Insurance: oop vs filing a claim

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Laura & Charles

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Could be anywhere. Originally from Ohio (Go Bucks!
So this tree jumped out and damaged our coach. Repair cost around $4,000-$5,000.
One side says, “turn it in... it’s what have insurance for”.
Other side says, “don’t turn it in. we can afford it. we have insurance for major/catastrophic events. filing a claim will result in increased premiums”
We’ve had same insurance on coach and car for five years. Had one, not-at-fault, claim with the car three years ago. As much as I’d like to blame the tree, this damage is definitely ‘at fault’.
Anybody have experience or insurance knowledge about what triggers a premium increase and by how much?
 

OldMarine

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Hi, sorry to hear about your boo boo! I am an adjuster in MA, and work for a major ins co here. I think you may find different rules in different states, but here in MA, the surcharge for an at-fault accident kicks in when the company reaches a payout of $1000 or higher to you. That figure is after deductible. So let's say someone filed a claim, was at fault, and had a $500 deductible. If the cost to fix it is $1499, then there would be no surcharge, ($1499, minus your $500 ded, equals a $999.00 check from the ins co, to you). Once they pay the next dollar, the surcharge would kick in. Keep in mind a rental, a payout to a third party, a tow bill,....all count towards that $1000). Don't forget to check with your company if they have "accident forgiveness" before a final decision on filing vs not filing. Best of luck!
 

SeilerBird

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I just had my first accident a few months ago and my premiums did not change. I recently completed the Snapshot program and my insurance went down by $71. So I can't answer your question.
 

Heli_av8tor

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Seems to me if you are not going to turn in small claims you might as well raise your deductible to that 4 or 5 thousand that you are comfortable paying out of pocket.

Is there a flaw in this logic?
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Smart thinking, Heli_av9tor! Why pay for coverage you aren't going to use?

I don't think there are any fixed rules for premium increases, and certainly none that apply across states. Every company has their own risk rating scheme, approved by each state's insurance regulator. Further, most state insurance oversight focuses on liability - premiums for collision and comprehensive are largely a matter of competitive pressures. Many insurers these days advertise accident forgiveness or similar terminology; they've determined that having one Ooops is not strong indicator of reckless driving, so its rarely an automatic black mark.

If I had $100 deductible and the claim was going to be $105, I wouldn't bother. But if the claim was $500, I surely would. Where to draw the line? Your mileage may vary...

These days most any body repair is going to be pricey. Tiny repairs run near $1000, so if your deductible is under $1000 you may as well claim.
 
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OldMarine

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Thanks all for the take on this. I’ll certainly check about accident forgiveness.
Tom: I see no flaw in that logic... we’ll see if anybody else does.
the flaw in it is if you have a $3000 deductible, (not sure anyone offers that, but I have seen $2000 deductibles), you will pay the first $3000 if a tree limb comes down on it, if it's vandalized, if there is a fire, if it's stolen,etc...all of those losses are not at-fault, but would you really want that deductible?
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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That's the point (or flaw) of any deductible. If you can afford to absorb some degree of loss (the deductible), you save money on the premium and come out ahead if you don't make any claims. If you do have a claim, you may either lose or save money, depending on how much the premium was reduced and for how long.
 

OldMarine

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That's the point (or flaw) of any deductible. If you can afford to absorb some degree of loss (the deductible), you save money on the premium and come out ahead if you don't make any claims. If you do have a claim, you may either lose or save money, depending on how much the premium was reduced and for how long.
yes, of course...we all know what a deductible is, but on a comprehensive claim, where there is no potential surcharge, there would be no rational reason to want/have a $3000 deductible.
 

whiteva

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My experience after hurricane Michael. I Called the insurance company to put in a claim for 3 holes in the front cap of my class "C". During the storm I watched the "flying boards" hit the camper so I immediately covered the holes with E-bond to prevent water damage (Yes the wife was screaming about me being outside in a cat 5 hurricane). Local RV company estimated 10K$ to 15K$ to replace the front fiberglass. Deductable was $1000.00, My agent admitted the insurance cost would more than likely increase due to the cost of repairs as quoted.

Long story short... I easily repaired the holes myself with less than $100.00 in supplies (including repainting) and about 7 hours of work. The claim was cancelled and I had the local ins agent stop by and photograph that the repair s were satisfactory for any future claims. He admitted he could not see where the damage was but I had plenty of photos.

FYI... 8 months spent camping in the driveway while our S&B was refurbished. 180 thousand $ (ish) later and after adding wind mitigation devices during the repairs, my insurance cost was lowered by $1,786.00 per year.
 

Isaac-1

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My only question is what sort of damage can be fixed for $1,000 on a vehicle? A few years ago my car was in low speed accident (someone backed into it), dent in the left rear corner panel the size of the palm of my hand, took 6 weeks in the shop to fix, all the while the insurance company is providing a rental car, plus the total bill came out at a bit over $7,500.
 

scottydl

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yes, of course...we all know what a deductible is, but on a comprehensive claim, where there is no potential surcharge, there would be no rational reason to want/have a $3000 deductible.

That's why I always carry a really low deductible on Comprehensive, which is a matter of a few dollars extra each policy period. On RVs, Comprehensive seems to be the most common loss (related to weather or road hazards) that you'd want replaced... awnings and motorhome windshields jump to mind. Both of which I've used insurance for, would have cost thousands of dollars otherwise, and neither type of claim substantially increased my premium.
 

scottydl

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FYI... 8 months spent camping in the driveway while our S&B was refurbished. 180 thousand $ (ish) later and after adding wind mitigation devices during the repairs, my insurance cost was lowered by $1,786.00 per year.

You'll break even after only 100 years! :)
 
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