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Question

Should I file one claim for two incidents?

I hit a parking wall, which was my fault. Then, I was involved in a hit and run which wasn’t my fault. Cost to fix both front and back damage together is around $4-5,000 which may exceed value of car. Worried my rates will go up. Should I File claim or just trade in for another new or used vehicle?

Agent Answer

Ava Lynch

There’s a couple of things to consider here. In the state of Florida, a total loss threshold state, a vehicle is considered totaled if the value of the damages exceed 80% of the vehicle’s value. You can determine the value of your vehicle through Kelley Blue Book or NADA and compare to the cost of the damages (which you said were between $4,000-$5,000). Now, you can’t group these two claims together because they occurred separately and they would be considered an omission to your insurance company.

If you have Uninsured Motorist Property Damage coverage, you could file your uninsured motorist claim under this policy. However, hitting a parking wall would be considered an at-fault collision claim which do raise your rates. In Florida in 2017, an at-fault collision claim raised rates by an average of 37.09%. Now, when you’ve had an at-fault claim, most insurance companies will raise your rate for 3 years. So, you should consider if that estimated 37% over 3 years is greater or less than the damages your insurance company would pay. I can’t tell you if it’s better to repair the vehicle and sell it, don’t repair the vehicle and sell, or file a claim. I recommend crunching the numbers and seeing if it’s worth the repairs in resell value or if you should just cash in now. But, it doesn’t seem worth it to file a claim considering the value of your vehicle and the estimated cost repairs.

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