You have just had a fender bender, scrape the side of the car or back into a post you haven’t noticed. Do you immediately call the your insurer and ask for a claim form or do you hold a minute? Have you ever had that minute go for a month while you are making your mind? What did you do in the meantime to get the damages repaired?
These are some of the scenarios many motorists find themselves. When they have small claims they wonder if it is worth calling the company. Then, they forget about getting estimates for the repairs. By the time they get round to it their decision may be made for them by indecision. You may just find out that the repairs cost a lot more than you think and it may be too late to make a claim.
Many drivers think the same way. They are scared that their premiums will go up a lot if they make a claim. Besides they will have to pay the deductibles out of the pocket. By the time they get paid it may be only a few hundred dollars. And that may not even be worth going through all that trouble of filling forms, getting estimates and being scrutinized by a loss adjuster.
Every individual reacts differently in this circumstances. Some people may even see this as a change to get one over the insurance companies by trying to get unrelated repairs done as well.
Your financial position may be dictating how you play it as well. When you have enough money to pay for it you may not be bothered with the costs. If money is tight you would be struggling to make a decision. On the one hand you would get the money to pay for the repairs. On the other hand this will probably result in increase renewal premiums.
What you need to find out when you cannot make your mind is how long do you have to submit a claim. It doesn’t normally take a lot of time to get at least two quotes for the repairs and see what is the damage. Once you establish it you can have a quick look at your finances, take deductibles into account and see where you are at.
You may not want to call the company directly to ask what would happen to your rates after making a claim because they may register the incident at this time. You can try to call your broker and agent and talk hypothetically how your premiums will be affected by a claim. This will offer the other side of the equation. You know how much the repairs are going to cost and knowing how much your premium will increase after the claim will provide every answers you need.
Still you need to crunch the numbers and see the position. Some companies may have a very short window to make a claim. Essentially, you are supposed to tell them about the incident as soon as you can. But this may not be a big issue if nobody is injured and no other vehicle is involved. Generally, it may be a stretch to try to put a claim in after thirty days. Make sure to stay within your time limits if you ever going to do something about it.