The Paint on my Fender Isn’t Going To Match the Rest of the Car

Face it. Paint fades over time. Your car sits out in he sun and gets weather-beaten by rain, snow, etc. After a few years, the paint looks OK, but you can tell that it isn’t like it was when the car was brand new.

Then…. you have a little fender bender and your left front fender is crunched. Damage isn’t all that bad, but you need a new headlight and some paint when it’s all done.
Doesn’t matter how good the body shop is at matching the color. Actually most of it is completely computer driven and there’s specific formulas for a given year and make of the car. The body shop can match the paint spot-on PERFECT. That’s NOT your problem though.

The new paint is new and the rest of the paint is not. While it will match perfectly to the color it won’t look the same and you want to paint the rest of the car. You think the insurance company should pay for that.

THEY WON’T. (usually)

Matching paint is not their concern. It’s been round and round in the courts and it’s just not a case you’re going win. There could be an exception if you’re dealing with the insurance company of the AT-FAULT driver who hit your car. I’ll talk about that next.

Sadly the case is that the insurance company is NOT obligated to match the paint on the rest of the car. You might get an adjoining door painted or a little “blending” of some kind, but if you want the paint matched by painting the whole car, you’ll have to pay for the DIFFERENCE yourself.

Take Heart Though! This Could Be An OPPORTUNITY!

You might be able to strike some kind of deal with the body shop to paint the whole car. Remember most of the cost of painting is to set up the job — Masking; mixing the paint, booth time, drying time, etc. That’s all the same if they paint a fender or the whole car.

Make a deal with the body shop OUTSIDE of the insurance deal to paint the rest of the car. You’ll get a better price and you can ethically let the insurance pay for all that set up on THEIR nickle.

When The Accident is the Other Driver’s Fault

If you were hit by someone else and are dealing with THEIR insurance company, AND they have accepted fault for the accident, you might be able to get some consideration for the non-matching paint. NOT MUCH, mind you, but something. This won’t work if the accident was your fault because your car is being repaired under the collision portion of your policy and there’s no provision for a liability-type payment (which this is) in that portion of the policy and the adjuster (even if they want to) CAN’T pay for that for you.

Before you go after this, be sure you get into the head of the adjuster and know WHAT THEY NEED to write you that check by reading: They’re NOT offering me enough for my vehicle.

You’ll need to document the reduced value of your car because of the non-matching paint. It may only be worth a few hundred dollars, but it might be worth your time. Talk to some used car lots or people who sell cars a lot and you’ll get some ideas. You’ll need to get something in writing so you might want to be willing to type something up on their stationery and return to get their signature. Ask them what to say and you’ll be on your way.

Remember the claim settlement gig is a process. Take your time and help the adjuster document their file and you’ll get a better settlement.



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