Auto accidents unfortunately can occur anytime and anywhere. Obviously, this is reason why it is important to have the right kind of protective car insurance. But sometimes, filing an auto claim is not the best thing to do.
Here’s an example.
A woman drove through an intersection at prime time. Suddenly, she saw a car approaching. It barely made a scratch to her automobile. Nonetheless, it made the otherwise perfect exterior less than perfect.
Naturally, she wanted compensation. The other driver wanted to discuss how he could pay out of the pocket and avoid an auto insurance claim. Being that it involved minor damage, she agreed to this mode of compensation, assuring the at-fault driver she would not notify her insurance company.
The other driver knew that the deductible alone was about the same as the total repair costs to the car he had scratched. He also was aware that by filing an auto claim, his rates would likely go up. Negotiating with the other driver to pay for damages without the involvement of the insurance companies would guarantee his premium would not be affected by the mishap.
Most would agree that this was a smart move.
In the majority of cases like the one above, it is far better to ship out payment to fix damages than report the incident to the insurance company.
Here is the inside story of what happens when the insurance company gets involved.
Insurance companies utilize complex calculations to figure what rate you should pay for your auto insurance.
Of the many involved aspects, multiple claim filings can make your premiums increase. In fact, even filing a claim the wrong way may cause your rates to go up or cancelled — not to mention if you’ve accumulated violations on your driving record!
Of note as well is the fact that even a simple conversation about an accident even if you do not end up filing a claim may cause your rates to go up. Many insurance obligate their employees to report a potential claim.
So, if you are involved in an episode like the one in the beginning of this article, you might want to consider follow the order of things there and just pay up front without involving the insurance company.
Of course, there is always the risk that the other driver may discover further damages or even resulting injuries later on. Without a timely claim submission, there’s a good chance you will not be covered for any resulting lawsuits.
Bottom line: if you are sure this is a minor matter, it may be in your best interest to go at it alone. If you have any doubt about it, the experts advise you to call your insurance company!
An experienced independent agency will be able to explain the matter in more detail.