Auto-insurance claim can be costly

Email to a Friend

If you get in a minor car accident, you should think twice before you file a claim with your auto-insurance company. A report in January 2015 from insuranceQuotes.com, which compares insurance plans, found that, on average, consumers paid 41 percent more for their automobile insurance after filing a single claim. That’s up from 38 percent in 2014.

Generally, if another vehicle or person is involved in the crash, you should contact your insurer, says Laura Adams of insuranceQuotes. However, experts tell us that you should crunch the numbers before you file a claim for an accident that doesn’t include an injury or damage to another person’s property, such as driving into your own fence.

“I usually advise people to pay for minor damage to their cars out of their own pocket and save collision claims for major incidents,” says Penny Gusner of Insure.com, which also compares insurance plans for consumers. “It’s not worth making claims for damages that are barely over your deductible.”

J. Robert Hunter, who is the director of insurance with advocacy group Consumer Federation of America, says poor people might have to file all claims except small ones.