Under What Circumstances Should I File An Auto Insurance Claim?

Insurance Agent Examining Car After Accident

Some of the key considerations when determining whether or not to file an auto insurance claim include whether there is property damage or bodily injuries involved and what kind of coverage you have

Your driving history plays a significant role in determining the cost of your auto insurance. A poor one might raise your rates. Multiple collisions and serious traffic infractions may even cause an insurer to refuse to renew your policy. According to the Insurance Information Institute, increased premiums from an accident typically stay on your record for three years following the claim.

Generally speaking, it’s best to notify your insurance provider of an accident than not to, especially if another party is involved. However, there are some circumstances in which choosing not to file a claim makes more sense.

When You May Not Need To File A Car Insurance Claim

There are several incidents that may not require you to file a claim. These may include:

  • Minor damage to your vehicle
  • Your claim is less than the deductible 
  • If the damage is minimal and you’re not at fault, file against the at-fault party

When To File A Car Insurance Claim 

Some of the key considerations when determining whether or not to file a claim include whether there is property damage or bodily injuries involved and what kind of coverage you have.

When only your car is damaged and it needs major repairs

If a single-vehicle accident results in significant damage to your car, make a claim. Your repairs will be covered by collision insurance, less the deductible. You will be responsible for covering the cost of repairs if you don’t have collision coverage. Notify your insurance provider if your car is still driveable after an accident, even if you decide not to make a claim. You only have a short window of time to submit a claim, so get in touch with your insurer straight away.

When you damage someone else’s car 

Always make a claim if you are at fault in a collision and cause damage to someone else’s car. Exchange contact information, such as names, numbers, and insurance information, as well as information about your driver’s license and license plate. Make sure to photograph any paperwork and the scene and call the police to report the collision. Inform your insurance company as soon as you can.

When someone is injured 

Always file a claim after a major accident. The other party’s medical costs will likely be covered by your liability insurance if you are found to be at fault for bodily injury. Even if you don’t experience any immediate bodily harm, you should still file a claim. There are time restrictions for filing injury claims, typically 30 days.

At the accident scene, some bodily injuries might not be immediately apparent. For instance, you may have a pre-existing condition that you’re not aware of that the accident made worse and you have to seek medical treatment. It’s possible that you’ll have to pay for treatment out of pocket if you haven’t submitted a claim within the time period specified by your policy.

McKnight Insurance Is Here to Help

Make sure to thoroughly read your auto insurance coverage and comprehend the advantages and disadvantages of making a claim based on the situation. Our staff at McKnight Insurance can help you understand your policy better and see if you need to make a claim or not, call us anytime!

By Leslie Radford, Advent Trinity Marketing Agency