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If I backed into my neighbor’s expensive vehicle, should I file a claim or pay for the damage out of pocket?

I haven’t filed a claim or been involved in an accident in over 30 years, but I’m worried that my rates will increase substantially over one minor claim. I backed into my neighbor’s Range Rover causing minor damage, but because of the fact that it’s a luxury vehicle I’m afraid I won’t be able to afford the repair cost. He is getting some estimates in the next few days. What should I do?

Agent Answer

Neil Richardson

I would recommend waiting to hear back from your neighbor about the estimates. That’s really going to be what helps you make your decision. If the repair costs are reasonable, you might consider paying for the damage out of your own pocket. Page 57 of our State of Insurance Report shows that, in Florida, an accident has an average impact of around $300 per year on your rate and the accident will affect your rate for 3 years. Avoiding a claim is always the best practice, but if the repairs costs are astronomical then it may make sense to just claim it. The other good thing is that you won’t have to pay a deductible since it should be covered under liability.

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