When should you file an insurance claim?

Written by
Peter Dunn

It's been a brutal winter for the majority of the United States, which naturally means more car accidents. It's reasonable to want to file a claim for every little incident, but there's a case for holding back. This week on Fox 59 I talked to Ray Cortopassi about when it's the best time to file a claim with your insurance company.

It would be awesome if you could file a claim for all minor incidents and have insurance pay for the damages. And I guess technically you can, but I don't recommend it. The reason is simple, the more claims you file the higher your premium will be. Insurance is for catastrophic events. It's really tempting to file a claim when you're in an incident that causes $600 of damage, but if your deductible is $500, it's really not worth it. Especially if filing the claim raises your premium. You may have saved yourself $100, but the increase to your premium may equal that.

This is where an emergency fund comes in. If you have a fully stocked emergency fund, you will be able to afford the repair your vehicle needs without the temptation of filing a claim. The peace of mind an emergency fund provides doesn't end there. If you have an emergency fund you can confidently move to a high deductible insurance plan which will save you money on premiums.

Getting in an accident can be very emotional. But taking the time to look at the big picture can save you a lot of money. Drive safely!

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