When is it Worthwhile to File a Car Insurance Claim?
People can be understandably hesitant to file a claim with their car insurance provider, as it will almost certainly lead to increases in your premiums.
However, there are some circumstances in which filing the claim simply makes sense. Here are a few tips to help you determine when it is worthwhile to file the claim.
- Consider the cost of the damage: If the damage to your vehicle is less than $1,500 more than your deductible, you might instead choose to eat the costs of the repair rather than take a permanent hit to your premiums that will end up exceeding that amount anyway. You should have a number in mind that you are willing to pay over your deductible before making your claim. Base this number on your overall financial situation.
- Consider the potential premium increase: In many cases, the worst-case rate hike is around 20 percent. This may come out to several hundred dollars per year, depending on what you pay for your insurance and how many vehicles you have insured.
- Consider the potential approval time: If you file a claim, you must wait for that claim to be approved. Choosing a contractor that does not work with your carrier could also lead to potential delays if there are claim adjustments needed.
- Consider the type of claim: Some claims are more likely than others to result in rate hikes. Insurance companies will be more likely to increase rates after accidents that were your fault, or accidents involving injuries.
Ultimately, if the repairs will cost you a significant amount of money to perform and they are necessary repairs, it is probably in your best interest to file the insurance claim. But if the cost of the repairs hovers right around or right over your deductible, it may be better to take the financial hit and avoid the insurance premium increases.
For more information about filing car insurance claims, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer at Jakubowski, Robertson, Maffei, Goldsmith & Tartaglia, LLP.