Car Damaged File With Insurance or Not

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LifeIsGood
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Location: Atlanta, GA

Car Damaged File With Insurance or Not

Post by LifeIsGood » Sat Mar 09, 2019 3:54 pm

My son’s car suffered a “hit & run” while parked in a parking lot. It happened when it was dark and wasn’t noticed until the next morning. He hasn’t gotten an estimate yet but assumes it will be at least $1500 - $2000. His dilemma is whether to file an insurance claim or not. His concern with filing a claim is that it with probably show up on a Carfax report and may scare away potential buyers when he eventually sells it. There is also the possibility of a claim causing his rates to rise.
Any thoughts either pro or con will be appreciated.

cherijoh
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Location: Charlotte NC

Re: Car Damaged File With Insurance or Not

Post by cherijoh » Sat Mar 09, 2019 3:57 pm

LifeIsGood wrote:
Sat Mar 09, 2019 3:54 pm
My son’s car suffered a “hit & run” while parked in a parking lot. It happened when it was dark and wasn’t noticed until the next morning. He hasn’t gotten an estimate yet but assumes it will be at least $1500 - $2000. His dilemma is whether to file an insurance claim or not. His concern with filing a claim is that it with probably show up on a Carfax report and may scare away potential buyers when he eventually sells it. There is also the possibility of a claim causing his rates to rise.
Any thoughts either pro or con will be appreciated.
It would be unethical to not disclose that a car was involved in an accident when he sells it.

miamivice
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Re: Car Damaged File With Insurance or Not

Post by miamivice » Sat Mar 09, 2019 6:27 pm

cherijoh wrote:
Sat Mar 09, 2019 3:57 pm
LifeIsGood wrote:
Sat Mar 09, 2019 3:54 pm
My son’s car suffered a “hit & run” while parked in a parking lot. It happened when it was dark and wasn’t noticed until the next morning. He hasn’t gotten an estimate yet but assumes it will be at least $1500 - $2000. His dilemma is whether to file an insurance claim or not. His concern with filing a claim is that it with probably show up on a Carfax report and may scare away potential buyers when he eventually sells it. There is also the possibility of a claim causing his rates to rise.
Any thoughts either pro or con will be appreciated.
It would be unethical to not disclose that a car was involved in an accident when he sells it.
You are not required to disclose that a vehicle was damaged, as long as it was repaired to oem standards. Just like if you replace an alternator, you dont need to disclose that either.

If you have ever bought a used car from a dealer, you know that they do not disclose anything. You are on your own if you buy the vehicle as-is.
Last edited by miamivice on Sat Mar 09, 2019 6:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

miamivice
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Re: Car Damaged File With Insurance or Not

Post by miamivice » Sat Mar 09, 2019 6:29 pm

LifeIsGood wrote:
Sat Mar 09, 2019 3:54 pm
My son’s car suffered a “hit & run” while parked in a parking lot. It happened when it was dark and wasn’t noticed until the next morning. He hasn’t gotten an estimate yet but assumes it will be at least $1500 - $2000. His dilemma is whether to file an insurance claim or not. His concern with filing a claim is that it with probably show up on a Carfax report and may scare away potential buyers when he eventually sells it. There is also the possibility of a claim causing his rates to rise.
Any thoughts either pro or con will be appreciated.
If the car is repaired by a reputable body shop, the incident will make carfax. In fact, every oil change makes carfax these days if done by dealers, so there is not much hiding vehicle stuff.

I dont believe that an insurance company can make carfax entries in the first place.

stockrex
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Re: Car Damaged File With Insurance or Not

Post by stockrex » Sat Mar 09, 2019 6:41 pm

I had this happen more than once.
I had to eat the deductible of $1000 each time till I dropped my deductible to $100.
for that low repair estimate I would negotiate a cash price and do it.

It is a non-moving violation, aka, does not ding you and makes you more risky. My insurance went up $60/year after.

ccieemeritus
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Re: Car Damaged File With Insurance or Not

Post by ccieemeritus » Sun Mar 10, 2019 1:45 am

miamivice wrote:
Sat Mar 09, 2019 6:27 pm
You are not required to disclose that a vehicle was damaged, as long as it was repaired to oem standards. Just like if you replace an alternator, you dont need to disclose that either.
I am not a lawyer, but that probably varies by state (and is incorrect in many). In CA I found this link:

"2005 California Vehicle Code Sections 9990-9993 CHAPTER 4. DISCLOSURE OF DAMAGE"
https://law.justia.com/codes/california ... -9993.html

Which indicates that if you sell a vehicle and are aware of damage exceeding 3% of the value or $500, you have to disclose it. I believe "damage" is different from "maintenance".

I suspect the way the dealers avoid disclosing is by deliberately not asking about prior accidents when buying used cars.

I'd also note to the OP that accident damage exceeding a certain amount ($500 in CA I think) must be disclosed in an accident report to the DMV.

When I have a minor accident, I consider a possible increase in insurance rates when deciding whether to file a claim. Not disclosure when selling the vehicle.

MikeG62
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Re: Car Damaged File With Insurance or Not

Post by MikeG62 » Sun Mar 10, 2019 6:54 am

Answer might also depend on how much his deductible is. For example, a deductible of $100 or $250 and a repair bill of $2,000 might argue in favor of reporting it.

What we did...My daughter damaged one of my cars (no other car involved) last year and cost of repair was $2,000. I elected not to report to insurance (deductible was $1,000) and instead paid out-of -pocket for the repair. I had my daughter pay the $1,000 deductible to me (as if she had insurance and I was the insurer) and I paid the remaining $1,000. I made the decision that saving $1,000 at that time was not worth any increases in insurance on our three cars that might result from this. Fast forward one year. My daughter now has her own car and has her own car insurance. Now she can make the decision for herself if ever put in this situation again. I believe we made the right decision for us at the time. YMMV.

If he decides to report it, I would take a bunch of really good pictures. This way a future potential buyer can see the nature of the damage instead of assuming the worst. Also had experience here. I was rear ended (only accident I have ever been in in 40 years of driving) some 7-8 years ago. Damage to my car was around $2,500 - it was not all that bad (some people would not even have bothered to fix it), but because it was a Mercedes the cost to repair (new OEM bumper) was expensive. Anyway, sold the car some 4-5 years later and the pictures were instrumental in convincing the buyer that the accident was really a non-event (not something that should prevent him from buying it) even thought it showed up on the carfax.
Last edited by MikeG62 on Sun Mar 10, 2019 7:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
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bob60014
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Re: Car Damaged File With Insurance or Not

Post by bob60014 » Sun Mar 10, 2019 7:20 am

Make, model, year, deductible and current value may help decide whether to file a insurance claim. Carfax reporting and eventual selling of the car would be the least of my concerns.

Topic Author
LifeIsGood
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Re: Car Damaged File With Insurance or Not

Post by LifeIsGood » Sun Mar 10, 2019 4:56 pm

Thanks to all for the replies. My concern with Carfax wasn’t to deceive a potential buyer. It revolved around possibly scaring away a potential buyer without them even looking at the car assuming it had been wrecked.
Great idea about taking pictures before any repairs.
The car is a 2016 Lexus IS 300 and I believe the deductible is $500.
I didn’t realize that most body shops report to Carfax regardless of who pays.
I guess he’ll wait and see how much the estimate is.

TravelGeek
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Re: Car Damaged File With Insurance or Not

Post by TravelGeek » Sun Mar 10, 2019 6:06 pm

I’ll have to dig out my paperwork, but I was under the impression that my insurance contract requires me to report any accidents to them. (I don’t think that means I have to file a claim)

quantAndHold
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Re: Car Damaged File With Insurance or Not

Post by quantAndHold » Sun Mar 10, 2019 7:17 pm

Few buyers will be scared off by $2000 worth of damage that was properly fixed. $2000 doesn’t go very far when paying for bodywork. I’ve sold several cars in private party sales, and nobody has ever checked the carfax report until they had already looked at the car and were ready to buy. If the car looks good, and you have the records describing the damage and repair, only the most OCD person is going to walk away because it had a $2000 repair.

I’m always surprised at the number of people here who pay for insurance for years and years and years, then have an accident and don’t use their insurance. Why pay for anything except liability coverage if you’re never ever going to make a claim?

Topic Author
LifeIsGood
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Location: Atlanta, GA

Re: Car Damaged File With Insurance or Not

Post by LifeIsGood » Mon Mar 11, 2019 6:08 am

quantAndHold wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 7:17 pm
I’m always surprised at the number of people here who pay for insurance for years and years and years, then have an accident and don’t use their insurance. Why pay for anything except liability coverage if you’re never ever going to make a claim?
I had a $3000 claim several years ago and Travelers raised my premium by $600/year for the next 5 years. That's why I now hesitate to submit small claims.

aristotelian
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Re: Car Damaged File With Insurance or Not

Post by aristotelian » Mon Mar 11, 2019 6:25 am

Is he planning to resell the car? If not, I would use the insurance.

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