Mathew B. Sims is Editor-in-Chief and has authored, edited, and contributed to several books. He has been working in the insurance industry ensuring content is accurate for consumers who are searching for the best policies and rates. He has also been featured on sites like UpJourney.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years (BBB A+). He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like Reviews.com and Safeco. He reviews content, ensuring that exis...

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Apr 24, 2020

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Things to Remember...

  • Your premium payments will generally stay lower if you don’t make auto insurance claims against your insurance
  • Make sure you know when you should make a claim and when you should refrain
  • If your car has sustained major damage, or if there was any damage or injury to another party, you’re going to need to make an insurance claim
  • If your car only sustains minor damage, you are better off to take car of it yourself and not make a claim
  • Your overall driving record is more likely to impact your rates than any single claim

You may wonder whether or not you should put in a claim to your insurance company if the amount of damage to the vehicles is minimal.

After all, you don’t want your auto insurance rates to go up the next time you purchase car insurance. You’ve probably heard that most insurance companies will start charging you more if you actually have to make a claim.

Use your zip code and the free rate tools to compare online auto insurance quotes now!

That’s absolutely true. After all, insurance companies don’t make their money by paying out claims. They make their money by collecting premiums from people who don’t make claims.

Therefore, your premium payments will generally stay lower if you don’t make auto insurance claims against your insurance.

When Not to Make an Auto Insurance Claim

Generally speaking, there are a couple of instances when it’s a good idea not to make an insurance claim or otherwise involve your insurance company if:

  • There is no significant damage to your car and no other parties involved in the accident plan on reporting the accident. In this case, your auto insurance company might not even find out about the accident, which will end up saving you money. Of course, if the police were involved and filed a report, your insurance company will find out about the accident, as it will be a matter of record.
  • The damages caused are less (or only slightly more) than your deductible. If the damages cost less than the deductible, there’s no point in bringing the insurance company into it. They won’t pay any of it anyway. Even if the damages are slightly higher than the deductible, it often makes sense to go ahead and pay for it yourself, rather than allow your premiums to go up.

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When to Make an Auto Insurance Claim

Of course, if your car has sustained major damage, or if there was any damage or injury to another party, you’re going to need to make an insurance claim.

That’s why you get car insurance quotes and buy car insurance in the first place. But when damages are minimal, you’re much better off handling the expense yourself if you can.

Factors that Influence an Auto Insurance Rates Increase

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Of course, the amount your insurance will go up because of an accident varies widely, depending on which insurance company you use.

Some of the factors which insurance companies consider when deciding what to do with your insurance rates after an accident include your age, your gender, previous driving record, previous accidents, whether or not you were at fault in the accident, and the extent of damage the insurance company needed to pay for.

Your overall driving record is more likely to impact your rates than any single claim. So don’t sweat it too much if you do need to file a claim.

That’s what this type of protection is there for in the first place. However, if your provider them raises your rates through the roof, don’t be afraid to start shopping around.

Use the free online rates tool and your zip code to compare auto insurance quotes now!