Should I file a claim?

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Apr 7, 2012

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Insurance Question from Bethlehem, NC

Asked on 04/07/2012

Should I file a claim? My 16 year old son had an accident the day after he got his license. He was the only person involved because he lost control and hit a fence post. We have collision coverage on his vehicle but considering the circumstances of his age and the fact it happened only 24 hrs after he got his license do I file a claim. I do not want his insurance to go up anymore than it already is. There was no accident report filed.

Answer given on April 13, 2012

Since your son is a new driver, and just had an accident, your insurance rates could skyrocket with the report of the accident. Since it was a single car accident, you may decide it is less expensive to pay for the repairs of the fence post as well as your car. However, you buy insurance to protect you and pay for repairs, so make sure you make an educated decision.You should get an estimate for the damages to your car as well as the cost to repair the fence post. Your collision deductible will apply to the damages to the car, but not the fence post. Your liability/property damage coverage will pay for that in full. After you get the costs for the repairs, call your agent and ask what would happen to your insurance costs if you reported the claim. The additional costs will apply for at least 3 years, and sometimes longer, so take that into consideration.

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