It’s the first question that pops into so many people’s heads following a car accident. That’s because drivers often fear that filing an auto-insurance claim (especially when no injuries are caused and/or the damage is minor) may result in an increase in their car insurance premium if they are “at fault.” While the notion of negotiating an out-of-pocket settlement to avoid higher insurance costs may sound like an attractive alternative, settling the accident with another driver without the help of your insurance company could be risky.

Chances are this person is someone you’ve just met, so you don’t know exactly who you are dealing with. If you agree to a set amount and pay for repairs, what’s to stop him or her from coming back months later demanding more? Plus, there really is no way to determine how far someone is willing to go. An additional request for additional cash could, at the very least, cause you stress or result in a lawsuit that will likely prove more costly, either in time, money or both.

No matter how minor an accident may seem, if you are at fault or not, it is always wise to swap insurance information with the other driver, call the police to file an accident report and contact your insurance company.
It is also important to have your vehicle inspected at a reputable collision center. While the damage may seem apparent, other issues may be hidden from sight with repairs more costly than you might realize. An accurate assessment by a trustworthy auto body expert, also skilled in filing insurance claims, is the best way to ensure your vehicle and/or the other driver’s vehicle is returned to pre-accident condition.
Bottom line, minor to major collisions involving other drivers should be reported to your insurance company and taken to a trusted collision repair center for an accurate assessment of damage, claims filing and precision repairs .

But what about single car wrecks? If you accidentally cause minor damage to your vehicle, such as backing it into your mailbox, it may not be worth it to contact your insurer. Check your auto insurance policy to do the math, because minor repair costs may likely be less than your collision deductible.
If you cause a lot of damage (to your car and/or anyone else’s property) you should probably contact your insurance company. There is the possibility your rates could go up at renewal time because of your claim, but when damage is major – better safe (to ensure accurate repairs) than sorry. You’ll have to weigh the pros and cons to decide. Don’t forget, if you have accident forgiveness, to check the parameters to see if this particular incident qualifies.
Want a professional point-of-view on the damage? Breezy Point Auto Body has been serving Fairfield & New Haven Counties since 1960, and we’d be happy to take a look at your vehicle, offer an assessment and answer any questions you have. Click on to request an appointment or give us a call at (203} 378-4909. If you’d like to stop by our shop, set your GPS to 75 Access Road, Stratford, CT 06615.  It will be our pleasure to return your car, truck, van or SUV to its “pre-accident” condition.

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