Post # 1
I was in a car accident yesterday morning and the quote I got for repairs is $3500 which, with trying to save for our first home and a wedding feels astronomical right now. My dilemma is how to pay for it. It’s stressing me out to the point where I’ve lost my appetite and I need to make a decision by tonight! I’ve made a poll to see what your advice is because I’m so torn from getting SO many different opinions. For reference there were no other cars involved, I hit ice and went off the road into a ditch. Here are the pros and cons for each option:
Go through insurance
- I won’t have to pay for it out of pocket
- The rental car I’m having to rent will be covered
- My insurance rate may sky rocket and I’ll be stuck paying that rate for years ( and I’m apprehensive about calling them to ask how much it would go up because I’m afraid if I do they will consider it admitting to an accident and raise my rates anyway)
Pay out of pocket (by this I mean tack it onto the LOC I bought my car with)
- Insurance rates will stay the same
- I’m out $3500…obviously
- I still owe about $7500 on the car and it’s 7 years old so if I add $3500 to what I owe there is a good chance the car will completely die before I’m finished paying it off and then I’ll be making two car payments.
I’m just really feel like I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place and could use some advice.
Post # 3
@PinkStripes: I say this is what you have insurance for. Investigate how high your rates would go, negotiate with your insurance company, see what repairs are actually required and what are cosmetic, and find out if you have to go to a specific shop for repairs or if you can shop around. Get these questions answered first before you jump into your decision.
When my FI got in a car accident he found out that by fixing only the critical stuff right away (and holding off the cosmetic for a few months), he was able to shop around and save almost $1000 on his repairs.
Post # 4
@PinkStripes: was the accident your fault and/or were you cited for it?
I got into an accident that was not my fault and it caused about the same amount of damage to my vehicle. My insurance barely went up.
I would go through insurance if I were you.
Post # 5
@PinkStripes: This is the very reason you pay for your insurance. What is your deductible?
I have been hit several times in parking lots and was at fault in a minor accident in a parking lot and my insurance has not gone up hardly at all. The only reason our insurance did increase recently was thanks to DH’s lead foot. I don’t think something like this where they don’t owe medical and repair costs to another party should result in much change at all.
Post # 6
@renwoman: See, I’m with you but a friend from work called his broker for me just to ask some questions and the broker said, and I loosely quote, “people think insurance should be used for any accident, while it sucks to pay so much for an accident, insurance is really for the big accidents $10,000, $15,000 etc.” He also said if I call the insurance company to simply inquire about how high the rates would go, they’ll then know about the accident and could record the conversation and still jack up my rates.
Post # 7
What is the point of paying for insurance if you aren’t going to use it? I would absolutely go through insurance.
Post # 8
@PinkStripes: Definitely go through your insurance. You’ll have to pay the deductible (probably $500 or more if you chose a higher deductible), but there’s a possibility your insurance won’t raise your rate if they have first accident forgiveness, or if they decide you’re not a risk. They’ll look at your driving record during the policy to see if you’ve been getting tickets etc.
At any rate, you’d end up paying $3,500 to have it repaired, which is $3,000 more than the deductible. They’d have to raise your rate $83/mo for 3 years for it to cost you $3,000 on top of the deductible. There is no benefit to not going through your insurance, unless you don’t intend to fix your car.
Post # 9
If you were at fault and got cited, your rates will likely go up anyway. Might as well file the claim in that scenario.
Post # 10
I don’t where you live or the details of your insurance, but here you can file a claim, have the insurance handle the repairs, then get a quote from them re any effect on your insurance rates.
If the insurance will go up, it goes up for 3 years. You can then decide to repay the insurance corporation for your claim if the extra insurance will affect you more than just paying for the accident yourself. If you repay the insurance company, there is no impact on your insurance rates in the years following.
Post # 11
@PinkStripes: when my dad got in an accident his insurance wemy up $9 a month..
Post # 12
Honestly, your rate wouldn’t go up more than a few dollars, even if they do go up for claiming $3500 dollars worth of damage.
Definitely go through insurance. That’s what insurance is FOR!
Post # 13
@PinkStripes: An accident that causes $10,000-$15,000 isn’t a repairable accident, that’s usually where you declare the car totalled in my experience, unless you have a really fancy car. Look at the Blue Book value for your car (pre-accident). I say you need to get more information before you make a decision.
Post # 14
Definitely go through insurance… That’s why you have it. PLUS, accidents only stay on your car insurance record for 3 years (they stay on your driving record with the DMV/RMV for 10 years). As long as you don’t get tons of tickets or have more accidents, you’ll be fine. It may not even go up as significantly as you think.
Post # 15
@PinkStripes: I think you should call your insurance company, let them know you were in an accident, and ask what will happen to your rates if you make a claim to cover the repairs. Don’t make a claim yet, just ask some questions. If your premium will increase to the point that it adds up to $3,500+ over the remaining life of the car, it might be best to just pay for the repairs out-of-pocket. If your premium won’t increase, or will only increase slightly, proceed with the claim. I know it varies between companies, but my company never gave me the impression that they were “out to get me”. I can’t imagine they’d increase your premium because they suspected you’d been in an accident. And it’s only suspicion without proof, which they’d only get through the regular claim process (i.e. inspection by an agent, estimate from a body shop, etc.). Is there a local agent for your insurance company where you live? If so, I would definitely speak with them, rather than calling the company’s national 1-800 number.
This sort of thing is what insurance is for, and if I were in your shoes I certainly wouldn’t want to come up with $3500 on such short notice. Accidents happen!
Post # 16
- Wedding: May 2013 - Pavilion overlooking golf course scenery, reception at banquet hall
Unless your insurance rate is going to shoot up over $3500 higher than your previous rate, it’s a very good idea to go through insurance.