Auto insurance quandary

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Miss Lonelyhearts
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Joined: Tue Oct 08, 2013 12:53 am

Auto insurance quandary

Post by Miss Lonelyhearts » Sun Dec 04, 2016 9:58 pm

Friend was in an accident in which she was at fault. The total cost of repairs to the other driver's car was $900. Accident occured approximately two weeks ago and wasn't reported to insurance company because it seemed minor/not worth the hassle. When she got the bill she reconsidered. I counseled that if her deductible was $500 or more, it probably still wasn't worth making a claim, especially considering the possibility of rate increases. She said she didn't know how much her deductible was. After some clicking around on her auto insurance website she still didn't know. I asked for permission to click around myself. I couldn't find it either! (N.B.: I've never owned a car or had auto insurance.) These appear to be her relevant policy details:

http://imgur.com/a/7MuEr

indicating that Progressive will cover $25,000 of damage to another motorist's car. . .? with 0 deductible?

OTCW
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Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2011 12:55 am

Re: Auto insurance quandary

Post by OTCW » Sun Dec 04, 2016 10:55 pm

My deductible is for comprehensive coverage on my own vehicle, while my liability coverage is damage done to the other vehicle/property/person and does not have a deductible. Not sure if this is standard, but I'm pretty sure mine has always been this way.

George the original one
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Location: Wettest corner of Orygun

Re: Auto insurance quandary

Post by George the original one » Mon Dec 05, 2016 2:10 pm

In Oregon, any damage over $500 must be reported to the state with an accident report form. Since they're public record, the insurance companies have access to them. Which means the insurance company knows if you had an accident regardless of whether you tell them. So... at least in Oregon, she might as well report the accident to the insurance company because the information will get there anyways.

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Miss Lonelyhearts
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Re: Auto insurance quandary

Post by Miss Lonelyhearts » Mon Dec 05, 2016 5:07 pm

Thanks for the info. My recommendation is report/file a claim.

EdithKeeler
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Joined: Sun Sep 01, 2013 7:55 pm

Re: Auto insurance quandary

Post by EdithKeeler » Fri Dec 09, 2016 8:50 pm

I actually work in the insurance industry, in claims. It's typically a provision of your policy that you report ALL accidents. Failure to report an accident can result in a denial of coverage later. I don't do personal lines any more, but typically if you have an accident and want to handle it yourself, you can, but still report it to your carrier as "record only." It probably won't count as much against you in terms of your renewal premium if they don't pay a claim. (At renewal time, they look at 2 things to calculate your premium (in addition to the market rates)--frequency (the number of claims you have) and severity (how much money is paid out).

I can speak from my almost 30 years in the industry--always report a claim. What can seem like a minor claim can often turn "major" if the other person decides they're hurt and you don't want that non-reporting denial of coverage if an injury claim is made and the injured person files suit against you. Any money you potentially save on future premiums by not reporting a claim will go up in smoke in about 2 seconds if you get sued and your carrier denies coverage.

Also, personal lines policies are rarely written with liability deductibles. Typically you'll have a deductible for first party claims (collision and comprehensive), but not for liability. (Commercial policies, however, often have liability deductibles).

halfmoon
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Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2016 10:19 pm

Re: Auto insurance quandary

Post by halfmoon » Sat Dec 10, 2016 10:26 pm

EdithKeeler,

This is really useful, clearly expressed information. Another factor in premium calculation that some people might not realize is your credit score. I don't know if this is true across the country, but our WA state insurer (home, auto and umbrella) penalizes you for having a lower score or no credit record at all. We found this out many years ago when we'd never had a loan or a credit card, and it was the impetus for finally playing the credit-score game. :evil: I wonder whether people who regularly open and close cards for the rewards have looked into how it might be impacting their insurance premiums.

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