Should I report this car damage?
April 18, 2009 2:12 PM Subscribe
How much is avoiding reporting car camage to the insurance company worth in terms of out-of-pocket repairs?
posted by Justinian to travel & transportation (9 answers total)
A whole chain of events led to me damaging one side of my car; no one else was involved and no one (except me) had property damaged. The actual events don't matter for the purposes of this question, assume I was 100% at fault. That isn't really the case but for the purposes of this question assume it is.
Since the only thing damaged was my own car there is no reason to report this to my insurance if have it fixed myself. Except that the first estimate for fixing the damage is a bunch higher than I had thought; on the order of $2200-$2800 depending on whether they have to replace the door shell for both passenger side doors or just the front door shell. I'm going to get more estimates on Monday because that seems a lot of money for what doesn't appear on the surface to be that much damage but lets take the repairs as costing $2500.
I have collision insurance with a $500 deductible. So reporting it could save me like $2000 in the short term. What are the long term consequences of reporting vs paying for it myself? I've been with the same insurance co for like 12 years and have never had an at fault accident (was rear-ended once, other party found 100% at fault) so have never had to have them pay a cent. How much do rates get jacked up if you report your first accident and are there any other implications? Seems like this is the whole reason to get collision insurance but I've heard horror stories about people making claims on insurance companies and having it come back to bite them. Does that not hold for car insurance?
(I've got a 2004 Volvo S60 if it matters for any reason but I doubt it does).