Did you know that car insurance companies consider a fender bender to be any type of collision where damage is caused to either vehicle? If you’re not sure whether or not to file a claim, here are some factors to help you make your decision.
Who was at fault?
If you were at fault for the accident, it’s likely that your premium will go up if you file a claim. On the other hand, if the other driver was at fault, their insurance company will be responsible for the repairs.
What is your deductible?
Your deductible is the amount of money you have to pay out-of-pocket before your insurance company will start paying for repairs. If your deductible is high, it may not make sense to file a claim because you’ll have to pay most of the costs yourself.
How much will it cost to repair the damage?
If the damage is minor and can be easily fixed with a few hundred dollars, it may not be worth claiming on your insurance. However, if the repairs will cost more than your deductible, it’s probably worth filing a claim. To find out how much it will cost to repair the damage, get estimates from a few auto body shops.
Are you comfortable dealing with your insurance company?
Some people feel uncomfortable dealing with their insurance company after an accident. If this is the case, it may be worth paying for the repairs yourself rather than having to deal with the hassle of filing a claim.
Is your car new or old?
If your car is new, it’s likely that the repairs will cost more than they would for an older car. In this case, it may be worth filing a claim even if the damage is minor.
What is your driving record like?
If you have a good driving record, you’re less likely to see an increase in your premium even if you file a claim. However, if you have accidents or traffic violations on your record, your premium is more likely to go up.
How much can you afford to pay out-of-pocket?
Even if the accident was not your fault, you may have to pay some of the costs yourself if you decide to file a claim. If you can’t afford to pay the deductible or any other out-of-pocket costs, it may not be worth it to file a claim.
What is your insurance company’s policy?
Each auto insurance company has their own policy when it comes to accidents and claims. You may talk to your car insurance agent to know if you can file a claim even if the damage is minor. Other companies may only cover accidents that are your fault. It’s important to check with your insurer to see what their policy is before making a decision.
Now that you know the factors to consider when deciding whether or not to file a claim, you can make an informed decision about what’s best for you. If you’re still not sure, you can always speak to an auto body shop or your insurance company for more advice.