Auto Accidents/Claims and Helpful Hints

September 26, 2019

By Matt Lohoefer Independent Agent —Plano, Texas

The Small Claim

If you drive a car, auto accidents/claims are a part of life. Here in Texas cars are the major method of transportation for most people. Auto insurance is a cost associated with owning a car and these tips will help you obtain the lowest insurance rates for you, your family and youthful drivers. 

This is a series of helpful tips and ideas to protect you from unwanted higher insurance costs. The first type of claim we will deal with is the small claim, cost usually resulting in under $2000. 

Let’s say for instance you have a small accident and you damage only your car by running into a pole or a tree or some other object such as debris on the road. You first inspect the damage and then most people get a repair estimate from a reputable car repair place. Do you file a claim? You have a $500 deductible for collision and your repair estimate is $2000. What do you do? This cost has different relevancy to your actual income or household income.

  1. If you file a claim you pay the $500 and the insurance co pays the balance of $1500, but now you have a claim on your record and typical insurance co’s raise your rates about 10-20% on renewal. You pay that higher renewal rate for the next 3-5 years.  Those higher rates add up and a 2nd claim/accident can mean even higher increases of an additional 10-20% on top of your previous 20% increase.
  2. If you pay for the damage and do not file the claim. This is simple as it only costs you the original $2000 and that expense out of your own pocket might be an incentive to drive careful to avoid those costly mistakes. Paying for your mistakes is a great motivator to watch out for those same situations and slow down, stop when in doubt or pull over to check your phone for directions. If this happens to your youthful driver, then paying the claim out of pocket can really save your insurance rates in the future.

The best advice is to contact your local Independent Insurance agent for his professional advice. Everyone will have a slightly different situation and an experienced agent will know what is best for you. Your 1-800-agent cannot do this for you due to inexperience, not knowing your entire history as you get a new agent every time you call and their business model instructs their phone reps to turn in the claim. 

At Matt Lohoefer Insurance we are an Independent Agent with a combined 42 years of experience in the auto insurance business. Call us and let us shop the market for you and get you covered the right way for the best cost. 

Better Coverage and Better Prices

 Call 972-964-0113 or online