If you are in an accident in which you are the only car involved, no one was hurt, and the repairs cost less than your deductible, you probably don't need to file an auto-insurance claim since the expenses associated with the accident are much lower than the impact to your insurance would be if you were to file an insurance claim. However, there are many other situations when it definitely makes sense to file an auto-insurance claim.
#1: Someone Was Physically Injured in the Crash
If a person was physical injured in the accident, be it you, your passenger, someone in the other vehicle, or even a pedestrian, it is always a smart idea to file an insurance claim. Just getting a ride in an ambulance to the hospital alone can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars depending on how far the injured person needs to be transported.
Additionally, it is not always easy to see how injured someone is in an accident. What seems like simple whiplash could result in hours of physical therapy and treatment. If you don't file a claim following your car accident, you could personal be on the hook if anyone in the accident sues you. If you were the injured party, the medical bills could quickly overwhelm you.
When anyone is hurt and needs medical help following an accident, it is always worth it to file an insurance claim and protect yourself from future personal liability.
#2: It Isn't Clear Who Caused the Accident
If you were in an accident, and it is not clear who caused the accident, you should always file an insurance claim, even if your vehicle or you were not injured that seriously in the accident. By your filing a claim, your insurance company will act as your representative with the other driver's insurance company and will figure out who was responsible and who has to pay. If you don't file an insurance claim, you are going to have to work with the other's driver's insurance company to figure out who was responsible, and you will be a huge underdog, as the insurance company will know the strings to pull to make you legally and financially responsible.
When another car is involved, it is always a good idea to let your insurance company stand up and represent your interests.
#3: Your Car Was Significantly Damaged Due to Vandalism or Weather-Related Events
You don't have to be driving your vehicle for it to get into an accident. Your vehicle can become a victim of random vandalism. Your vehicle can also be injured due to a random weather event, such as a hailstorm or a falling tree branch.
If your car is injured due to something such as vandalism or a weather-related event, and the costs to fix your vehicle far exceed your deductible, it can be worth it to file an insurance claim and have your insurance company pay for the repair work. Although your insurance may take a small hit, you will not have to pay out of pocket to repair your vehicle and get it back on the road.
If you find yourself in either of the three situations listed above, you should file a claim with your auto-insurance company to protect yourself from being liable for what has happened and to protect your finances. Talk to a company such as Family Insurance Centers for more information.