Can and/or should I make a car insurance claim — or not?
April 29, 2014 8:16 PM Subscribe
Our relatively young car (~1 yr) has collected a bit of damage over the past year. One bit of damage is a dent which is starting to rust, so it needs to be dealt with in a body shop. The dent was not our fault, but the result of a parking gate that closed early. We also scratched the car elsewhere in a few places. Those scratches are substantial and our fault, and they also require professional work. We would like to know if making an insurance claim is an option or if we must (or should) pay on our own.
One quote we received to fix all these issues is about $2500 and we expect that other quotes will run in at around the same amount. We'll also need to rent a car for the week (~$200). Our insurance deductible is $250.
Given that the dent occurred about six months ago at a parking facility that disavows legal liability, and given the timing, it seems unlikely we would be able to receive restitution from them. The scratches are recent, but our own fault. (Just to be clear: The scratches are sizable and not fixable with dealer touch-up paint.)
Should I place a claim with our auto insurance company or not? Given the length of time between the dent happening and when we are getting work done, and given that the scratches are our fault, can we even make a claim that would reduce our outlay from ~$2700 to $250?
If we were able to make a claim, I know our premiums would rise as a result, but I don't know by how much. Is there a rough guideline for how much more we would expect to pay, given the bill for the damage? We have not had any accidents before, or parking tickets, etc.
For purposes of answering this question, we live in the United States (NW) and use PEMCO as our insurer.