Auto Accident File claim or not?

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SimonJester
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Auto Accident File claim or not?

Post by SimonJester »

Unfortunately I was involved in an auto accident where I was at fault. Fortunately no one was injured and there was only a few scratches on the other car. My vehicle is likely totaled as the air bags deployed.

A vehicle changed into my lane to avoid stopped traffic in their lane and immediately hit the brakes. I hit my brakes but the ground was wet and I slid into the rear of the vehicle. I am still amazed my air bags deployed and there was only a few scuffs and scratches on the other vehicles rear bumper.

My question is related whether I should file a claim or not with my own insurance. The vehicle is worth about 3500 max and I have a $1000 deductible.
So I would be looking at getting a check for $2500 max.

They are estimating my rates will increase at least $50 per month for 36 months if file the claim, but that cannot say for sure how much it would be.

Complicating factors, my policies renew at the end of the month. I just called the insurance agency thee days before to add my 17 year old son to the policy as he received his license and told them to drop full coverage from that vehicle. (Talk about Murphy's law biting me). Insurance said the change to the policy had not gone to underwriters yet and "might" be able to be pulled back.

So assuming they can pull back the request to drop full coverage is it even worth it. I am leaning towards just not filing the claim and moving on...
"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin
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SmileyFace
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Re: Auto Accident File claim or not?

Post by SmileyFace »

Isn't the other driver filing a claim? (in which case you will be on the hook for the insurance increase anyway so might as well file for your ~$2500).
Broken Man 1999
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Re: Auto Accident File claim or not?

Post by Broken Man 1999 »

Given you rear-ended another vehicle, I would not keep this claim from your insurance. There are too many ambulance chasers eager to file a claim.

Too much risk for my taste.

Broken Man 1999
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dm200
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Re: Auto Accident File claim or not?

Post by dm200 »

If you would not file a collision claim for this, then why would you even carry collision insurance?

I would file the claim for the $2,500 - and when they do the work - it might be even more.

Don't you have to report this to your insurance company anyway because of damage to the other vehicle (if you were at fault)?

I would report it the sooner the better so your insurance company hears your side of the story first.
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dm200
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Re: Auto Accident File claim or not?

Post by dm200 »

Broken Man 1999 wrote:Given you rear-ended another vehicle, I would not keep this claim from your insurance. There are too many ambulance chasers eager to file a claim.
Too much risk for my taste.
Broken Man 1999
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SimonJester
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Re: Auto Accident File claim or not?

Post by SimonJester »

DaftInvestor wrote:Isn't the other driver filing a claim? (in which case you will be on the hook for the insurance increase anyway so might as well file for your ~$2500).
Its unknown if the other driver will file a claim, they might or might not. But doesn't that count as a separate claim? The other driver claim will go against my liability side of the policy and if I file a claim it will go against the comp collision side of my policy. I will also see an increase due to the fact I was ticketed which I will go to court and get the point lowered.

My agent said it would basically be two claims, and then to what extend each separate claim raises the rates they cannot say...

Broken Man 1999 wrote:Given you rear-ended another vehicle, I would not keep this claim from your insurance. There are too many ambulance chasers eager to file a claim.

Too much risk for my taste.

Broken Man 1999
I have already reported it to my insurance agent but I have not filed a claim under my comp / collision. I still have that choice...
"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin
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SmileyFace
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Re: Auto Accident File claim or not?

Post by SmileyFace »

SimonJester wrote:
DaftInvestor wrote:Isn't the other driver filing a claim? (in which case you will be on the hook for the insurance increase anyway so might as well file for your ~$2500).
Its unknown if the other driver will file a claim, they might or might not. But doesn't that count as a separate claim? The other driver claim will go against my liability side of the policy and if I file a claim it will go against the comp collision side of my policy. I will also see an increase due to the fact I was ticketed which I will go to court and get the point lowered.

My agent said it would basically be two claims, and then to what extend each separate claim raises the rates they cannot say...
My understanding is that, at least in my state, as soon as the accident is reported you will have an at-fault accident on your record which will have the same impact on your insurance regardless of whether your insurance has to pay out against both collision and liability or just liability (or even if neither is filed if a police-accident-report gets filed). Perhaps this varies by state.
Personally - I'd file.
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SimonJester
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Re: Auto Accident File claim or not?

Post by SimonJester »

DaftInvestor wrote:
SimonJester wrote:
DaftInvestor wrote:Isn't the other driver filing a claim? (in which case you will be on the hook for the insurance increase anyway so might as well file for your ~$2500).
Its unknown if the other driver will file a claim, they might or might not. But doesn't that count as a separate claim? The other driver claim will go against my liability side of the policy and if I file a claim it will go against the comp collision side of my policy. I will also see an increase due to the fact I was ticketed which I will go to court and get the point lowered.

My agent said it would basically be two claims, and then to what extend each separate claim raises the rates they cannot say...
My understanding is that, at least in my state, as soon as the accident is reported you will have an at-fault accident on your record which will have the same impact on your insurance regardless of whether your insurance has to pay out against both collision and liability or just liability (or even if neither is filed if a police-accident-report gets filed). Perhaps this varies by state.
Personally - I'd file.

OK this is the critical piece of information I need to follow up on. My state is Colorado if anyone knows the answer. I'm not sure I am getting the correct information from my insurance agency. But again they are also working the problem that I asked for my comp / collision to be removed effective two days before the accident. The change did not go through yet at the corporate level and they have accepted my April payment as if no change was made...

So morally I dont know if I should even be asking them to pull the change back...
"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin
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bottlecap
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Re: Auto Accident File claim or not?

Post by bottlecap »

Are you certain you are at fault? Most of the time I say the rear ender is going to be at fault, but if the other driver quickly cut into your lane and hit the brakes, it may be a different story. That tells me the other driver was following too closely and/or going to fast. Cutting into another lane because of this isn't really acceptable.

JT
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grabiner
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Re: Auto Accident File claim or not?

Post by grabiner »

bottlecap wrote:Are you certain you are at fault? Most of the time I say the rear ender is going to be at fault, but if the other driver quickly cut into your lane and hit the brakes, it may be a different story. That tells me the other driver was following too closely and/or going to fast. Cutting into another lane because of this isn't really acceptable.
And because of this, you should file a claim with the other driver's insurance. If he is determined to be primarily at fault, you may get back some of your deductible, and the accident won't count against you as an at-fault accident. (The exact definition of what counts varies by state; check the rating information in your policy.)
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cpants
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Re: Auto Accident File claim or not?

Post by cpants »

You absolutely need to file a claim in any rearending, especially as you were issued a ticket and it sounds like a significant accident (air-bag deployment). You are at-fault. There is a high likelihood you will be sued to extract a settlement. The insurance company is on your side and will be defending you. You want them involved as early as possible.

I speak from experience -- was sued after an extremely minor rear-end fender-bender with no damage to either vehicle and I didn't even receive a ticket.
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bottlecap
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Re: Auto Accident File claim or not?

Post by bottlecap »

cpants wrote:You absolutely need to file a claim in any rearending, especially as you were issued a ticket and it sounds like a significant accident (air-bag deployment). You are at-fault. There is a high likelihood you will be sued to extract a settlement. The insurance company is on your side and will be defending you. You want them involved as early as possible.

I speak from experience -- was sued after an extremely minor rear-end fender-bender with no damage to either vehicle and I didn't even receive a ticket.
The possibility of you being sued is a good reason to at least report this to your insurance company, which it sounds like you have.

Then there is the question of whether just reporting it or, instead, filing a claim for your loss makes any difference in your insurance premiums. I don't know, but my guess is if you reported it and it is reported as your fault, you might as well file a claim. I doubt it counts as two claims. I lean toward getting the benefit of the policy you paid for.

Getting a ticket, however, does not mean you are at fault. The police weren't there. However, unless there were some witnesses, you may have a hard time proving that he entered your lane and hit the brakes.

JT
Silk McCue
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Re: Auto Accident File claim or not?

Post by Silk McCue »

SimonJester wrote:So morally I dont know if I should even be asking them to pull the change back...
This is not a moral issue in my opinion. If the insurance company allows you to pull this back then I would do it. Protect yourself.
investor997
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Re: Auto Accident File claim or not?

Post by investor997 »

I recently went through a similar situation, although I was the "victim" in this case. A 17-year old kid was in space cadet mode and sideswiped me. Completely his fault. The police arrived and we exchanged information.

About 20 minutes after going our separate ways, the kid's father called me and asked if I'd be interested in handling this outside of insurance as he wanted to keep things off their driving records. I told him "Let me get a few written estimates first and we'll see how it goes." I proceeded to get three estimates ranging from $1,000-$2,800 to repair the damage. The lowest cost repair was actually from a paintless dent repair guy who came highly recommended from friends. I presented the estimates to the kid's father and recommended we go with the PDR approach, for a couple reasons: 1) No paintwork to my car so no risk of a body shop screwing it up, and 2) No chance of my car being branded with the Scarlett Letter of an accident report on any future Carfax vehicle history reports. Since my car is a Porsche, having a bad Carfax report would be a disaster for resale value.

In the end, the PDR guy got the car looking perfect and the father of the kid who hit me paid him directly. He also had me sign a hold harmless agreement, promising I wouldn't come after him for anything else after the fact. I had no problem doing so once I saw my car was fixed correctly.
kenner
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Re: Auto Accident File claim or not?

Post by kenner »

bottlecap wrote:Are you certain you are at fault? Most of the time I say the rear ender is going to be at fault, but if the other driver quickly cut into your lane and hit the brakes, it may be a different story. That tells me the other driver was following too closely and/or going to fast. Cutting into another lane because of this isn't really acceptable.

JT
I agree with Bottlecap. His logic is especially sound if the collision occurred in a state that applies comparative negligence law. It is likely that only the insurance companies can sort this all out.
researcher
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Re: Auto Accident File claim or not?

Post by researcher »

SimonJester wrote:My question is related whether I should file a claim or not with my own insurance. The vehicle is worth about 3500 max and I have a $1000 deductible. So I would be looking at getting a check for $2500 max.

They are estimating my rates will increase at least $50 per month for 36 months if file the claim, but that cannot say for sure how much it would be.

I am leaning towards just not filing the claim and moving on...
I don't understand why you are leaning towards NOT filing the claim...
- If you don't file a claim, you are guaranteed to be out the $3500 cost of your vehicle
- If you do file a claim, you will be out $2800 ($1000 deductible, $1800 in insurance rate increases)

So what benefit do you get by not filing?
And if the other driver files a claim (which they most certainly will), it is a no-brainer.
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SimonJester
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Re: Auto Accident File claim or not?

Post by SimonJester »

Just a follow up. First I appreciate everyone's opinions.
My insurance company came back and cannot pull back the removal of collision on the vehicle.
So I no longer have the option to file a claim under my policy.

My insurance agent said that all likelihood any claim I file with the other party would be denied as the other driver was fully in my lane when we impacted.
"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin
mrc
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Re: Auto Accident File claim or not?

Post by mrc »

SimonJester wrote:Just a follow up. First I appreciate everyone's opinions.
My insurance company came back and cannot pull back the removal of collision on the vehicle.
So I no longer have the option to file a claim under my policy.

My insurance agent said that all likelihood any claim I file with the other party would be denied as the other driver was fully in my lane when we impacted.
I feel for you. The presumption of fault in a rear-end collision is the rear-ender. Even during some bump-n-run scams. One great protection against this is a dash cam.
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Re: Auto Accident File claim or not?

Post by tioscrooge »

cpants wrote:You absolutely need to file a claim in any rearending, especially as you were issued a ticket and it sounds like a significant accident (air-bag deployment). You are at-fault. There is a high likelihood you will be sued to extract a settlement. The insurance company is on your side and will be defending you. You want them involved as early as possible.

I speak from experience -- was sued after an extremely minor rear-end fender-bender with no damage to either vehicle and I didn't even receive a ticket.
+1.
Would definitely report to the insurance company. Expect a claim from the other party / driver.
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lthenderson
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Re: Auto Accident File claim or not?

Post by lthenderson »

SimonJester wrote:I have already reported it to my insurance agent but I have not filed a claim under my comp / collision. I still have that choice...
Bare minimum I always report it to my insurance agent in case the other party attempts some shenanigans. I don't always file it under my comp/collision and since the insurance company doesn't pay out anything, it hasn't ever affected my premiums.
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