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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I managed to do $1750 of body damage to my car last week in a stupid accident just involving me and my garage. Going in for the estimate, I thought it would be a lot less than that and figured I'd just pay for it out of pocket instead of having it affect our insurance rates.

Talking to the body shop guy who wrote up the estimate, he thought that if I filed a claim for this, our insurance might go up $100 or so per year for 3 years and then return to it's approximate prior rate. (We have a clean record - no claims in probably at least 15 years.) I think we have a $500 deductible, so if that was the case, we'd pay about $800+ out of pocket total as opposed to the full $1750. He suggested that I talk to my insurance agent and have him work the numbers.

SU does not think that this is correct. She thinks that it would significantly affect our rates for 7 years. She also thinks that if I call our insurance agent just to talk about it, our rates may go up or there would be some other negative consequence to even mention that we had an accident (even if we didn't file a claim). She thinks that we should just pay for the repair work ourselves.

I'm inclined to think that my SU is overreacting and that the body shop guy probably knows more about this stuff than she does.

Who's right?
Is there any harm in calling my insurance agent to discuss?

Thanks for any words of wisdom from the JL community.
 

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Our cars were struck by lightning (yes, BOTH!) in 2007 and we filed claims as damage to both was over $4000. Our insurance rates did not go up a bit. We filed on the house at the same time for the same thing (lightning damage) and our rates were not affected either (same company). What do you pay insurance for but accidents/the unexpected?
 

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I have no idea, but your wife and I think alike. :)
She also thinks that if I call our insurance agent just to talk about it, our rates may go up or there would be some other negative consequence to even mention that we had an accident (even if we didn't file a claim).
 

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I've always heard that just asking about a claim after an accident gets a notation in your file and can effect your rates, but I don't know it for a fact.

What I do know is that if you make a claim for this then you have left yourself no room for a larger claim later without a big increase. Instead of the later larger claim being your first, it starts to look like one in a series and that will get you an increase everytime.
 

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Oooo, I know! Call a random agent out of the phonebook and ask them! :D
 

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I don't see how you asking your agent a question about filing a claim can affect your rates.

I had an incident over the summer. Backing out of my parents driveway, I backed into a trailer that was parked across the street. (Short version family's son-in-law was there to mow grandmother's lawn. She lives next door to my parents. Instead of leaving his behemouth SUV & oversize lawn trailer in the grandmother's driveway {which was empty BTW}, he parked it in front of their house. It was clearly too large to be parked where it was. I backed out, not realizing it was sticking out as far as it was. Backed into it causing damage to the rear bumper, passenger side).

Called my agent to see what the process was. I could file a claim, but any cost over $1,000 would cause me to lose my accident free discount & they'd hit me with a surcharge.

Decided having a beautiful unmarred bumper was not worth losing my accident free discount & taking the lump of a surcharge.

Never saw any change in my rates just because I asked a question.
 

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Our cars were struck by lightning (yes, BOTH!) in 2007 and we filed claims as damage to both was over $4000. Our insurance rates did not go up a bit. We filed on the house at the same time for the same thing (lightning damage) and our rates were not affected either (same company). What do you pay insurance for but accidents/the unexpected?
This is true due to it being an "Act of God", legally(at least in Minnesota) they can not raise your rates due to storm damage.

Accident claims that are caused by you, or if you are in an accident where the other person is at fault, the Insurance Co. can and will most likely raise your rates, how much is wholly dependent on your insurance company. I would think that the auto body guy would know, but does he really know?

I have called my Insurance Co to ask a question when a bunch of stuff was taken out of my boat, the person recommended that I not file a claim. Never did file a claim as the stuff stolen was less than the deductible. So, just for calling and asking a question will not raise your rates unless you file.
 

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Call your company from someone else's cell phone or from work. Talk to your agent but tell them you don't want it on your record so you won't give them your name. Ask your questions and then decide.

I know my parents and I have the opinion anything under $2000 other than glass which is different coverage we pay out of pocket.
 

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I've consulted my insurance company on incidents and decided not to put it through insurance and our rate never went up. My insurance lady is really quite helpful. She weighed the pros and cons with me.
 

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My last car was a Jeep Grand Cherokee. I totaled the whole right side on a concrete pillar in a garage. I called my agent saying I did not want to file a claim but he told me to. The following year my rates went down.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
My last car was a Jeep Grand Cherokee. I totaled the whole right side on a concrete pillar in a garage. I called my agent saying I did not want to file a claim but he told me to. The following year my rates went down.
That's just bizarre!
 

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I've consulted my insurance company on incidents and decided not to put it through insurance and our rate never went up. My insurance lady is really quite helpful. She weighed the pros and cons with me.

+1 on this one. Thinking that your rates are going up because you called and asked a question is more than a little bit paranoid.
 

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Hopefully you have carried the same insurance company for many years. I've had the same agent and same carrier for 32 years and I can call about anything at any time without worry of getting dinged.

If you have a similar relationship make the call. If you been popping around from one company to another over the years, you might get dinged for it.

Loyalty and multiple policies do have it's perks.
 

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Um, no advice, but hows the garage?? Do you need to make a claim there too? That might actually be a deciding factor to take in to consideration...
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Um, no advice, but hows the garage?? Do you need to make a claim there too? That might actually be a deciding factor to take in to consideration...
Not much damage to the garage at all. Nothing that a little sanding and paint won't take of.
 

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I had an incident with my car and the garage at my parents' house.. It's a two car garage and I had pulled my car in at an angle across it so that I could clean and wash it in the garage. I realized it was going to be a PITA to get out, so I asked my brother to watch for me. He must have been looking at the sun or something because he kept saying "keep coming, keep coming" and then I bumped the vertical metal piece that the garage door rides on. :eek:

I about killed him. haha. It wasn't as bad as your incident, since it only cost me $800 to fix, but I decided it was cheaper to pay for it out of pocket than go through the insurance company. :)
 
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