Your Guide To Property Insurance

To File Or Not To File: Knowing When To File An Auto Insurance Claim

You pay for car insurance so that you'll have financial help for unforeseen events; accidents, vandalism, theft, and more, and those insurance premiums are well worth it when you're involved in an accident.  There are a few situations, however, when you might choose not to file a claim.  Take these tips into consideration before you make a decision on filing a claim.

Are There Injuries?

If you've been involved in an accident where someone has been injured, you should always file a claim.  This is true whether the injured person is in your car or in another car involved in the accident.  Regardless of whether you are at fault in the accident, your insurance company can help make sure medical bills are paid, as well as step in if there is an injury lawsuit against you.  An injured person can seek damages up until the statute of limitations expires, but your insurance company may require you to file within a shorter time frame. Make sure your insurance company can give you the help you need by filing as soon as possible after the accident.  

Is It Over the Deductible?

Consider your deductible, and how much it will cost to repair the damage yourself.  A claim that is below the deductible won't even be processed, but it's those that are just over the deductible that are a grey area.  You can always file a claim for damages over the deductible, but it might not be financially worthwhile in the long run.  If the damage is only to your own vehicle or property, you can choose to pay for the repairs yourself.  

If another car is involved, however, you should file a claim no matter who you believe is at fault even if the damage to your car is minor.  The insurance company for the other driver may determine that you were at fault, and you will want your insurance company involved to make their own fault determination and to deal with the other insurance company on your behalf.

Are There Other Costs?

Even if the damage to your vehicle is relatively minor, it's important to think about the other benefits your insurance company can provide.  Does your car need to be towed to a repair shop?  Will you require a rental car while your car is being repaired?  If you have optional coverage on your policy that provides benefits for these additional costs after an accident, you will get back more than just the cost of the repairs by filing a claim.

To learn more about when to file an insurance claim, be sure to contact Mike Leonard Insurance Agency.