.
Do You Need the Repair?
If your car actually needs the repair, then you should have it done. Bring your car in for an estimate and speak to the mechanic about the ramifications of not completing the repair.
If it's purely cosmetic damage, then it's possible you really don't need the repair. If you're comfortable with driving around with the car not looking its best, then you're free to do so.
Do You Want to Keep Your Coverage?
Collision and comprehensive coverage can lapse if you don't make the repair and submit proof. Typically, the insurance company will not let you renew the coverage if you don't have the repair completed. So you will have to shop for another insurance company to cover that aspect of your insurance. Or, you can wait and have repairs done later.
Different carriers have different policies regarding your timeframe for repairs. But you can usually wait, do it later, then reinstate your collision and comprehensive coverage at that time.
Are You Still Paying for the Vehicle?
If there's a lender involved, then chances are you absolutely must have the repairs completed. When you're still paying back a loan for a vehicle, you don't yet fully own that vehicle. Your lender wants the vehicle in good condition, and they want you to maintain all the coverage they require of you.
Check Your Insurance Company's Policy as Well
You should look into your insurance company's policy on repairs after you make a claim. They're all a little different. For example, if you own the vehicle and the insurance company cuts you a check, they might not care what you do with the money. Another insurance company may care a great deal.
Usually, it's a good idea to have your car repaired by an auto repair service. You pay for your coverage for this very reason. You might as well take advantage of it. It's up to you what you do, but bring your car in for an estimate, speak to the mechanic, then decide from there. For more information, contact a business such as Turnersville Transmission Center.