Four Cases In Which You Should File A Car Insurance Claim
People don't always file auto insurance claims for fear that numerous claims may raise their rates. However, there are a few situations where you shouldn't waste time debating the merits of filing a claim and file one right away. Here are a few examples of such situations:
The Damage Is Expensive
You should definitely file a claim if the damage is expensive because that is why you have insurance in the first place. After all, there is a limit to how much your rates can rise. For example, for a $3,000 accident that doesn't involve injury, your rates are unlikely to go up by more than $600 a year. This means using your personal funds for an expensive repair, which may end up causing you more money (in terms of the potential claim settlement) than you can save by avoiding the claim.
You Suspect Hidden Damage
It's normal to avoid making a small claim, especially if it's a straightforward repair that the mechanic can easily fix. However, you should file a claim every time you suspect hidden damage because they may prove too costly in the long run. After all, you don't have forever to file your claim. If you decide not to file a claim and later change your mind when you discover hidden damage, you may be out of luck if the time limit for filing the claim has expired. Apart from that, the longer you wait to file your claim, the more difficult it will be to prove, and this can stir up suspicion of insurance fraud.
The Accident Involves another Car
Approximately 70% of car accidents involve other cars. You need to file a claim every time you are involved in a serious car accident that involves another car. This is because you and the other driver might not be the best judges of liability. You may assume that the other motorist is responsible for the accident only to have them suing you for damages later on. The best way to protect yourself and your car insurance company is to file a claim and let your respective insurance companies sort out the issue.
You Don't Have Money for the Repairs
Lastly, it makes sense to file a claim if you don't have money for the repairs. This is true even if the damages are moderate because filing a claim may not be as dangerous as driving around with a damaged car (that can cause further accidents) or parking your car (where you may use more money for alternative means of transport).