I’m working on answering the questions from the last post; if there’s anything you’re wondering about me, make sure to ask! I’ll post answers on Friday (gives me time to get a good shot of my hair for FB).
So now I have a somewhat ethical dilemma that I’d like some input on.
Chad got sideswiped, and there’s cosmetic damage across the whole right side of my car. The guy who hit him was really nice about and has already cut us a check for the repair cost. We didn’t even use insurance companies since his deductible is more than the repair would have cost.
The problem is that one door on that side was already damaged – the panel was dented and there’s some lost paint. We were lucky that the 2 sets of damage are very distinct from each other; there was no confusing which damage came from which accident.
The problem is that the older damage is very expensive to repair since it involves dents & not just paint. We don’t have the money set aside to repair it since it was really just cosmetic and doesn’t affect the operation of the car in any way.
My question, then, is about the ethics of not repairing the new damage. The body shop guy said there was no point repainting over the preexisting dents, so we’d have to either get both fixed or neither. I have enough money in my emergency fund to cover the cost of the repairs, of course, but I don’t know if I want to – the appearance of my car is not an issue for me.
My feeling is that it’s not ethically wrong to put off the repairs. The guy who hit the car did the same amount of damage whether we repair it or not. Since we didn’t go through our insurance companies, there’s no fraud (although I’m not sure how well this hold up if we get hit on that side again).
I’ve put the money into a newly created Auto account since it doesn’t seem right to absorb it as income. Does this make my decision better or worse?
What would you do?