Insurance providers often tell their clients to report even the most minor collision, but sometimes this might not be the best move. But, on the other hand, if you hide an accident from your insurer by paying out of pocket for repair costs, you could expose yourself to some trouble. So, how can you tell when you should and when you shouldn’t?

When to File

Obviously, there are some instances where you absolutely must file an insurance claim. If you are involved in a crash with another vehicle or vehicles and a driver has suffered an injury, you must file. In these types of cases, you probably won’t have a choice in the matter since the other affected parties will insist. Similarly, if you or any of your passengers suffer and injury as a result of an accident, you should file a claim promptly. Medical costs, especially in the US, can be unpredictable and can add up quickly.

If you are filing a claim, there are some steps you can take to ensure the process goes smoothly.

  1. First, always check to make sure everyone involved in the accident is ok – check for injuries and contact the appropriate authorities.
  2. Gather the following information to provide to your insurance company:
    1. Full names of everyone involved in the accident;
    1. All vehicle license plate numbers and information;
    1. Insurance information of all parties involved;
    1. Any accident specifics that you can remember.
  3. Record everything that has happened at the scene, while it is still fresh in your memory.
  4. Take photos of all vehicles involved.
  5. Know your deductible amount and how your coverage will apply to the accident.

The truth of the matter is that filing insurance claims impacts your insurance rates. Commercial vehicle insurance providers use complex calculations to determine what rate you will pay.  Filing too many claims and having too many driving infractions on your record will cause your insurance premiums to go up, and in some extreme cases, the insurance provider may even drop your coverage.

When It’s Ok To Not File

It can be very difficult to determine when to not file a claim. Whenever you make decisions like that, you must weigh the risks. A good place to start with this decision-making process is to remember what motor truck general liability insurance is for – to protect against unaffordable costs related to you being found legally liable for property damage or bodily injuries to a third party.

For example, experts note that there may be several instances where you will be better off financially if you do not file the claim:

  • If the cost of the damage is lower than your deductible, it may make more sense to pay for the damage out of pocket. For example, if you’re in a single vehicle accident that involves less than $1,000 in damage, you might be better off not filing a claim.  For instance, if you back into a pole and the only damage is to your vehicle, you might want to pay for the repairs yourself and avoid facing possible insurance rate hikes.
  • If you’re at fault in an accident with another vehicle, and the damage is less than $1,000, you might want to try to convince the other driver/carrier company not to report the incident to his insurer.  It is required by law to exchange insurance information after an accident. But, if there is no bodily injury and if you could pay for his repairs out of pocket, it might save you money in the long run.  You will want the other driver/carrier company to get a repair estimate quickly. Estimating repair costs can be tricky, and you want to be able to file a claim within the designated time period if you underestimated the repair costs.
  • If you’re involved in an accident and the other driver is at fault, you face a trickier situation.  If you trust that the other driver will pay for your auto repairs, you might consider not filing a claim.  Remember, even if you are not at fault in an accident, filing a claim can raise your insurance costs.

The main benefit of paying out of pocket when it is appropriate to is because many insurance providers offer lower premiums for businesses that remain claims-free.

Unfortunately, there’s no easy formula to determine whether to file an insurance claim.  Use your judgment and review your policy if you are on the fence. Having a good understanding of the costs and coverages is a good place to start.

Should You File a Truck Insurance Claim or Pay for the Damage from Your Pocket for A Minor Collision? was last modified: by