I have written before about MIST cases. These are cases where the insurance company is skeptical, to put it nicely, that anyone is ever injured in these cases. The basic theory: there is not enough damage visible for someone to be hurt.
Well, the LA Times has a story about hidden damage to your car. First, note what the insurance companies say: “Auto insurers say drivers involved in any bump should exchange insurance information and file claims, even if there is no damage. They advise against offers by the bumper to pay for damage to the bumpee without filing an insurance claim. ‘If you don’t report it to your insurer, you are not going to have coverage,’ said Candysse Miller of the Insurance Information Network of California.” This will look familiar to readers of this blog. A few months ago I suggested that you report every claim to your insurance company and let them handle it. Why? Because your insurance policy requires you to report every claim.
Second, the LA Times writes: “Typically, auto makers use plastic bumper covers over a foam-and-steel core. A minor bump may allow the plastic to bounce back but cause the foam to remain deformed. The rule of thumb in the auto body industry is to replace the foam core if it has any deformation, even though it may not be important functionally.
As collision speeds increase, the bumper system’s pistons, crushable cans or deformable brackets may be “stroked” — or compressed — to absorb energy from the crash. If they are stroked, then the rule of thumb is that they must be replaced. And finally, a bump that activates the energy absorbing bumper system above 2.5 miles per hour may also deliver enough wallop to cause minor but important deformation of the body.”
The small impact accident can result in more damage to the car than you can see. Never assume there is no damage to your car. You should always have a shop look at it. And if there is damage to the car, there can be damage to the person inside the car. That is why I recommend having your doctor examine you after an accident.