While everyone needs car insurance, it can be nerve-wracking to think about having to file a claim. Will the claim be denied? Will your car insurance premiums skyrocket? And if the claim is related to an accident involving other people, that can bring on an entire new host of worries.
There are times where filing a claim is necessary and times where it's not. This depends on each situation and the damages in question. You should file a car insurance claim if:
The Accident Involves Other People
Any accident involving other people — whether pedestrians, passengers or other drivers — should be handled with extreme care. After emergency services are called and everyone receives the treatment they need, you should call your insurance company. This is because your car insurance policy is used to not only compensate you, but also other people in the accident. If you live in a fault state, your car insurance policy may be used to compensate other drivers and their passengers for medical bills after an accident you cause. Another important aspect of car insurance is covering legal fees in case of a lawsuit. Having a claim to help compensate for the damages can prevent a lawsuit from the other party.
A Lawsuit Occurs Related To The Accident
Unfortunately, lawsuits can't always be prevented or avoided. If an accident leads to a lawsuit, liability car insurance may be able to help with the such costs as those for defense, court fees and settlements. Lawsuits can be expensive, costing thousands or even millions of dollars. Not many have enough savings to pay for these expenses out of pocket, which is where filing a claim is beneficial.
The Cost For Repairs Is More Than The Deductible
One of the key factors to consider before filing a car insurance claim is the cost of the deductible compared to the damages. Your deductible is the amount you will pay out of pocket when it comes time to file a claim. If the damages to your vehicle cost less to repair than the price of the deductible, you may not want to file an insurance claim. Instead, you might fix the damage out of pocket.
On the other hand, for damages that are appraised to be more expensive to fix out of pocket than the deductible, you may want to file a claim in order to save money. After an accident, have the vehicle appraised by an expert before filing a claim.
Does Filing A Car Insurance Claim Raise Your Rates?
Filing a car insurance claim may raise your monthly premiums. The amount they rise depends on the situation and severity of the incident. At-fault accidents involving other people could raise your rates by 30% or more. Incidents involving a DUI or DWI, however, could raise your raise by 80% or more. That's over $1,000 more a year.
Simple accidents, such as hail or fender benders with still objects, likely won't raise your car insurance rates by much. Be careful of filing too many claims within a short period of time, however. Filing claims too frequently within a short period of time can raise your insurance rates and lead to the insurance agency questioning the validity of the claims. Too many fraudulent claims can lead an insurance agency to cancelling your policy or dropping you as a client.
Filing a claim may cost less in the short term. Carefully consider the incident, have the damages appraised by an expert and speak with your All Americas Insurance agent before filing a claim.
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