Fender benders are minor accidents that often result in little or no property damage and bodily injury. Due to their nature, it is not bizarre that you would consider not reporting such an accident to your insurance company. In this post, we answer a much-asked question; should I report a fender bender to insurance?
If you have been involved in a fender bender, consult an experienced Atlanta Car Accident Attorney.
Fender Benders and Insurance Rates
One of the major reasons people avoid reporting fender benders to their insurance company is the fear that their car insurance rates will increase. After all, why not just pay for the damage out of pocket if reporting it will cost you more in the long run?
While this line of thought may seem to fit logic, it is not entirely correct. Esurance, a major insurance company, ascertains that insurance rates don’t automatically go up when you file a claim. The insurance company will usually consider several factors such as:
- How serious the fender bender was
- Who caused the accident?
- Your previous driving record
Your insurer is unlikely to raise your rates over a minor crash that wasn’t even your fault.
Fender benders are referred to as minor accidents because they often result in little or no property damage and bodily harm. Besides insurance rates, most drivers figure that they can easily handle the cost of a fender bender. However, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the average fender bender can set you back up to $3,000.
Self-diagnosing damage to your car can also cost you in the long run. A significant portion of the damage could be hidden, which could cause further problems and costs down the road. What happens if your vehicle breaks down a week after the fender bender and you didn’t report the accident?
When Another Person Is Involved
As a rule of thumb, always inform your insurer of a fender bender if someone else was involved, regardless of your agreement with them. Much like yours, the other party’s vehicle could develop problems from hidden damage later. Both or one of you could also develop late-occurring injuries.
If you begin to experience pain or injury symptoms a week after your fender bender, your insurance company will be less inclined to help you if you failed to report the accident. The other driver may have also provided you with fake contact information and insurance details.
The only time you can break this rule is if the accident happened in your home and resulted in no damage, such as bumping the door on your way out of the garage.
Complications and Penalties
In your attempt to avoid raised insurance rates, you may strip yourself of some protections offered by your insurer. This is especially true if you sustain late-occurring injuries or your car develops problems several weeks after the date of the accident.
Consult an Atlanta Car Accident Attorney
The best answer to ‘should I report a fender bender to insurance,’ is yes. That said, it is vital that you consult an Atlanta Car Accident Attorney before talking to your insurer.
Ponton Law is dedicated to securing favorable results for our clients. If you have questions about fender benders and insurance, contact us on (404) 860-2454 to schedule a consultation with James Ponton.