One of the first things most people do following a car accident is call the police, then the insurance company. While this is something we are taught to do to protect ourselves in the event of an accident, there are certain times when filing a car insurance claim may not work to your advantage. If major damage has been done to your car and the accident was not your fault, it seems only logical that the next step is to get your insurance company on the phone and tell them what happened, right? Not so fast. The truth of the matter is that not all car accidents that happen are serious, and not every accident should involve your insurance company. In many cases, minor fender benders are handled between the drivers, without the insurance company. But is this legal, and will it benefit you in the end? The answer is yes.
When you are involved in a car accident and someone is injured or major damage is done to one or more cars, letting your insurance company know is required. However, there are plenty of accidents that take place that may not benefit from the insurance company getting involved. Let’s look at some of those scenarios:
- The damage is close to your deductible – If you’ve been involved in an accident and the damage done to your own car is close to your deductible, it may not be worth it to contact your insurance company. Get an estimate from your local repair shop and if the cost to fix your vehicle is around your deductible, you should probably just handle the repairs out-of-pocket. Even though you may save $100 by filing a claim, for example, there’s a good chance your insurance premium will increase because of the accident.
- You are the only one involved – If you were the only one involved in the accident, it will probably work to your benefit to keep the details to yourself. This is the case if you weren’t injured and as long as your car didn’t sustain serious damage, of course.
- You’ve filed insurance claims for car accidents in the past – If you are prone to car accidents like some people are, filing numerous claims can hurt you. Not only will your insurance premiums skyrocket, but there’s a chance your insurance company will even drop you. If the accident was a minor solo crash and you weren’t injured, not involving your insurance company could save you big time in the end.
If you aren’t sure what the right thing to do following a car accident is, please contact one of our Dallas insurance attorneys today. We are happy to answer any questions and help you determine if involving your insurance company is the right or wrong move.