CarTalk.com Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

If I file two insurance claims within a year, would my rate skyrocket?

Unfortunately, both “accidents” are at my fault.
Fortunately, I didn’t hurt anyone or damage anything.

I have bought this collision policy from my dealership at my car purchase. If I file an insurance claim and bring my car to their shop, I don’t pay for my deductible because they got my business.

I took advantage of that and filed a claim 6 months ago to fix something that got damaged due to my fault (I wish I haven’t done this)
I noticed that my insurance rate went up but I saved more by not paying anything than the increase in insurance
Now, I really need to fix it because the damage is bad but I am worried if my insurance will go up really high, since it would be my second claim only 6 months after the first claim (and both at my fault)

If I file a claim and my insurance goes up really high, how long does it take to go down again? if I assume that I will have no more “at fault” accidents…

My deductible is $1500 and I’m assuming it would cost about 3 grand to fix my car.

Which option would be better?

A. Pay out of pocket (assuming it costs <3 grand)

B. File a claim and pay nothing by using the dealership policy, but pay increased insurance for a long term…
(factor: I filed a claim 6 months ago already, and both damages are at my fault)

Yes, filing two claims w/in one year for accidents that were your fault will lead to an increase in your insurance rates–as it should.

Somebody has to pay for the repairs, and…Why should other drivers subsidize your lack of skill behind the wheel?

I think the OP is trying to say they have full coverage with an actual auto insurance co. and a repair policy for the dealership’s collision repair shop. If that is correct the actual insurance is going to be notified when they do the repair . As for assuming no more at fault accidents, I think we can count on having more at fault accidents.

Wait…you have two separate policies? Meaning a regular one–with, say the “lizard” or the “big hair lady”–that covers everything (less $1500 deductible), and a second–through the new car dealer–that covers the first $1500?

Am I right so far?

And your question is should you:

  1. File through both companies and pay nothing out-of-pocket
  2. File with the lizard and pay $1500 OOP, OR
  3. pay the whole thing yourself?

Realize that “3” is really only an option if you had a “single car accident”: you wrecked your car into a stationary object (not a car) and did negligible damage to whatever you hit.

Your policy papers ought to spell out the rate and surcharge schedules…where I live, they’re required to by law. You need to wade through the legal gobbledygook and decode what the rate increase would be. None of us have access to the paperwork, so we cannot do this for you.

If “3” isn’t your best choice, could you go with option “1”…and then immediately cancel the surplus policy? (After all, you’re convinced you will not have another accident…)

P.S. Two “single vehicle” accidents within a short time ought to make you reconsider your driving. Anyone can get unlucky, and there’s an element of risk attached to even “at fault” multi-vehicle wrecks…but that oak tree has been in the same location for 75 years, avoiding it isn’t (or shouldn’t be) particularly taxing on one’s driving skills.

Two separate car insurance policies?
I have never heard of this concept previously.

The OP may have what is called GAP Insurance. But 1500.00 dollar deductible?

"But 1500.00 dollar deductible? "

Admittedly, a deductible that high is a bit unusual, but it is not unheard of.
In my case, because my last accident was 43 years ago, I think that it is a decent gamble on my part to save some money every year on my coverage by upping my collision deductible to $1,500. (I maintain a $100 deductible on non-collision coverage, so that it covers most of the cost of windshield replacement and such) And, if I do have a collision, that $1,500 isn’t going to take food off of my table.

The insurance company is betting that I will have an accident, and I am betting that I won’t have one. For the past 43 years, I am ahead of the game.

;-))

I believe feeling the pain of paying $3000 out-of-pocket is the best course. It will be a stinging reminder to be a more diligent driver, and have no effect on your insurance rates.

First of all you said that in your first accident you didn’t damage anything. Then why did you need to report it?

You pay for insurance to use when you have car accidents. If you don’t use it, you are throwing away that money.

File your 2nd claim. If your rate goes up to a rate you don’t think you can afford you can shop around for another insurer.

Note: If the accident involved another vehicle with damages, it is very likely that the other person reported it to his insurance company. If you don’t have your insurance company involved, in the event that you think the amount requested to pay for damages is incorrect, you won’t have the support available that you also have paid for.

“If your rate goes up to a rate you don’t think you can afford you can shop around for another insurer.”

I doubt that will work. All the insurance companies share driver claim data.

I have one insurance and one policy from dealership. The deductible is for the insurance.
I will give you an example.
the estimated cost for repair = 2000
deductible = 1500

If I file a claim to my insurance company, I will pay 1500 and the insurance will pay 500.
If I go to the auto repair shop run by the dealership that I purchased my car, which has several repair shop in the state, I do not pay my 1500. The insurance pays 500 to the repair shop.

The bottom-line idea is for me to bring damaged cars to their shop so that they have more business. If I were in an accident damaging other cars, the repair cost will be a lot higher than my deductible, so in a long run, the shop may make profit. In my case, I purchased this policy when I purchased my car, so I changed my insurance deductible to 1500, knowing I wouldn’t need to pay it for the duration of this policy lasts.

And I need to file a claim, to benefit from the policy, because the dealership get paid by the insurance while they are giving up my deductible. That’s why I filed a claim even though I damaged no other cars/persons.

And yes, I am sad and not proud that I’ve had two accidents, but for the first accident, I was avoiding a fast running car toward me and the second one is partially due to weather.

I take full responsibility for my action and I don’t blame others/weather because probably I might have not cracked my bumper if I had a better driving skills, but I’d appreciate if you guys can avoid harsh criticisms

"I doubt that will work. All the insurance companies share driver claim data."

If that’s true, and the other party filed a claim, the OP’s insurance company will already know about the accident.

Shopping for another insurer may not save a lot, but it’s very likely be cheaper for at least the first year.

My wife and I went over 10 years without an accident. Then my wife backed into a telephone pole in a tight parking lot, damaging the rear hatch. We had a $500 deductible and I found couldn’t get a replacement hatch for that, so I filed a claim and paid the money. We later got socked with a 40% rate increase, since it was our first ever claim! I tried the lizard, big haired lady, and Mr. Mayhem, but found noone else could touch that rate. I wound up staying with them, but, after 8 more years, still haven’t gotten that one great rate I used to have. sigh

Back in my insurance days in the 70’s, it only took about 3 accidents and no one would touch you and you had to pay risk insurance rate which were astronomical. Guys would call checking rates and the agents would just laugh because you couldn’t rate someone with multiple accidents. I think I would just plain pay for it myself and not take a chance on becoming uninsurable. Then I would forget about that dealer policy and go back to your normal agent. Same thing with homeowners insurance. A couple claims and you can be ousted and there you sit. I have everything with one agent, home cars, and umbrella. The only claims I’ve had are for “acts of God” deer and hail so have had no increases.

There is a “non-chargeable” limit on most insurance claims, usually $1000; meaning claims bellow that do not go on your record. If your deductible is $1500 and the estimate is $3K, then you might be better off getting some quotes from a few shops, letting them know that you are paying yourself. You can have the insurance pay ~$900 and you the rest. I bet if you shop around, you will get better quotes. The prices for body work have a wide range of variation.

If that's true, and the other party filed a claim

It’s true.Insurance companies buy into services sold by companies like LexisNexis. Part of that service is to have insurance information on anyone. But before your insurance company is allowed access they must provide them all of their data on all their clients.

Seems to me that car insurance policies require you to report accidents to the insurer, even if you will not collect from them (repair cost below deductible) or even you don’t file a claim. If so, then not reporting MIGHT void your policy.

(BTW, I agree with the comments about the wisdom of carrying a high (affordable) deductible.)

Cracked paint on plastic bumper cover? Why fix it now? Does not sound like major damage, just cosmetic. Yes all bodywork is expensive. I say wait 6 months or more. Maybe you will get a 2nd hit and you can combine the repairs than.

$3k is more than a cracked bumper. Take it to the dealer and use your insurance too. It takes 3 years to clear from your insurance. Get as much as you can paid for, because you pay monthly to be insured. Your insurance will go up, but if you don’t have $3k then it’s your only option. All of can screw up and have an accident. I’m glad your alright and your car only has $3k worth of damage. I think some of us forget that we are ALL fallible.

I'd appreciate if you guys can avoid harsh criticisms

Respectfully, I think this is the wrong attitude to take. You are in control of a 2500+ pound weapon of death. Literally. If you can’t operate it without hitting things then you need to up your skill level significantly and immediately, or you need to stop operating it. Harsh criticism, which you haven’t in fact gotten here, is deserved, and your harshest critic should be yourself.