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Should I pay out of pocket or file a claim?
I was backing out of a tight parking spot and hit the car next to me. The car had a very slight dent and some paint scratches. My car had a much bigger dent to a plastic front fender, but I think it can be popped back out without much problem.
I thought I would just pay the damages out of pocket because I have $500 deductible.
First question: should I be concerned about filing a claim and having a strike against me with my insurance company? Will the $500 deductible be applied twice (for my damage as well as the damage to the other car)?
The damage was over a week ago now--is there a problem if I make a claim now? If I even ask my insurance company what they think I should do, will I get a strike against me on their "clue report?"
Let me answer your questions one by one.
Should I be concerned about filing a claim and having a strike against me with my insurance company? Yes. Filing a claim will be on your record regardless of fault or how bad or expensive the damage is. The insurance company will use this information to determine your premium and if you are an insurable risk.
Will the $500 deductible be applied twice (for my damage as well as the damage to the other car)? No. Your collision deductible will be applied to the damage of your car. Your liability coverage will pay for the damages to their car. Liability coverages do not have deductibles (unless you are dealing with a commercial policy).
The damage was over a week ago now--is there a problem if I make a claim now? Well, I don't think so. But you do want to make a decision soon. Just make sure you explain why the delay. Just tell them the truth. You were thinking about paying out of pocket and declined to do so.
If I even ask my insurance company what they think I should do, will I get a strike against me on their "clue report?" Probably yes, filling a claim and reporting an accident are two different things. However, insurance companies make you report every accident.
You have an affirmative duty to do this in your policy. Any failure of reporting the accident can leave you without coverage. The problem is that insurance companies do use this against you. They know that you are a higher risk to insure.
How much will this affect your insurance premium? That is very questionable. It depends on your claim history (first claims v. 4th in the same month). How long you have been a customer? Your state? etc.
We have written different articles about this, visit: http://www.auto-insurance-claim-advice.com/when-not-to-file-an-auto-insurance.html
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