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Points to Keep in Mind Before Filing a Car Insurance Claim

Oh, the hassles of filing car insurance claims. Not only are you dealing with an accident and everything that comes with it, but you also have to worry about filing a claim with your auto insurance company and the consequent increase in premium rates. But wait, before you fret, there is no law that states you have to report every accident to your car insurance company. You might not know this yet, but every claim you make with your insurer goes on your insurance record. Now, with that in mind, you might want to take a couple of points into consideration before making a car insurance claim.

If your deductible is more than the cost of your repairs... it would be a good idea to pay the repair bills yourself and not reporting the damage to your insurer.

If you have multiple tickets on your driving record... it would be a good idea to contact your state's department of insurance to find out what the rules are about non-renewal of your policy. If you have multiple tickets and you've just met with an accident in which you are at fault and that makes your case an ideal one for non-renewability, you might want to reconsider filing a claim with your insurer.

If another car or person is involved in the accident... you should consider reporting the accident to your insurer. In some cases, two parties might want to settle the damages amicably between them without involving insurance companies, but sometimes, it might take a day or two for injuries to show up, or someone else might make a claim against you. It is in this situation, where you want to be in a position where your insurance company can protect you.

If you file a claim for theft, vandalism, riot, fire etc, where you are not at fault... your premium rates should not be affected. Hence, don't be afraid of filing a claim with your carrier in such cases.

If you are someone with a good driving record... and you meet with a minor accident like, for instance, if you have a fender bender, that's really not going to change the way you're looked at. Your rates will most likely not be increased. But if you are someone with a history of accidents and filing claims, there's a very good chance that your rates will be increased.

If you have made a series of small claims in the past... you might want to think twice about filing a claim about the most recent accident, especially if the damages are minor and can be paid for easily. A number of small claims can result in increased premiums so be very careful about what claims you file with your insurer.

Auto insurance is meant to cover your losses when you really need it to. In cases when the damage is considerably small and you can afford to pay to fix it out of your own pocket, consider not filing a claim with your provider. Similarly, if your car has considerable damage, feel free to file a claim with your company, by all means!
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