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Car body damage insurance claim immediately after renewal

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rated:
Hypothetically, let's say an individual had his personal automobile, renters, and umbrella insurance all bundled with a single carrier and they all renewed annually in December every year on the same date.  Our hypothetical friend has a perfect driving record and no recent accidents in the past 10 years, which nets him a safe driver discount on his insurance premium.

Hypothetically, let's say this insured individual accidentally backed his car into a structural support beam in an underground garage in May or June, but the damage was 100% cosmetic.  No mechanical function of any part of the vehicle was compromised and no lights were cracked, no bulbs were smashed, etc.  The vehicle is 100% driveable and can pass safety/emissions inspection later in the year in October or November.

Assuming at least $2000 worth of damage, a $500 deductible, and a willingness to wait until after the policy renewal date in December to file a claim (assuming this would be advantageous in some way) how should our hypothetical driver proceed?  The hypothetical car is hypothetically 4-5 years old and has been driven 51,000 hypothetical miles and has a hypothetical book value of ~$10,000 hypothetical dollars.

The premium for the upcoming policy renewal obviously won't go up based on a filed claim if no claim is filed prior to the renewal date.  If a claim is filed very shortly after the renewal date, would there be any long-term advantage to waiting until that time, or would waiting simply push the claim on the CLUE report an extra year forward into the future?  Should our friend simply get his car fixed right away, before the end of August?  How far back do CLUE reports look when determining future insurance rates, and looking forward 2-4 years, what is our friend's best hypothetical financial strategy?

There's also the option of doing nothing, since the car is hypothetically driveable and safe for an indefinite time several years into the future.  Obviously the best financial strategy is to do nothing, but assuming our friend wanted to have the repair done, what's the best financial strategy in that hypothetical scenario?  Paying out of pocket for the entire repair is also an option in theory, but it doesn't seem that would be a good financial decision, although maybe I'm wrong.

Regardless of when the repair is done, our friend would make sure to use a hypothetical Body Shop that does not report to carfax, although there's always the possibility that the insurer could report the repair, since they'd be paying most of the hypothetical cost.

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rated:
Aside from hypothetically committing insurance fraud?

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Who said anything about fraud? Hypothetically, the vehicle was insured at the time the damage was incurred. The question has nothing to do with fraud; it's merely a question about the timing of filing a hypothetical claim, which would be totally legitimate regardless of when it's filed.

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When you file claim will you be truthful on the date of loss or will you push that date out to when claim is filed.

If you use actual date of loss claim may be denied for untimely filing as many insurer require you to notify them within a reasonable time period. Also even if it isn't denied the insurer may be allowed to re-rate your renewal policy premiums based on the previously undisclosed loss.

If you push the date of loss to coincide with claim date then it is fraud.

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They can always retro a rate change and magically you owe them money.

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DTASFAB said:   Who said anything about fraud? Hypothetically, the vehicle was insured at the time the damage was incurred. 
  Hypothetically your policy requires you to report losses promptly. Hypothetically the damage incurred could deteriorate significantly in the months you delay the repairs which could hypothetically increase the costs to your insurance company, if they don't drop you all together for hypothetically committing insurance fraud.

rated:
Right. If you correctly report the date the damage occurred, That's ok, but then your insurance rates will be affected the same way no matter when you make the claim. If you report that the damage occurred later than it actually did, that's fraud. If you want a different answer, try a magic Eight ball.

rated:
If it was really only $2k of damage (likely just bumper cover and maybe foam underneath if only 2k estimate) I would just buy a prepainted bumper cover for $3-400 on eBay + hour or two of work and few dollars of clips and skip the claim.

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Hypothetically, the best financial strategy for "your friend" is to not have collision coverage before the accident. Then the choice is clear.

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If your friend is hypothetically going to do this then they should report the claim in november, after renewal offer and pricing has been received but before the policy has renewed, so in 3-4 years or whatever it is right before the renewal date, they could go to another insurer if needed and say there were no claims in last 3-4 years

I think it's very unlikely to see a policy Re-rate after an offer of renewal, always possible they could endorse off the safe driver discount though. If they are going to do that they are going to do it no matter when the claim is reported.

This is assuming you are going to provide a correct date of loss. I doubt they are going to deny a claim based on late reporting in a case like this. You can just say you were busy and didn't get a chance to get an estimate, thought it was minor and you were considering paying it yourself, but after estimate decided to file a claim.

Just saying if you are going to do it, do it right.

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hypothetically

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zonacat said:   If your friend is hypothetically going to do this then they should report the claim in november, after renewal offer and pricing has been received but before the policy has renewed, so in 3-4 years or whatever it is right before the renewal date, they could go to another insurer if needed and say there were no claims in last 3-4 years

I think it's very unlikely to see a policy Re-rate after an offer of renewal, always possible they could endorse off the safe driver discount though. If they are going to do that they are going to do it no matter when the claim is reported.

This is assuming you are going to provide a correct date of loss. I doubt they are going to deny a claim based on late reporting in a case like this. You can just say you were busy and didn't get a chance to get an estimate, thought it was minor and you were considering paying it yourself, but after estimate decided to file a claim.

Just saying if you are going to do it, do it right.

I agree, and this is the helpful information I was looking for.  I will most definitely report the correct date of hypothetical loss.  If it gets denied for lack of prompt reporting, well then, it gets denied, and I can accept that.  I can definitely say the reason I waited is because I was considering paying for the damage myself and/or considering not having it repaired at all.   That's the truth.  The nature of the hypothetical damage is not something that should deteriorate over time, but unfortunately, it's not limited to the bumper.  The rear quarter panel is bent and scuffed up and most of the cost is due to required paint work, not replacement parts.

Hypothetically, if the repair could be made for less cost, how can we calculate approximately how low the hypothetical cost would have to be to make it wise for my friend to pay out of pocket and not file a claim?

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The safe driver discount % should be filed and publicly available info. Yoy can probably call them and ask them what it is and what the requirements to keep it are, like no accidents in X years.

Then you can just calculate the $ it is saving you (% X premium) and the number of years you will lose it and determine if the total lost discounts is greater than the cost of repair minus deductible.

Other than that I guess there could be some rating factors adjusting premium that are subject to some kind of human subjectivity but with personal auto i kind of doubt it. I think most of those formulas are pretty standardized at this point.

rated:
You could have saved typing hypothetically 14 times by starting as follows:

Following is a hypothetical situation:

"Planing to commit a fraud.....

rated:
DTASFAB said:   
zonacat said:   If your friend is hypothetically going to do this then they should report the claim in november, after renewal offer and pricing has been received but before the policy has renewed, so in 3-4 years or whatever it is right before the renewal date, they could go to another insurer if needed and say there were no claims in last 3-4 years

I think it's very unlikely to see a policy Re-rate after an offer of renewal, always possible they could endorse off the safe driver discount though. If they are going to do that they are going to do it no matter when the claim is reported.

This is assuming you are going to provide a correct date of loss. I doubt they are going to deny a claim based on late reporting in a case like this. You can just say you were busy and didn't get a chance to get an estimate, thought it was minor and you were considering paying it yourself, but after estimate decided to file a claim.

Just saying if you are going to do it, do it right.

I agree, and this is the helpful information I was looking for.  I will most definitely report the correct date of hypothetical loss.  If it gets denied for lack of prompt reporting, well then, it gets denied, and I can accept that.  I can definitely say the reason I waited is because I was considering paying for the damage myself and/or considering not having it repaired at all.   That's the truth.  The nature of the hypothetical damage is not something that should deteriorate over time, but unfortunately, it's not limited to the bumper.  The rear quarter panel is bent and scuffed up and most of the cost is due to required paint work, not replacement parts.

Hypothetically, if the repair could be made for less cost, how can we calculate approximately how low the hypothetical cost would have to be to make it wise for my friend to pay out of pocket and not file a claim?

  You do realize that whether they cover the claim or not, calling and asking the questions you suggest if going to cause them to report the accident on your clue report.  This means your rate is going to be affected the same whether they cover the claim or not, correct?  
 

rated:
Well, I done something stupid and damaged a car door years before. Even though State Farm (and many others) have this "accident forgiveness" program I opted instead to find a shop with good rep and asked them to use a used door instead and I paid out of pocket. It ended up being $1000 instead of $2000+ estimate for using a used part. I would have been better off $ wise if I went through the insurance but I opted to save that "forgiveness" for some bigger item. It's your call.

rated:
king0fSpades said:   You could have saved typing hypothetically 14 times by starting as follows:

Following is a hypothetical situation:

"Planing to commit a fraud.....

Still shopping around for the lowest premium to insure an ///M driven by a 17 year old?  How's that going?  

rated:
DTASFAB said:   
king0fSpades said:   You could have saved typing hypothetically 14 times by starting as follows:

Following is a hypothetical situation:

"Planing to commit a fraud.....

Still shopping around for the lowest premium to insure an ///M driven by a 17 year old?  How's that going?  

  Got the insurance and everything is perfect. Good luck with your fraud and don't drop the soap. 

rated:
king0fSpades said:   
DTASFAB said:   
king0fSpades said:   You could have saved typing hypothetically 14 times by starting as follows:

Following is a hypothetical situation:

"Planing to commit a fraud.....

Still shopping around for the lowest premium to insure an ///M driven by a 17 year old?  How's that going?  

  Got the insurance and everything is perfect. Good luck with your fraud and don't drop the soap. 

Maybe instead of getting my ///Nissan fixed, I can just trade it in with its current damage for a Porsche.  Then I can use the Porsche to drag race everyone driving an expensive car on your policy.

Some guys they just give up living 
And start dying little by little, piece by piece 
Some guys come home from work and wash up 
And go racing in the street 

Tonight, tonight the strip's just right 
I wanna blow 'em all out of their seats 
Calling out around the world, we're going racing in the street 

#NOTFRAUDIFYOUDONTLIEBUTTHANKSFORTHEREDDDDDDDDDDD

rated:
make it believable, back into something in november!

I personally would have reported this in February to get it on record, even if i was going to delay fixing it.

realistically, in your situation, I'd probably call my insurance agent and ask how to handle it at this point.

As far as trying to maximize the renewal benefit.... I'd scrap that idea.

 

rated:
A reputable insurer should not deny your single-vehicle damage claim because you waited to report it. Your late report probably did not compromise the amount the insurer will owe or the investigation necessary (like it could in the case of some third party liability claims- but it would be rare for an insurer to employ the "late report" defense in those, too...) If your policy is relatively new and they suspect the damage might have occurred before you purchased the policy, that could draw some additional scrutiny. But, assuming you have had a stable policy and you weren't sure you were going to file a claim, you shouldn't have an issue. CLUE reports for 5 years from occurrence date, not report date. Most insurers surcharge for x years (often 3) from occurrence date, not claim date. Hope that helps.

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