When some car accidents occur, it’s clear when you need to call your insurer and file a claim. For other accidents, it’s not so obvious. If there are minor damages, you might be wondering – is it better to file a claim or pay out of pocket?
When to file an insurance claim
The general rule of thumb is that you should file an insurance claim if you get into a car accident involving other people or other vehicles. Even if the damage seems minor or the other person is not injured, it’s best to notify your insurance agency anyway. When accidents happen, you don’t have the full facts on the damage. It might not look bad from the outside, but it’s possible that there is extensive damage not visible. In addition, injuries such as whiplash can occur several days after the accident. These types of injuries can cause permanent damage and can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Before you shake hands with the other driver and go your separate ways, you should call the police to file an incident report and give your insurance agency a call.
When to pay out of pocket
There aren’t many times when it’s better to pay out of pocket. However, if the cost to repair the damage is less than your deductible, then you wil have to pay out of pocket. If you have enough cash to cover the cost of repairs out of pocket, consider how much it could save you to pay for the damages rather than filing a claim. Additionally, if you have filed several car insurance claims in the past few months or years, filing another one could skyrocket your premiums. Consider how filing another claim would impact your overall finances.