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Minor Auto Accident: Should You Report It To Your Insurance Company

Updated: March 29, 2018

For people who get into a minor auto accident, there are many things to take into account.

It is often necessary to make a decision about whether or not you should report this minor auto accident to your insurance company.

The first instinct is to let the insurance company take care of anything related to an auto accident.

However, minor auto accidents often have very low damage amounts, which you can easily pay out of pocket.

Involving the insurance company could result in the increasing of your premiums the next time you renew your policy, especially if you were at fault.

Minor Auto Accident: What to Do?

If you are involved in a minor auto accident, you should take stock of the situation. Make sure everyone in both cars is okay. If no one requires medical attention, it is a good first step towards knowing the damages will be fairly low.

Talk with the other party and ask them if they are okay with handling the situation outside of insurance companies.

Check out the other party’s vehicle. If there is a bit of cosmetic damage, you can assume the cost should not be more than a few hundred dollars. In most cases, this amount will be lower than your insurance deductible.

Talk with the other party and ask them if they are okay with handling the situation outside of insurance companies. There is a good chance they will be thinking along the same lines, which means they will accept your offer to settle the matter without involving the insurance companies.

Exchange information with the other party, or go straight to a car repair shop and enquire about how much the repairs would cost. You can provide the amount to the other party in cash or with a check.

Make sure you create some type of receipt that shows you paid them for car repairs.

Minor Auto Accident: Consequences of Reporting

There are some consequences associated with reporting a minor auto accident. A lot of people think that they should call the insurance company, even for minor car accident situations. But this is not always true.

Why would you contact your insurance company, when you run the risk of them determining that you were at fault for the accident.

If neither party requires medical attention and there are only a few scratches or dents on the vehicles, it means you are not looking at more than a few hundred dollars in damage payments.

Why would you contact your insurance company, when you run the risk of them determining that you were at fault for the accident.

If you are found at fault, you could find yourself paying more for insurance next time you renew your policy. This can happen in situations where the damage to the other vehicle is extremely minor. Insurance companies do not always take the extent of damage into account when increasing your premiums because of a past accident. Calling an insurance company can give you peace of mind, but is it worth paying more for insurance in the future?

Minor Auto Accident: Liability and Deductibles

The main reason why people do not call the insurance company after a minor car accident is because of the insurance deductible. Now you may wonder, what does the deductible have to do with a minor car accident?

By calling the insurance provider for a minor car accident, all you are doing is creating a record that you were at fault for causing a crash.

The deductible is crucial in this situation. Say you have an insurance policy with a deductible of $600. If you get into a minor accident, the damages you owe are probably less than this amount. Even if you call your insurance company, you will owe that money out of pocket because it does not exceed your deductible.

By calling the insurance provider for a minor car accident, all you are doing is creating a record that you were at fault for causing a crash. The minor auto repairs are paid out of your pocket regardless of whether you involve the insurance provider or not.

This is why people are often encouraged to handle minor car accidents and the resulting repairs themselves.

The other party will also agree with your stance, because they do not want to risk ruining their low insurance premiums either.

Minor Auto Accident: Should You Report It?

It is very important that you make a clear assessment of the injuries and/or vehicle damage after a car accident. If the other party has to go to the hospital to get checked, their medical expenses may fall under your liability. In this case, you will want to call your insurance company.

The best approach is to travel with the other party and visit a car dealership or repair shop. Get an exact quote about how much those repairs will cost.

But if everyone is fine after the accident, you do not have to worry about paying potential medical expenses. In this case, you must carefully check the other party’s car to see if the damage is limited.

The best approach is to travel with the other party and visit a car dealership or repair shop. Get an exact quote about how much those repairs will cost.

This will tell you whether it is necessary to call your insurance company or not.

For example, you may think the repairs are $400, but the repair shop may tell you it will cost closer to $1000. In this case, you are paying A LOT of money out of pocket. It might be better to call your insurance company in such a situation.

Saving Money on Auto Insurance

Keeping minor car accident claims to yourself is one way to save money on auto insurance. You will ensure there is no record of this accident on your insurance report, which means the company will not try and increase your premiums in the future.

As long as you are a safe driver who always pays his or her insurance premiums on time, your policy will get continuously less expensive over time.

Other ways to save money on auto insurance include avoiding any traffic tickets or violations. Do not get caught speeding or driving in a reckless manner. Every traffic ticket is taken into account by insurance companies when they determine premiums.

Another incident you must absolutely avoid is getting a DWI or DUI. Even one DUI can result in an insurance company terminating your policy because they deem you a high risk candidate.

As long as you are a safe driver who always pays his or her insurance premiums on time, your policy will get continuously less expensive over time.

Insurance companies are happy to provide discounts to long-time customers who are safe drivers and do not make claims reports on a regular basis.