Avoid Claiming from Insurance for Minor Damage to Your Car
Why shouldn’t I claim for minor damage to my car?
- They impact on your renewal premiums
- It is pointless claiming small amounts close to or less than the ‘deductible’ amount as you will gain very little
- The No Claim Bonus (NCB) is a discount that insurance companies award after a claim-free year. Just one claim takes the NCB back to zero
- Every little claim your claim adversely impacts your claim history
- It spares you a lot of frustrating documentation and disappointments
Minor damage to your car is a nuisance. Fortunately, an experienced technician can smooth these out. He will remove those dents and scratches and return your car’s paintwork to its original factory condition.
If you’ve been in some form of an accident, you’ll want to get hold of your insurance company as soon as possible to file an insurance claim.
Minor Damage is Just an Inconvenience
If there has been major damage or injury to people, then its important to get hold of your insurer immediately. But not all car collisions are serious. Indeed, thousands of vehicles incur minor damage daily through accidents.
Certainly, in South Africa, minor motor vehicle accidents are common, and more so on rainy days. Sometimes you’ll realise that when you call your insurance company for minor damages, your headaches start.
In South Africa, getting behind your wheel is treacherous. It opens up the chance of having all kinds of road accidents. Most of these are minor bumper dents. And involving your insurance company in this can be the headache previously mentioned. Quite frankly it is wiser get a technician to repair your car and to forego the claim.
Probably the best reason for making an insurance claim with minor car damage is that the insurer will at least be there for you when the other driver files a lawsuit against you, even when there were just a few scratches involved.
Also, calling your insurance company will prevent you having to pay out anything bigger than your deductible for the other driver’s repairs.
Breaking your Accident-Free Record
The headache part of calling your insurer for minor damages is that your insurance premiums will rise – sometimes immediately. Probably one of the main reasons to rather get a quote for minor car damaged before reporting an accident is that you may discover you can pay it yourself. This will spare you having to break your ‘accident-free’ record with the insurer and missing out on your ‘claim-free’ bonus
Moving into Higher Risk Category
Also, if you’re often involved in small accidents and you report all of them to your car insurance company, you can expect that they will soon want to move you to a higher risk category which will increase your premium rates.
Damned if You Do and Damned if You Don’t
Some experts advise against filing a claim for small amounts, however nothing is set in stone. The frustrations of reporting a minor accident to your insurer, especially if you’re not at fault, are less than opting to settle with the other driver and then discovering that the problems are larger than you first thought.
Settling a fender bender is something between you and the other driver, and if you do opt to settle in private, at least make sure that you take some photographs of any signs of damage on both cars. Some experts again say it is better to just contact your insurance agency and make a claim.
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