When You Should File Auto Insurance Claims

Filing auto insurance claims isn’t something most people look forward to. But it’s a necessary part of life sometimes. Most people will have to deal with an insurance company at some point in their life, as unpleasant as it can be. Here are a few tips on when you should file a claim.

Auto Accidents

Anytime you are in an auto accident a claim should be filed. In most cases though, there isn’t a law that says you have to file a claim. Occasionally the repair for the vehicle in the accident will be less than the deductible. If you are in a fender bender and all that was damaged was a tail light, then it doesn’t make sense to file a claim and have to pay a large deductible for a repair that is simple and cheap. Each time you file a claim it goes on your record, and you may see your premiums go up. The caveat to this is that most insurance companies have policies in place that all accidents, even minor ones, must be reported. If your insurer has this clause and you fail to report the accident, then you risk having your coverage dropped if they find out. It’s a pretty big risk to take.

Natural Disasters

If your car is damaged during a natural disaster or any kind, you may be eligible for car repairs through your insurance company. Even if the car is sitting in your driveway, you can still file a claim. If your vehicle is damaged due to hail, severe winds, or other weather related issues it’s best to call the insurance company as soon as you spot the damage. Most often the insurance company will want to send someone out to inspect the damage, and then get an estimate from there. It’s in your interest to report these types of claims as soon as possible since you will end up waiting on an adjuster to come out, and on the repair itself.

Theft

Hopefully your car is never broken in to, or stolen, but if you are one of the unlucky victims of such a crime it should be reported to the insurance company as soon as possible. In these cases the insurance company will likely want a copy of the police report, and will work with you and the police department to get it straightened out. If your car has just been broken in to, your insurance company may cover the items taken. They will also likely cover the damage inflicted during the break in. However, keep in mind that most insurance companies won’t cover replacement costs associated with after market customizations. If you choose to install a super duper stereo system, let the insurance company know! If you don’t, you may be out the money to replace it.

If the car was stolen all together, the insurance company may just report the car as a lost cause. Again, this needs to be reported as soon as you know to avoid any delays.


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