After an accident, many drivers automatically think they need to file a car insurance claim for the damages. While this is often true, there are times where you may not want to file an insurance claim.
Accidents with Other Drivers
Accidents with other people involved generally should be filed under a claim. This is because you may owe compensation to other drivers, passengers or pedestrians depending on who is declared at fault for the accident. If you live in a fault state, you could be held responsible for injuries and damages that occur in an accident.
Drivers should be careful to document every part of an accident involving other people to make sure everyone involved receives the compensation and care they need. Once fault has been declared, you may want to file a car insurance claim to help with compensation. If you are not determined at fault for an accident and the other driver files a claim with their insurance company, consider the remaining amount you owe before filing a claim.
Consider Your Deductible
When your vehicle is damaged, you will want to have the damage appraised by an expert before filing a claim. This is because the damages may sometimes cost less than the price of your deductible.
Your deductible is the amount you pay out of pocket before you can receive compensation for your car insurance claim. For example, if your car insurance deductible is $1,000 and your vehicle receives $3,000 in damage, you will have to pay $1,000 before receiving compensation for the remaining $2,000.
If the price of your deductible is higher than the cost of fixing the damage, you may not want to file a claim. For example, say your car insurance deductible is $1,000 and your vehicle suffers $500 in damage when you hit a curb. Since the damage is less than your deductible, it would be more cost effective to fix the damages out of pocket than to file an insurance claim.
Keep in mind that your insurer should still be notified when you have an accident, especially if the accident involves other drivers or pedestrians. If you hide an accident and your insurer discovers it, you could run the risk of having your policy cancelled. Always have damages appraised by an expert so you can decide whether filing a car insurance claim is the right choice.
Also Read: Car Insurance for DC Commuters
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