Should I File A Claim For Auto Property Damage?

By David Greene

How do you know when to submit your claim to your automobile insurance company? If you are unfortunately involved in a car accident with damage to your your car or the other party you might think about calling your insurance company right away. Before making a phone call, you may want to think twice before reporting the claim.

Auto insurance companies report every claim payment to the CLUE national database. This is short for the Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange. That system, interestingly enough, is used by insurance companies to review prospective clients' claim histories. Whether or not a claim has been paid out for a dollar, a thousand, or a million, it shows up.

This will potentially your eligibility with an insurance company, and also may increase your automobile insurance rates overall. Insurance companies look at the amount of the payout, as well as the frequency of claims, even if you have several smaller claims that add up to two bigger ones.

There are 2 types of auto insurance claims. One is called liability and the other is property damage. A property claim involves physical damage to your own vehicle. A liability claim, on the other hand, involves property damage or personal injury as a result of your auto. There are multiple things to consider when looking into whether or not to file a claim.

There are circumstances that are unique in accidents so there is not one hard and fast rule to follow. Here are some considerations of what to keep in mind. If there's any doubt in your mind, always contact your insurance agent to run it by them for advice.

When it comes to property damage claims, if there is simply damage to your own vehicle it is important to look at the repair cost. Also, you will want to consider the amount of your deductible and how it could possibly affect your future insurability. If you are claim free on your record, you may not receive any penalty.

You should also look at the future. Say you put in a claim for this accident which is small, and then you have a larger one in 60 days. Then there are 2 claims on your record and if another one occurred within a year that's a trifecta. Your insurance company may cancel you for claim frequency. Now you are stuck in a position where you need to disclose the fact you have been cancelled previously while you are looking for new coverage.

If the first small claim involves damage to only your vehicle, it's important to know your deductible. If you have a property damage claim and there's only $500 damage and your deductible is $500, common sense means you should not report that damage. It would be no coverage.

If you have a lesser insurance claim involving damage or a bumper scratch just over the deductible, you would only be eligible for a small amount over the deductible figure. Let's say your vehicle is broken into and your personal possessions are stolen out of your car. Door damage equals $475. The damage to your personal possessions are worth $600 so assume you have a $500 deductible the door damage would not be covered. Unless you have some sort of a policy endorsement, there's no personal possessions coverage because they were simply in the vehicle, and not part of it. Therefore there's no sense in filing a claim for your property damage because it would not pay you anything. With regards to the personal possessions, it may be covered by a homeowners policy, but not by your auto coverage unless the policy is endorsed.

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