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To make a claim or not

by Joe

Got into a fender bender. Estimate is 2500 for me, and 650 for the car I nicked. Nice people fortunately. They are waiting for me to decide if I just pay them personally, or I do this through my State Farm Insurance. Agent is good. Worked with him for 18 years on rental houses etc.

He says if I claim, my rates go up 15%, and I lose a 15% decrease otherwise scheduled for September. But if I make a second claim, rates up 45%, and might get dropped altogether.

Not sure what to do. Can?t leave it unfixed. Too ugly. $300 would have body shop heat up the bumper cover to get it partly back in shape, but apparently not a full fix at all.

People I bumped would like an answer by noon Sunday (3rd), since they are going out of town soon. I am running some numbers in a spread sheet. Any experience with State Farm? Is there a rule of thumb on this sort of thing. Clean record for 44 years.

Thanks. Interesting that you are available.

Joe(PhD, CPA)


Well Joe,

The best answer (or at least information) will only come from your agent. I personally believe that if you have an accident, you should be able to make without being penalized. You pay insurance for this reason.

I know you are concern about your rates. This is of course the very first thing we are worry about in a small accident. However, there are other issues here. I am not sure if the other vehicle had anyone in it, but if they did, you can be accused of an injury claim.

We live in a litigious society, you have a PhD, and people will make frivolous claims just because they thing you have deep pockets. Not filling a claim with the insurance company can leave you with no coverage at all for a more "dark" lawsuit.

If you believe that they (you said they were nice people) will not make an injury claim, then you probably can pay out of pocket.

The question: to make a claim or not is better explained at:


Good Luck,

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