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Can You Guess The Real Cost of a Fender Bender?

Crunch. Uh-oh… it’s the unmistakable sound of a fender-bender.

When a car rear-ends you in a parking lot, there’s a lot that races through your mind… including, “How much is this going to cost?”

Unfortunately, with today’s high-tech cars, a minor impact doesn’t always mean minor damage. That bumper may look like just another piece of plastic… but the real price of repairing or replacing it might be more than you think.

Discover great rates from local people who care. Get a free auto quote now.

How much does it cost to get a bumper fixed?

According to Consumer Insurance Report, repairing a front bumper can cost anywhere between $50 to $2,000, depending on the amount of damage.

A 2018 IIHS study found that rear autobrake technology can stop some common fender-bender collisions before they happen (for example, reversing into a pole). But rear autobrake is still fairly rare – it’s offered as an option in only 5 percent of new cars, and standard in less than 1 percent.

And of course, rear autobrake probably won’t help if your car is parked and someone else backs into your bumper.

Today’s bumpers, now equipped with crash avoidance or smart technology, can contain sensors, cameras, wiring and even air intakes. An accident at less than 10 mph is enough to put a dent in any one of those high-tech features.

Even a small fender bender could damage your car’s frame or engine. That means you could be looking at thousands of dollars in parts alone. After paint and labor costs, that number can skyrocket.

The numbers may look scary – but a little preparation and know-how can give you peace of mind. If you are in a minor accident, here are a few things to think about:

3 Tips for a Stress-Free Fender Bender

  1. Know your vehicle’s features. Before an accident happens – do you know what a fender bender in your vehicle could cost? New safety features like adaptive cruise control and backup cameras are great – in fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration now requires all new cars to have backup cameras – but their complex parts could make for more expensive repairs. Understanding your vehicle’s features can help you know what to expect, should your car take a dent.
  2. Look below the surface. After a minor impact, the damage to your vehicle could look like it’s limited to a few dents or scratches. But larger problems may be hiding behind the bumper cover. It’s a good idea to have your car inspected by a qualified mechanic or repair facility to determine the true extent of the damage
  3. Make sure you’re covered. Not all auto insurance policies are created equal. Knowing the ins and outs of your insurance policy will help you determine if your accident is covered, and how much you’ll need to pay out of pocket. (Want a quick primer? Learn more about these 5 common auto insurance coverages and how they might kick in after an accident.)

At Erie Insurance, our local insurance agents can help you find the right auto insurance that fits your life and your budget. And if something bad ever happens, our priority is to do right by you and get you back on the road, quickly and kindly. Learn more about auto insurance or get a free quote.

ERIE® insurance products and services are provided by one or more of the following insurers: Erie Insurance Exchange, Erie Insurance Company, Erie Insurance Property & Casualty Company, Flagship City Insurance Company and Erie Family Life Insurance Company (home offices: Erie, Pennsylvania) or Erie Insurance Company of New York (home office: Rochester, New York).  The companies within the Erie Insurance Group are not licensed to operate in all states. Refer to the company licensure and states of operation information.

The insurance products and rates, if applicable, described in this blog are in effect as of July 2022 and may be changed at any time. 

Insurance products are subject to terms, conditions and exclusions not described in this blog. The policy contains the specific details of the coverages, terms, conditions and exclusions. 

The insurance products and services described in this blog are not offered in all states.  ERIE life insurance and annuity products are not available in New York.  ERIE Medicare supplement products are not available in the District of Columbia or New York.  ERIE long term care products are not available in the District of Columbia and New York. 

Eligibility will be determined at the time of application based upon applicable underwriting guidelines and rules in effect at that time.

Your ERIE agent can offer you practical guidance and answer questions you may have before you buy.