Maybe it was your unlucky day and someone rear-ended you. Or maybe you didn’t see that car behind you when you were backing up at the grocery store. In either case, you probably have a lot of thoughts going through your head.
Among them, you might be concerned about the financial consequences of filing or not filing a claim. When the unexpected happens, your insurer will walk you through the process. Don’t fret just yet, because rates don't automatically go up. Minor accidents might present the best case scenario, as rates sometimes remain unchanged. And if you weren’t at fault, your premium could stay the same.
In general, when determining rates, insurance companies will look at your overall record. If you have a clean driving history, one fender bender likely won’t mean through-the-roof rates. The more accidents you have and the higher the claim amounts on your record will affect how your insurer classifies you.
Sometimes rates do go up, most likely after a major at-fault accident. Be aware that your driving record is a major factor in determining your premium, so a recent incident can have an impact when your policy renews.
You might wonder if not reporting the incident and paying for the repairs on your own is the best approach. This is generally not the best idea, for two reasons. First, if the incident is reported to the police, it becomes a matter of public record that your insurance company will discover — leading them to increase your rates anyway. Second, if another driver involved in an incident decides to file a claim on the event, your insurer will be better armed to research the matter.
On the subject of repairs, you might be wondering where you should go to get the work completed. Insurance companies may direct you to a specific body shop. You should know that some insurance companies may have ownership in the repair shop they recommend, which is a conflict of interest. Another reality is that some pay bonuses to employees for sending customers to specific repair shops.
As a consumer, be aware that insurance companies cannot legally tell you where to go for repairs. For the best outcome possible, make an informed, knowledgeable choice after considering all your options.
Speaking of options, we’d love to be considered for your current or future repair needs. Give us a call at (260) 436-2639 and we’ll take care of you!