In 2019, there were 314,376 total auto crashes in the state of Michigan. Of that total, 54,539 involved injuries to one or more people involved, with 258,935 involving property damage only.
In most of these cases, auto insurance companies were involved in the process. Drivers and passengers used their auto insurance to pay for damage to their vehicles, to other property and to pay for medical expenses.
You carry auto insurance to help you cover these expenses related to auto accidents. But, there are times when it doesn’t make sense to file an auto insurance claim.
Here are some examples of times when you may not want to file a claim.
If It’s a Minor Accident That Only Involves You
Some auto accidents can be very minor. The presence of ice or other poor road conditions can cause drivers to veer off the road. In the most minor of these cases, you may run into a curb or a guardrail at a low rate of speed.
When this happens, you may have only caused minor damage to your car. This could be a small dent or scratch. If you aren’t injured in this type of accident, it may not make sense to file an auto insurance claim.
Because no one else was involved in the accident, and no one was injured, you could decide to pay out of your pocket to fix the damage to your vehicle.
If Your Deductible Is More Than the Damage
Most auto insurance policies have a deductible. This is the amount of money you are required to pay in a claim before your auto insurance company will cover the rest.
If the damage that your car sustained in a crash is less than your deductible, then, it probably makes sense not to file an insurance claim. For example, if your deducible is $1,000, and the damage your car sustained will cost $650 to fix, it makes no sense to file a claim.
After all, you’d be required to pay the full $650 toward your deductible anyway. Because of this, it wouldn’t make sense to possibly have your auto insurance rates increase if you’re not even going to get a benefit from it.
If the Damage Isn’t Significantly More Than Your Deductible
Another situation where you may not want to file an auto insurance claim is if the damage doesn’t significantly exceed your deductible. Let’s go back to the example above, where your deductible is $1,000. If the damage to your vehicle is $1,200, you would be responsible for paying $1,000, while your insurance company would cover the remaining $200.
Now, you have to ask yourself whether it’s in your best interest to take the $200 from your insurance company or not. The biggest thing you have to weigh is how much your insurance premium may increase as the result of this claim.
If, for example, your insurance premium will increase by $50 per month for this claim, then taking the $200 wouldn’t make any sense. In that case, you’d pay an extra $600 per year in insurance just to get a one-time payment of $200. In other words, you’d lose $400 over the course of that first year.
In single-vehicle crashes in which no one is injured, it’s completely your prerogative as to how you would like to handle the situation. Even if the damage exceeds your deductible, you may still decide to pay for it without filing an auto insurance claim.
If You Don’t Care to Fix the Damage
If you are in a single-car accident with no injuries, you may also decide not to fix the damage to your car. This could be especially true if you have an older model car, or if the damage is very minor.
As long as the damage is only cosmetic in nature, there’s nothing that says you have to get it fixed. If you’re OK living with the damage, then there’s no reason you should file an auto insurance claim.
Your auto insurance is only there to help you fix a problem or cover you in the case of injuries. If you aren’t seeking help for either of these things, then there’s no need to contact them.
When You Should File an Auto Insurance Claim
In almost all other situations, you should file an auto insurance claim. It’s only advisable to not file a claim if your car was the only one damaged, and if no one was injured in the accident.
If you are involved in a car accident in which another person’s car was damaged, too, then you should absolutely file an auto insurance claim. It doesn’t matter whether you were at fault for the accident, or whether the other driver was. You need to file an auto insurance claim with your insurance company and let them figure out how the coverage and fixes will be coordinated.
If you or someone else was injured in the accident, you should also file an auto insurance claim. Even if the injuries seem minor, it’s important that you file a claim with your insurance company right away. This will protect you in case the person who was injured develops more significant symptoms later on.
Your auto insurance provides you with coverage in the case that someone is injured. But, they can’t provide you with this protection if you don’t report it to them right away.
Signature Insurance Can Help Guide You
A good auto insurance company will help advise you of your options when you’re involved in an auto accident. They should have experienced professionals who can provide you with all the facts to let you make the best decision for you.
Signature Insurance is that auto insurance company in Michigan. We have been providing our expertise in the state for years, and our customers love the personal service we give them.
When you need it, we’re here for all of our customers. Contact us today to find out how we can protect you.