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Question

If I backed into a pole in a parking lot, do I need a police report to file a claim?

I have a $100 deductible and the repair estimate is about $1,000. In December of 2016, I also filed a comprehensive claim after hitting a possum that resulted in about a $2,000 repair. Should I file a claim with Pekin insurance, and will my rate go up if I do?

Agent Answer

Neil Richardson

Firstly, a police report is not always necessary to file a claim, especially for incidents that only involve one vehicle. As for your second question, should you file a claim, the choice will ultimately be up to you. However, I recommend following our step-by-step advice below before deciding to file a claim:

  1. Get an estimate for the damage at a local repair shop (which you’ve already done: about $1,000).
  2. See our State of Insurance and see how much an at-fault accident is in your state. In Illinois, an at-fault accident raised rates an average of 42%. Our data shows that the average premium for IL is $1,120. Meaning, an at-fault accident would increase your premium by $460 per year. Most insurance companies will charge you for 3 years for at-fault accidents and claims. Meaning, that $460 will stretch to nearly $1400 in fees. Plus your $100 deductible, it’s about $500 cheaper to pay for the damage out of pocket than file a claim – according to our data.

Again, the choice to file a claim is completely up to you, but I would caution you that it really is intended for situations where you suffer a catastrophic loss. If you can easily afford the $1,000 repair then I would recommend paying for it out of pocket.

The last thing to think about is the difference between this claim and your previous claim. This claim would be considered a collision claim while your previous claim, comprehensive claim, is unlikely to impact your rate. This, as we demonstrated above, won’t be the case with this particular claim.

If you’re interested in learning more about the claims process, see our additional resources here:

How to file a claim

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