Ask the Car Insurance Expert
I was in a minor car accident 3 yrs ago. Someone rear-ended my car. My car insurance gave me a check to fix my car but the damage was very minimal so I did not fix my car. Now I have a hit and run, my passenger side was damaged by someone in a parking lot and I did not see who did it. Will my insurance question why I did not fix my previous damages when I call to report this new damage?
What you did is pretty common: "Cashing out" is when you take claim money but don't do the car repairs. It's your prerogative. And if the first damage to your car didn't impact its safety or structure, it doesn't much matter, in my opinion.
The only reason this would become problematic is if the new damage is in the exact same place as the first damage. Then the insurer will want to try to figure out how much damage was caused by the hit and run. They don't want to pay for the same damage twice.
Here's more on pocketing auto insurance claims cash.