Auto Insurance Claim

As has been explained previously on this blog, insurance is not entirely about you. Yes, your driving record has an impact, as well as where you live, your age, and other factors. However, what insurance is really about is the Other Guy. Let’s face it, Florida drivers are the reason that Floridians originally went for a no-fault insurance scheme – you have to admit that the statistics just from the first few months of this year are gruesome. So, in the event you meet up with the “Other Guy” – or you are the “Other Guy” – when do you need to file a claim and when should you just pass?

When Not to File an Auto Insurance Claim

1. When it’s just you. If the accident involves just you and your car, then there is no need to file a claim. For instance, if you should back into something and damage your rear bumper, simply pay to have it fixed yourself. If you have collision coverage, you could file a claim for damage exceeding your deductible. If you don’t have collision coverage, your insurance will not cover this kind of damage in any case. You should, by all means, file a claim if your car has damaged someone else’s vehicle or their personal property. In fact, failing to file a claim if you have damaged someone else’s property may be a criminal offense.

2. When the damage from the accident is less than your deductible. Even in a two-party accident, there are times when the damage is not very serious. For instance, if you have a $2000 deductible on your collision insurance, but the damage is $900, filing an insurance claim will not magically cover the damages and could even hike your premiums.

3. If the difference between covered and uncovered is not that great. If you have a $1000 deductible, and the damage to the vehicle is $1100, it can be tempting to get that extra hundred dollars in your pocket. However, filing a claim for that extra hundred dollars could cost you much more than that in future premium hikes.

4. If reporting the damage could seriously raise your rates. Depending on your driving history and claims history, your insurance company could opt to hike your premiums significantly if you are filing repeat claims within a short period of time. These rate hikes can last as long as five years, though rates can come down in that time, but only if no further claims are filed.

Independent Advice is the Best Advice

Working with an independent insurance agent ensures that you get the best advice, and can craft best possible coverage for your individual circumstances. E&L have independent agents waiting to talk to you about getting your best coverage at the best possible price. We have lots of tips to bring down premiums on all your insurance needs and can explain all policies to you so that you understand them. Get in touch today and find out what real independence means.