Author Topic: Do you use car insurance if you can DIY fix  (Read 2913 times)

G. Thomas

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 60
  • Age: 32
  • Location: Colorado
Do you use car insurance if you can DIY fix
« on: April 25, 2016, 11:34:47 AM »
I smoked a jack rabbit and it took out a fog light, horn, and slightly damaged front bumper/undercarriage.  The car is an '11 Mazda 3.  I can DIY repair but it won't be "like new" which is fine.  I have GEICO and a $500 deductible comprehensive component.  What steps should I take?  Car is fine to drive.

-If I use the coverage will my payments increase?
-Should I get an estimate from an independent shop and then connect with GEICO?
-Should I just DIY and be done with it?

I've never used my auto insurance before so don't know different ways to go about incidents.

lthenderson

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1264
Re: Do you use car insurance if you can DIY fix
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2016, 11:43:46 AM »
Doing a claim through your insurance can increase your premiums depending on which insurance company and years you've done business with them. However, I've found that talking directly to my insurance agent in cases like this is the best route for determining what it will do to my future premiums. This means that yes, I would take it somewhere to get an estimate of what it would cost to fix. This will also aid in determining whether to DIY or place a claim on your insurance.

Depending on level, a 11 Mazda 3 is on worth about $7k. I probably wouldn't insure the car for collision if it were mine unless totaling it would put you in financial straights. If you were thinking about dropping collision, then I might go through the claim process and then drop that part afterwards.

forummm

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7396
  • Senior Mustachian
Re: Do you use car insurance if you can DIY fix
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2016, 12:28:21 PM »
I would try really hard to never make a claim unless you really need to. The increased insurance cost isn't worth it. I had a minor parking lot incident (it had been raining and my shoe slipped off the brake and onto the accelerator). There was $800 in damage to the other car and I tried to get the owner to just let me pay cash but her husband instead immediately reported it to my insurance. My insurance rates went up by about $3k over the next 3 years. I'd never had an accident before and maybe 3 tickets over 20 years. And having a claim on your record makes it harder for you to switch insurers. And having a claim associated with that vehicle lowers its resale value. They put that in a database that all car dealers and carfax look at. So if you go to sell it they say it's worth less even if it was just a minor event.

themagicman

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 334
  • Age: 29
  • Location: Atlanta, GA
Re: Do you use car insurance if you can DIY fix
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2016, 12:43:03 PM »
I do not believe that this will raise your rates. Hitting an animal should be a comprehensive claim (not collision) and should not negatively affect your rates. Hitting an animal (I hit a deer a few years ago) is considered "an act of god" (Like a tornado destroying your car) and you are considered not at fault. From my understanding they are able to raise your rates if they raise the whole areas rates (Due to everyone hitting animals at a high rate, which would be very unlikely) but they are not able to just raise yours from this. I hit the deer several years ago and did not have any negative rate hits. This is my understanding but I could be mistaken though

ltt

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 739
Re: Do you use car insurance if you can DIY fix
« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2016, 02:47:13 PM »
I'm pretty sure if you file a claim on your insurance, your rates will go up. 

dogboyslim

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 406
Re: Do you use car insurance if you can DIY fix
« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2016, 04:13:52 PM »
If you file a comprehensive claim, it is more likely than not, that your rates will be higher than they would be if you do not file the claim.  This may be done via tier placement or some other mechanism that is invisible to the consumer.  When switching carriers, your CLUE report will show the claim, and it would be considered a Not at fault(NAF) claim by many carriers, so they would quote you a higher premium, especially if you have more than one NAF.  Geico has one of the most sophisticated rating algorithms out there, and much of it is complicated in order to obscure what they are doing to prevent competitors from copying them, as well as to prevent insureds from understanding how their rates are impacted.

That said, themagicman is correct that in some states surcharging is not allowed on some or all comprehensive claims.  The most common restriction is on weather events though.

As Geico is a direct company, I'd call up their service number and ask them hypothetically if you were to file a claim from an animal strike if it would impact your rates unfavorably at your next renewal.  Depending on who they are, if you say you hit an animal they will set up the claim even if you don't want them to, as it helps them protect their interests.

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4372
Re: Do you use car insurance if you can DIY fix
« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2016, 04:54:14 PM »
I filed a comprehensive claim once and it did not change my rates--UNTIL I changed insurance providers. Then my rate went up quite a bit from the initial quote once they found out about the claim. (I had not mentioned it because it was one of those no-deductible glass things and I didn't realize it "counted.")

forummm

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7396
  • Senior Mustachian
Re: Do you use car insurance if you can DIY fix
« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2016, 08:26:51 AM »
As Geico is a direct company, I'd call up their service number and ask them hypothetically if you were to file a claim from an animal strike if it would impact your rates unfavorably at your next renewal.  Depending on who they are, if you say you hit an animal they will set up the claim even if you don't want them to, as it helps them protect their interests.

I would have trouble believing it if they told me my rates wouldn't go up. As you say, the rating process is complicated, and intentionally obfuscating. There are so many variables. It's best to not have insurance unless you really need it. For an older car, have liability coverage (a must for legal and asset protection reasons) and pay for damages out of pocket if you have the means (and for a $7k car, most people with a reasonably high savings rate should be able to afford that, even if it means a short term loan or selling some stocks, etc).

Proud Foot

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1017
Re: Do you use car insurance if you can DIY fix
« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2016, 10:22:48 AM »
I would definitely get an estimate from a repair shop as well as looking for the parts to DIY.  With a $500 deductible my guess is you could find the parts for less than that. Not sure how much a repair shop would cost but you would want an estimate to see how much insurance would actually cover. Use this to decide of the amount insurance would cover is worth it to you to file a claim and have the repair shop do the fix.

Guses

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 917
Re: Do you use car insurance if you can DIY fix
« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2016, 03:39:25 PM »
If you can DIY why are you even considering insurance?!

Going through the insurance paperwork, going to the shop for the repair, dropping your car, waiting for it to be repaired, having to come back because they are imbeciles and unable to properly line up the trim, dropping the car again, waiting for the repair, having to come back again because this time the fuckers forgot to connect the door electronic gizmos, dropping the car again, waiting for the repairs....etc

Just do it yourself. It will likely be less than 500$ in parts, it will be done as well or better and you wont have to jump through all those hoops. Besides, selling a car that was in an accident is harder since the incentive of the shop is to charge the insurance as much as possible and convincing a buyer that a 3,500$ repair was only cosmetic is difficult.


G. Thomas

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 60
  • Age: 32
  • Location: Colorado
Re: Do you use car insurance if you can DIY fix
« Reply #10 on: May 04, 2016, 11:02:30 PM »
Thank you all. I just did a DIY and took the comprehensive off the plan.

Kroaler

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 781
  • Age: 28
  • Location: Greenville, South Carolina
Re: Do you use car insurance if you can DIY fix
« Reply #11 on: May 05, 2016, 08:59:03 AM »
How fast do you have to hit a jack rabbit to do damage? lol JW   

A raccoon does damage at 65mph,  so a rabbit is like 75 mph? lol