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mothboy88

Car insurance - To claim or not to claim?

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That is the question.

 

Lets say two people who are tight get into a small fender bender with each other. Its a low speed affair. No airbag deployment, no injuries, no hard feelings. One of the cars gets a hole punched into the fiberglass bumper and the corner of the hood is bent a little.

 

Would you claim the damage if you knew the repair would cost way more than your deductable? Or would you pay out of pocket to keep an unsullied driving record clean and prevent your rates from going up?

 

If you do pay out of pocket, does the insurance company find out anyway?

 

I am having trouble finding answers to these questions through google. Perhaps there is a vast insurance conspiracy to suppress such knowledge. Perhaps I just didn't search hard enough. Either way, if anyone who reads this can shed some insight to the dilema, it would be appreciated.

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Talk to your insurance agent and ask surreptitiously, "hey, I've got this friend that's the same age as me, has the same driving record, drives the exact same car, and has the same policy. Amazing, huh? And, well, how much would his rates go up if he had just a minor fender bender and put in a claim for $2,500 damage?"

 

I'm tight with my insurance agent and don't need to stoop to subterfuge.

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Unfortuntley the company is USAA. They don't have local agents like other companies, just a big calling center that always demands an insurance number before questions are asked. In some of the info I have read in my searches, it is said that many insurance companies keep records of all damage inquiries even if they don't turn into claims. And this info will go into a profile that is shared with other insurance companies.

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I'd be careful with that company. If you file too many claims, they'll affix a cage over your head and fill it with flesh-eating rats.

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No claim. If no police report was filled from either party involved and neither insurance company was contacted, you should be in the safe zone. Your screwed if the other driver puts in a report because your insurance company can find out if they want. My insurance company didn't find out about 3 wrecks and 2 speeding tickets until I filled a big claim on my 4th wreck. The bastards cancelled me.

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As far as I know, you are not required to file with your insurance company when both parties agree not to and there is no police report.

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I'm tight with my insurance agent and don't need to stoop to subterfuge.

 

Should I call the FBI on you? This sounds a bit fishy... Oh wait, they might be reading this anyway. fruit.gif

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As far as your coverage going up, Theoretically most agencies work on a point system and it is claims points averaged over a period that afects rates. So it probably won't be a challenge. smirk.gif

 

In the real world I once was driving my mothers truck, small accident and it was covered by her insurance as the vehicle is primary. All good except that her insurance stayed good and my company recorded points against my record and raised my coverage. mad.gif

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I spoke to a reputable auto body repair shop today and asked the following question. If I pay out of pocket, does the VIN number go into a database and my insurance company finds out? He said absolutley not; they don't enter it into a database.

 

So my next question was how do Carfax or similar reports get off saying they provide a comprehensive collision histories for vehicles? The auto body guy said they have often wondered the same thing.

 

Thanks for the input. It appears its better to bite the bullet and pay out of pocket now than possibly cause more grief/cost later.

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So my next question was how do Carfax or similar reports get off saying they provide a comprehensive collision histories for vehicles? The auto body guy said they have often wondered the same thing.

i don't think they claim to offer a totally comprehensive report. they say on their site "While we'll never know everything about a particular car," and they have a link on their "about" page that lists some of their sources - auto auctions and some state's police departments and whatnot.

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Insurance companies can "brand" cars they write off as totalled. It goes into their shared databases (to which I believe carfax has been given access). A State Farm insurance adjuster told me that they can also brand the title in Washington State, though I've never come across one.

 

If you privately repair your car, nobody else has any business knowing what you had done. I'd go with what the shop told you.

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