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Allen, Flatt, Ballidis & Leslie, Inc.

Do I have to use my insurance after a automobile accident?

You have been involved in an automobile accident and it is not your fault.  Should you use your car insurance to make a claim?  Most people are reluctant to use their own automobile insurance when they are involved in an accident, fearing that their rates will go up.  Collision coverage covers damage to your own vehicle from an accident, and medical payment coverage pays your medical bills, without fault.  It pays to use both, and do not worry about an increase in your rates!

Insurance companies “rate” you for coverage, and your cost of coverage depends upon the number of charges you have against your record.  An automobile accident that is your fault is a charge against you, even if there was nothing paid out under the claim.  A ticket to you is also a charge against you.  If you have many charges, your rates increase.

When you are involved in an accident and it is NOT your fault, you do not get a charge or rate hike.  Many agents will tell you that your rates may go up, because they do not understand the rating system, or because they expect your rates to increase anyway this year, and what better way to keep you from making a claim than to tell you your rates will go up.  The truth is your rates will not increase and here is why.

Your insurance company will pay for the repairs to your vehicle, and they may even be faster than the other person’s insurance company because they owe you a duty of promptness.  Additionally, you can work with your automobile insurance claims department  more when it comes to estimates and repairs that are incorrect or not to your liking, because you are their customer.  Therefore, I always recommend that you use your own coverage, unless the other person’s insurance company already agreed to pay for your repairs.

Also, if you get your car repaired by your insurance company, the other insurance company MUST REIMBURSE your insurance company so there is no loss to your insurance carrier.  Therefore, there is no reason for your rates to increase.

The same is true for medical payment coverage.  Using this coverage allows for your deductible and medical bills to be paid promptly and does not influence your credit rating.  Additionally, the other party must pay back this coverage, so there is no reason to await payment or pay out of pocket.

Health insurance offers the same advantages.  You can get the treatment you need without paying out of pocket, and the negligent party will have to pay it back at the end of your claim.  Therefore, you have no reason to avoid using your health insurance.  Additionally, with health insurance, there is the ability of the carrier to discount your cost of medical treatment because of contracts with the providers for immediate payment.  Finally, if you receive money in reimbursement from the other party for paid medical bills, you have to pay that money back to your carrier, but if you have an attorney, the attorney fee can be deducted, which increases the net amount of money to you!

So, as you can see, there is no reason not to use your collision coverage, medical coverage or health insurance.  Protect your credit and do not worry about increases in your insurance rates.  It has never happened to any of the clients we have represented over the years, and it will not happen to you.  Unless, you are with an insurance company that is already increasing rates to all of their customers.  Call us with any questions you may have at 866-981-5596.

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