Parking Lot Dent: Pay myself or submit claim

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lawman3966
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Parking Lot Dent: Pay myself or submit claim

Post by lawman3966 » Mon Dec 11, 2017 7:37 pm

I just got an estimate to repair a four year old Hyundai (worth about $11K) after a parking lot accident (my fault).

Normally, I would pay for it myself without a second thought, but the estimate amount has me rethinking that. The facts are the following:

(1) This would be the first time ever I'd be considered at fault in an accident (I'm 58 and have been driving for 41 years). My last accident was in 2008. In the 2008 accident, the other party was at fault, and his insurance company paid.
The estimate is for $1660.

(2) I expect to retire overseas within a year, and likely won't have auto insurance through this company, Geico, after 2018 for several years.
Based on some brief research online, I'm not sure whether Geico will increase my rates or not.

(3) I have collision insurance, with a $250 deductible.
(4) From what I can tell, I don't have accident forgiveness (not shown on my online coverage summary).

(5) The damage consists of a scrape along the left rear fender extending into the bumper. It's unsightly, but not in any way disabling. Some local friends have told me that if it were their older vehicles, they'd just leave it alone. However, I expect to sell my vehicle in about 8-10 months, and care about the resale value.
(6) I hit another car. The other car sustained trivial damage - a tiny amount of paint removed from its rear bumper. The owner of the other vehicle has been informed, and appears uninterested in pursuing the matter.

One thought was that since I don't expect to drive in the U.S. for more than another year, that I should come out ahead in getting most of the $1600 paid for through my collision insurance coverage.

Would appreciate the thoughts of the people on the forum.

[Edited to add description of damage to other vehicle].
Last edited by lawman3966 on Mon Dec 11, 2017 8:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

SR II
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Re: Parking Lot Dent: Pay myself or submit claim

Post by SR II » Mon Dec 11, 2017 7:46 pm

In your state, do you also have to pay to fix what you hit? What is that additional cost?

My husband's parked car was hit last month by a driver backing out of a parking space. Damage was $1450+. The driver was not the owner, but the owner was the passenger. (Who's on first? LOL!) They decided to pay for the repair out of pocket to fix my husband's car, rather than try to explain what happened and who was driving to the insurance company.

If there is not any other fixes involved, at that price, I would go ahead and pay for it myself, just in case you have a major accident before you move away.

Goal33
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Re: Parking Lot Dent: Pay myself or submit claim

Post by Goal33 » Mon Dec 11, 2017 7:55 pm

Did you hit another car?

If you care about resale rates you won't want to do this through the insurance because then the work done will end up on the carfax report.
A man with one watch always knows what time it is; a man with two watches is never sure.

lawman3966
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Re: Parking Lot Dent: Pay myself or submit claim

Post by lawman3966 » Mon Dec 11, 2017 8:36 pm

SR II wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 7:46 pm
In your state, do you also have to pay to fix what you hit? What is that additional cost?
Per the text added to my top post, the damage to what I hit - another vehicle - was trivial and the owner does not appear interested in pursuing the issue.
SR II wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 7:46 pm
If there is not any other fixes involved, at that price, I would go ahead and pay for it myself, just in case you have a major accident before you move away.
I'd like to understand the reasoning here. If I were to pay for this through insurance, and then later had a major accident, what is the problem that would arise that wouldn't arise otherwise? I understand that I'd want to have the major accident paid for through insurance, and that after this hypothetical second accident, my rates would rise. However, the new rates would only be imposed on me for a limited period, as I intend to move overseas during 2018. Is there a concern beyond increased rates after a second accident that you were referencing here?

scifilover
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Re: Parking Lot Dent: Pay myself or submit claim

Post by scifilover » Mon Dec 11, 2017 11:00 pm

Normally in cases where the other vehicle is moving, there is always the possibility of a bodily injury claim from the op. However in this case to op's car was parked, and even if they wanted to get it repaired, the cost would be nominal. Also, given your upcoming relo, I would just submit it to Geico and let them pay for the repair to your vehicle. I don't see any downside. Do you have any moving violations on your record? Do you have credit problems? These, together with accident might lead to your policy being non-renewed.

lawman3966
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Re: Parking Lot Dent: Pay myself or submit claim

Post by lawman3966 » Mon Dec 11, 2017 11:14 pm

scifilover wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 11:00 pm
Normally in cases where the other vehicle is moving, there is always the possibility of a bodily injury claim from the op. However in this case to op's car was parked, and even if they wanted to get it repaired, the cost would be nominal. Also, given your upcoming relo, I would just submit it to Geico and let them pay for the repair to your vehicle. I don't see any downside.
Very much appreciate your reply.
scifilover wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 11:00 pm
Do you have any moving violations on your record? Do you have credit problems? These, together with accident might lead to your policy being non-renewed.
I have no moving violations. My FICO score is about 800 and has been there for a long time.
One more data point here is that I drive very little - on the order of about 1000 miles a year. If I had to do without a vehicle, I could. (I mention this in response to the unlikely prospect of another accident and some associated massive insurance rate increase).

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dwickenh
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Re: Parking Lot Dent: Pay myself or submit claim

Post by dwickenh » Mon Dec 11, 2017 11:35 pm

Goal33 wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 7:55 pm
Did you hit another car?

If you care about resale rates you won't want to do this through the insurance because then the work done will end up on the carfax report.
Not necessarily- not all Insurance companies report to carfax.

This would not be a major ding on carfax anyway- 4 year old vehicle with 2 panels damaged

i would turn in the claim and let Geico handle the payment.
The market is the most efficient mechanism anywhere in the world for transferring wealth from impatient people to patient people.” | — Warren Buffett

goblue100
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Re: Parking Lot Dent: Pay myself or submit claim

Post by goblue100 » Tue Dec 12, 2017 12:54 am

If you are not going to turn in a claim for $1600 in damage, you should raise your deductible. I would claim it. Normally they won't give you too much grief for one claim.
Some people are immune to good advice. - Saul Goodman

fundseeker
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Re: Parking Lot Dent: Pay myself or submit claim

Post by fundseeker » Tue Dec 12, 2017 7:27 am

You could:

- go by a car dealer (or Carmax) and ask the buyer it the scratch really affects your trade in value or not.
- check with a company that does paintless dent removal to see if that would improve the unsightliness (which would be less than the deductible and not affect your rates).
- just file the claim and be done with it.

But, chances are, just filing the claim is the best route. Good luck!

miles monroe
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Re: Parking Lot Dent: Pay myself or submit claim

Post by miles monroe » Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:47 am

dwickenh wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 11:35 pm

Not necessarily- not all Insurance companies report to carfax.

This would not be a major ding on carfax anyway- 4 year old vehicle with 2 panels damaged

i would turn in the claim and let Geico handle the payment.
maybe. maybe not.

i automatically disqualify any used car from consideration if it's been in an accident.

Rupert
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Re: Parking Lot Dent: Pay myself or submit claim

Post by Rupert » Tue Dec 12, 2017 11:26 am

miles monroe wrote:
Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:47 am
dwickenh wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 11:35 pm

Not necessarily- not all Insurance companies report to carfax.

This would not be a major ding on carfax anyway- 4 year old vehicle with 2 panels damaged

i would turn in the claim and let Geico handle the payment.
maybe. maybe not.

i automatically disqualify any used car from consideration if it's been in an accident.
You don't know if it's been in an accident if the prior owner foregoes filing an insurance claim (as many posters have suggested OP do) to avoid a Carfax report. As a result of reading a million Bogleheads threads entitled "Should I file an insurance claim or not?," I've concluded that Bogleheads are routinely dumping used cars with hidden damage in the used-car market. So now I just assume all used cars have hidden damage and don't trust Carfax at all.

OP, you've paid for a $250 deductible for how long? Why pay for that extra coverage if you aren't going to use it? Just file the claim and don't worry about it affecting your car's resale value. The resale value likely won't drop by much more than you'll be out-of-pocket if you don't file the claim.

bob60014
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Re: Parking Lot Dent: Pay myself or submit claim

Post by bob60014 » Tue Dec 12, 2017 11:31 am

Check your Geico policy as you may have Accident Forgiveness included.

SR II
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Re: Parking Lot Dent: Pay myself or submit claim

Post by SR II » Tue Dec 12, 2017 11:54 am

lawman3966 wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 8:36 pm

I'd like to understand the reasoning here. If I were to pay for this through insurance, and then later had a major accident, what is the problem that would arise that wouldn't arise otherwise? I understand that I'd want to have the major accident paid for through insurance, and that after this hypothetical second accident, my rates would rise. However, the new rates would only be imposed on me for a limited period, as I intend to move overseas during 2018. Is there a concern beyond increased rates after a second accident that you were referencing here?
Because sometimes plans change.

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dwickenh
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Re: Parking Lot Dent: Pay myself or submit claim

Post by dwickenh » Tue Dec 12, 2017 12:43 pm

miles monroe wrote:
Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:47 am
dwickenh wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 11:35 pm

Not necessarily- not all Insurance companies report to carfax.

This would not be a major ding on carfax anyway- 4 year old vehicle with 2 panels damaged

i would turn in the claim and let Geico handle the payment.
maybe. maybe not.

i automatically disqualify any used car from consideration if it's been in an accident.
No matter how minor the accident? And I assure you you won't catch every vehicle that had damage and was repaired. I was in the collision repair business for 17 years, and I could not always catch the prior repairs!!
The market is the most efficient mechanism anywhere in the world for transferring wealth from impatient people to patient people.” | — Warren Buffett

talzara
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Re: Parking Lot Dent: Pay myself or submit claim

Post by talzara » Tue Dec 12, 2017 6:07 pm

Your $1600 claim is half of the average collision claim.
In 2016 the average collision claim was $3,435; the average comprehensive claim was $1,748.

https://www.iii.org/fact-statistic/fact ... -insurance
The rate calculation is based on the number of claims you've filed, not the total dollar value. Since your claim is so much smaller than average, it is actuarially better to pay for it out of pocket.

However, you're leaving the country next year. If you don't make a claim, then it's money that you're throwing away. Even if it reduces the value of the car to have a repair on the record, it's not going to reduce it by $1600.
lawman3966 wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 11:14 pm
I have no moving violations. My FICO score is about 800 and has been there for a long time.
One more data point here is that I drive very little - on the order of about 1000 miles a year. If I had to do without a vehicle, I could. (I mention this in response to the unlikely prospect of another accident and some associated massive insurance rate increase).
You are the ideal customer for Pay Per Mile (PPM) insurance. Traditional auto insurance policies give very small discounts for low-mileage driving, but PPM insurance gives much steeper discounts. You drive 90% less than the average American, so you could save around 30-50%. (You don't save 90% because auto insurance has a lot of fixed costs.)

Metromile is the only PPM company I know of that operates in Washington state. Consider getting a quote from them.

Usage Based Insurance (UBI) would also be a possibility if you weren't expatriating in a year. UBI discounts are usually only applied prospectively, which doesn't leave much time to benefit from lower rates.

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