When Not to File a Claim for Auto Insurance

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Key takeaways...
  • You may find yourself in a situation where not making a claim is the best option
  • Also, there may be times when canceling a claim in process is possible
  • However, you must verify that it will not affect your record

There’s nothing worse than that pit in your stomach as you hear the sound of metal crunching on…well, pretty much anything.

Whether you hit a post, a parked car, or any number of possible objects, your first thought is probably “How much is this gonna cost me?” That could include the cost of your deductible or the long-term cost of increased premiums.

First, before ever finding yourself in this position, know your policy and state laws for car insurance. And make sure you have the right coverage by reviewing your policy every six months and comparing three to four policies.

As a general rule, if you are involved in an accident with another drive and money needs to be exchanged for repairs or medical costs, you should make a claim with your insurance. Doing so will protect you.

However, if you find yourself in an accident with an object, like a traffic sign or a mall light in the parking lot, or even if you find dents from a minor hail storm, it might be financially profitable not to make a claim.

If you are looking for better auto insurance rates as well, start comparison shopping today by entering your ZIP code above!

Why would you want not want to make a claim?

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Outside of the general rule above, here are some other scenarios where you may want to not make a claim with your insurance provider.

– The high physical damage deductible surpasses the damage estimates

Having high deductibles on collision and comprehensive coverage is an excellent way to save on premiums.

A high deductible means you will take on the larger part of the loss. You will then get a discounted rate in exchange for spending more out-of-pocket.

Although, it is imperative to learn how your deductible works before choosing the highest possible option.

– You are not able to settle your high deductible

As much as high deductibles will save you money, you will have a problem if you will be required to end the deductible before a payout.

If you will not be able to pay it upon its due date, it is advisable to think twice when buying a policy with a high deductible.

If you have a loss and you cannot raise the money to pay for the part of your damage, then canceling the claim and handling the damage may be a viable option.

– You do not want to go through the claims process

Those who have never applied for a claim assume that the claims process is smooth. Well, it can be sometimes, but . . . it can also be a major headache.

Even minor requests might take weeks or even months to settle, especially if there are no witnesses.

The thought of dealing with this process and answering a bunch of questions ad nauseam may be enough to make you not open the claim.

– You don’t want the claim on your record

The only way for a claim not to show up on your record is never to make a claim. Even in a situation where you report the initial incident but later cancel the claim, that canceled claim will remain on your driving record.

A filed claim is always registered in the CLUE Database.

The Clue Database displays all the losses that you as the owner of the policy have had previously no matter the payouts. Withdrawn claims will still be on your record.

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When will you not be allowed to cancel a claim?

We’ve mentioned the option to cancel a claim, but that option isn’t always available.

If you are considered at fault, you may not be able to cancel the claim, especially if the third party claims to have injuries or is seeking payment of medical treatments.

For instance, you will be allowed to withdraw a claim to repair the car through your collision coverage, but a bodily injury claim must remain open until the hurt party is recovered.

Also, your rates will increase during the renewal of your policy because of the injuries you caused while operating your vehicle.

You will also need to reassess whether to cancel a claim or not if the damage to your car is major. Your insurer might want proof that the vehicle was repaired, or they might drop the coverage entirely.

Will canceling your insurance claim affect your insurance rates?

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Having no claims should benefit you in the long run, so again the only way to guarantee that is to drive safely and if there’s an incident where not making the claim is viable then don’t start the process.

Whether your insurance rate increases will depend on your provider and how they calculate risk.

If it’s too late and your rates have increased after canceling a claim, consider comparison shopping even if it’s been less than six months.

When shopping for a new insurer, they will confirm that the only claim carried forward from your previous insurer is the one where they were required to pay.

The Last Word

Insurance exists so that you can quickly repair your car when an accident happens. Do not hesitate to file a claim if substantial damage exists.

The best way to know when you should not make a claim is being informed. Know your policy. Know your state laws. And know your car. Knowledge is always power for consumers.

Also, withdrawing a claim will not deter it from being investigated.

If you are looking for better auto insurance as well, enter your ZIP code below to start comparing rates for three to four policies!

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