Most people file an auto insurance claim every time they are involved in a car accident. While it's the normal thing to do, there are some instances when you don't want to file. Here are a few examples of when you shouldn't file an auto insurance claim.
1. When you won't receive much more than your deductible
Let's say that you side-swiped a tree. You get a quote on the repairs and it comes to $300. Your deductible is $250. After you pay your deductible, that leaves you with $50 from your insurance company. Filing a claim chances your rates going up, or your rates going up the next time if you have accident forgiveness. If your repair costs are less than your deductible, you definitely don't want to file. Sometimes people don't even notice they aren't receiving anything until after, leaving them in the hole with their insurance company. If your repairs are $300 and you have a $500 deductible, you'd be paying your insurance company $200 for processing your claim.
2. You already have claims or moving violations filed
Imagine you were in a serious accident last year that you had to file with insurance. Now you hit that tree. You definitely don't want to file a claim unless you have seriously damaged your car and you need the insurance money to pay for it. Having too many black marks on your record will most likely raise your insurance rates.
3. Someone else caused the accident
When you're in an auto accident, the person who caused the accident is required to pay for the damages. Unless the other driver is uninsured and you have uninsured motorist coverage, you don't want to file a claim. Let the other person file the claim. Their insurance will cover the costs and you won't have to worry about your payments skyrocketing because of the accident.
However, some states require both parties to file a claim. Check with your state laws before you opt out of filing with your insurance company. If it's required, you don't want to chance not receiving your money because you didn't file. You should also file if you were injured in your accident. This way, your insurance company has your injury on record if you decide to file a personal injury claim later on.
Filing an auto insurance claim is generally the responsible and standard thing to do. However, if you aren't getting much out of filing a claim, it's not worth the hassle or the chance of your insurance rates rising. If you can avoid filing a claim, opt out of it until it's absolutely necessary. For more information about the process, contact a company like Ed Ramming Insurance Agency Inc.