One of the biggest questions that comes up after an auto accident is whether you should file a claim with your insurance company, or simply pay for the damages with your own cash. After all, there are some people out there who try to actively avoid reporting an accident to their insurance companies. This is usually because when there are no injuries and very little damage to the vehicle, it can be tempting to keep insurance cost low – especially as reporting an accident can cause a spike in car insurance rates.
The problem is, when you’re involved in a crash on the road, whether it’s a big crash or a small accident, you could be better off speaking to your insurance provider right away.
Why you SHOULD file a claim
There are a lot of things that your insurance provider can do for you, and a lot of people forget about this when they’re only focusing on the money that they could be paying out for insurance. Here are some of the ways that your coverage could assist you:
- Help you to pay for out of pocket health expenses that are caused by driving.
- Help you to pay for property damage you caused in the accident.
- Can help you to pay for any legal defense costs if you do get taken to court.
These can make a huge difference to your out of pocket expenses when you are in a crash, particularly as no one out there plans a crash. Your finances can take quite the hit when you’re in a crash, and your insurance is there to cover you in those times.
You can try to reach a financial plan with another driver without advice, but you could run a very big risk of being sued later on. If you’re prepared to take that risk, then that is up to you, but you could also be liable for costs if the other driver decides to make a claim later on. If you try to put in a claim later on, your insurer could say no to covering you – so it’s always worth making a claim when an accident has happened.
When you SHOULDN’T file a claim
If you are in a minor, one car accident, then you can settle auto repairs yourself – but you should ensure that no one is injured and no property is damaged before you come to an agreement. If you hit a mailbox, for example, then you should be okay, as long as the damage is minimal.
You must consider what your coverage is going to assist you with before you go ahead. If the cost of a repair is less or near the same amount as your deductible, then there’s no reason for you to go ahead and file a claim. Once you understand when a good time to file a claim is, you’re more likely to be secure in that decision and your finances won’t be as badly affected as you think.