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Should I file a claim or pay out of pocket for damage to my car?

I pay around $75/month for new car. Recently, I got into a minor incident that damaged my car’s door. It needs to be fixed and it will cost me around $2,800. My deductible is 500. if I file a claim, will it increase my premium and effect my driving record? The incident happened when I was making a right turn. Suddenly a cat passed by close to my car, I tried to avoid it, and made a sharp right turn when my car scratched against the stop sign on the right front passenger door.

Agent Answer

Neil Richardson

Based on research through our State of Car Insurance Report, an at fault accident in New Jersey has an average impact of $1,228 additionally per year. Accidents impact rates for 3 years from the date of the incident, so it may make more sense to pay for the damage out of pocket rather than pay higher rates for the next 3 years. The rate impact for tickets and accidents can be found on page 58 of our report.

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