You were just involved in a minor accident. After you realize that no one seems to be injured and that the damage appears to be minimal, one question always comes up: Should I file an insurance claim or settle out of pocket?
The answer depends on several things, including who was at fault. Clearly, if it was your fault, you would prefer not to see your insurance rates go up. You may plead with the other party to handle the repairs privately and not report it. And if it was their fault, they may do the same with you. Regardless, there are several steps you must take.
Should I File An Insurance Claim Or Settle Out Of Pocket? Get All The Information Before You Decide
The first step is to not leave the scene before you exchange all information with the other party, including phone numbers. You should also take photos of all of the damage, so nothing additional can be claimed after the fact.
In these kinds of situations, information and knowledge are key. So as soon as you can, get an estimate from a reliable and reputable shop like AutoAid to make sure there is no hidden damage to either vehicle. Keep in mind that this is a common scenario, but what appears to be minor may end up being much more costly than expected due to unseen damage beneath the surface.
AutoAid offers free estimates to help you understand the full scope of necessary repairs and potential costs involved. In this way, you will be able to more accurately answer the question: Should I file an insurance claim or settle out of pocket?
Making The Final Decision
If you can settle out of pocket, and keep all parties happy, that is great news. Just know that even if everyone’s intentions are good, you may still need to file a claim. Unfortunately, not everyone is honorable and some people will claim more damage in order to try to get extra things fixed. And yes, some people will falsely claim injury, looking for a large payout.
If you do need to go through insurance, or just feel better about doing so, AutoAid can handle your claim from start to finish and take away some of your hassles and frustrations. You can read about your California Auto Body Repair Consumer Bill Of Rights here. We can also help with a rental car if you should need one, so let us assist you wherever we can.
AutoAid has been helping our customers deal with major collisions and minor scratches and dents since 1979. Our team is lead by an I-Car Certified Technician and our Professional Auto Paint Shop uses only the highest quality paints and clear coats, ensuring lasting and professional results. This means all of your repairs and fixes are done right. Top that with our repair guarantee and AutoAid’s Body Shop is your best option. Call AutoAid directly at (818) 305-6632 or make an appointment online.