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Should I File an Insurance Claim for Bumper Damage?

By Teri Dormer

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There’s no use crying over an unexpected fender bender, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be stressed out trying to navigate the car insurance claim process or asking yourself “should I report car damage to my insurance company?” 

Because ultimately, the real tragedy of a minor car accident isn’t getting your vehicle repaired or having to deal with aggravating paperwork — it’s the fallout from your insurance company.

A bumper damage insurance claim may seem like the easiest way to deal with an accident when no one is hurt, but calling your insurance company isn’t always the best answer. Let’s take a closer look. 

Should I File Insurance Claim For Bumper Damage? 

It’s usually not a good idea to file an insurance claim after a fender bender if no one else is involved in the accident with you. It’s no urban legend that filing a claim with your insurance can cause your premiums to spike. Combined with your deductible for coverage, you might actually end up spending more money by trying to let your insurance company foot the bill.

If you’re not sure whether a bumper damage insurance claim makes sense or not, the good news is that you don’t have to make a decision right away.

Should I Call My Insurance Company After a Minor Accident? 

When other people are involved in the collision, you should always call your insurance company after a minor accident, even if it’s a fender bender.

When you’ve been involved in an accident with other people (either as passengers in your own car or a different vehicle), your insurance company probably has firm guidelines around the amount of time you can take before reporting the accident to them.

You should call the insurance company to report the collision as quickly as possible, but you may have anywhere from 24 hours and 30 days wherein you’re legally responsible for informing your provider of the accident

Before you make that phone call though, remember that reporting an accident and starting the car insurance claim process isn’t the same, and you may not necessarily be required to do both.

How Long After an Accident Can You File an Insurance Claim? 

Most insurance companies will let you file an insurance claim for damage to your vehicle up to two years after the accident has taken place. The exact length of time depends on where you live, or which state your insurance policy is based out of.

In some parts of the country, you only have a year (or less) to file a claim for personal injury or damage to your vehicle, while other parts give drivers up to 10 years to decide if filing a claim makes sense.

The law may legally protect your ability to file a claim after the accident occurs, but it won’t always be in your best interest to wait. Even if you initially reported the accident to your insurance company, it can be difficult to prove an accident that happened months or even years ago is directly responsible for the damage you’re reporting. 

If you’re unsure whether you want to file an auto claim to help cover the cost of repairs after a minor accident, make sure to document everything along the way. Being able to show evidence of the damage caused by the incident can help get your claim approved long after the incident took place.

Does Insurance Cover Bumper Damage? 

Whether or not you have coverage for the damage caused by a fender bender will depend on your policy and the circumstances of the accident. If you only have liability coverage and the damage was caused by backing into a poll, you don’t have to worry about filing a claim because your insurance won’t cover the damage either way.

If you have comprehensive coverage, your insurance will cover the cost of bumper damage, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you should file a claim without weighing the pros and cons. 

When you’re involved in an accident with another person, you’re legally obligated to report the accident to your insurance provider. If you happen to be involved in a solo accident, you can decide whether to report the incident or file a claim based on the potential cost to your premiums and the price of simply covering the damages yourself. 

Get a Quote Compare multiple policies to get the coverage you need at the price you want.

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