Vehicle accidents are frequently surprising and distressing. When the dust clears, you’ll want to consider whether to file a car insurance claim. Filing a claim isn’t always required or advantageous, and it can sometimes raise your vehicle insurance prices. Here’s when you should file a claim and when not to file an auto insurance claim.
What to know about auto insurance claims
When you’re in an accident, the first thing you should do is make sure no one is hurt. Safety first! Call for medical help if needed.
Then, look at the cars. Evaluate the damage to see whether you need to make a claim. If you intend to submit a claim, file a police report to document what happened. In most cases, you’ll need to call your own insurance company, but if the other driver is at fault you may file a claim with their insurance company. The insurance companies will open an investigation to assess the validity of your claim. If they determine it to be valid, they may compensate you for your losses.
Does filing a claim increase your auto insurance?
Filing a car insurance claim may increase your insurance premiums. The difference in premium depends on several factors. The type of car you drive, your age, and your location could affect your insurance premiums.
Whether the accident was your fault
One of the most important considerations is whether you were responsible for the collision. Your rates are more likely to rise if you were at fault, though they can still increase if you were not at fault. Filing a claim can increase your auto insurance rates because insurance companies consider drivers at fault to be riskier drivers.
Not all accidents are black and white when it comes to fault. Insurance companies will investigate accidents to determine who was at fault, and sometimes they may find that both drivers share some of the blame. In these cases, the insurance companies may split the cost of the damages and adjust the premiums of both drivers accordingly.
The severity of the accident
The severity of the accident is also a significant factor. If there were injuries or significant damage to the cars involved, your premiums are likely to go up more than if the accident was a minor fender bender.
Your driving record
Another aspect that might impact your insurance prices is your driving record. Your premiums may be higher if you have a history of accidents or traffic offenses.
Insurance companies use a mix of criteria to establish your risk level and compute your rates, so keep this in mind when determining whether to submit an auto insurance claim.
Should I file an auto insurance claim?
Here are some scenarios in which it is generally a good idea to file an auto insurance claim:
Your car needs major repairs
If the damage to your automobile is severe and requires costly repairs, making a claim is often the best option. The point of having insurance is to cover unexpected repairs like a major car accident.
You’ve damaged another person’s car
If you cause damage to someone else’s automobile, submitting a claim is the proper course of action to recover losses. Your collision coverage should cover repairs and possibly loss of use of the car.
Someone has been injured in the accident
Whenever someone is hurt in an accident, submitting a claim can help cover medical bills. Insurance has a medical payment allowance in case of injury.
Scenarios where you might not need to file an auto insurance claim
Here are some scenarios where you might not need to file an auto insurance claim:
If the damage to your automobile is modest and does not affect its operation, filing a claim may not be worthwhile.
The cost of repair is less than your deductible
So what if the damage is less than the deductible? If the cost of the repair is less than your deductible, paying for the repairs out of pocket may be more cost-effective than making a claim. You wouldn’t get coverage to pay for repairs, and your insurance premium would likely go up in the process.
How long do I have to file an insurance claim?
Make an insurance claim as soon as possible following an accident. Each insurance company has various deadlines for filing claims, so it’s wise to check with your insurer to find out when to file your auto insurance claim.
Decide Between Insurance Claim Vs. Paying Out Of Pocket
Submitting a car insurance claim can be a complicated decision that is not always required or advantageous. After an accident, attend to any medical concerns and then assess the amount and source of the injuries or bodily harm before making a decision. Even if the accident is not your fault, your premium rates could go up.
If you decide to file a claim, file a police report, and call the insurance company as soon as possible. Bear in mind that your insurance premium may change.
Do I have to file a claim after an accident?
You are not compelled by law to submit an insurance claim following an accident, but it is typically a good idea to obtain the money you need to cover the losses.
Should I file a claim with my auto insurance or theirs?
You should make a claim with your insurance carrier if you are liable for the damage. If the other driver is to blame, submit a claim with their insurance carrier.
Should I file an insurance claim for bumper damage?
It depends on the severity of the damage and the cost of repairs. If the damage is minor and the cost of repairs is less than your deductible, it may be more cost-effective to pay for the repairs out of pocket instead of filing a claim.