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Husband backed into a pole in his work's parking lot how to handle insurance

Do we need to report this incident to our auto insurance? My husband backed into a pole in his work's parking lot. The back left corner sustained a pretty decent dent. Wondering if this is something we need to report to our auto insurance? Not sure if something like this is covered under our policy.

Jul 19, 2018 Austin, TX

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Ava Lynch

Senior Analyst

  • Licensed Insurance Agent — Property and Casualty

Ava joined The Zebra as a writer and licensed insurance agent in 2016. She now works as a senior analyst, providing insights and data analysis as one…

There are a few different factors to consider.

  • First, most insurance companies require you to report any incident that occurs with the car, even if a claim is not filed. Check with your specific company for their guidelines.
  • Second, look at your car insurance policy to see what kind of coverage you have on the vehicle involved in the accident. In order for your car to be repaired, you will need to have collision coverage and you will be responsible for your deductible.
  • The next thing I would think about is the cost of the damage. If the cost to repair your car is less than or close to your deductible you wouldn't want to file a claim. The reason being, a claim will impact your rates negatively and can end up costing you more in the long run than what it would cost for you to just pay for the damages out of pocket. A claim/accident can stay on your record for up to five years and will impact your rate while it is on your record. While it can vary, the average premium increase for an at-fault accident in Texas in 2020 is $747. Over a 3 year period, you would expect to pay over $2,200 in premium increases. 

If you're curious, you can find additional information about the claims process in our guide to filing claims (featuring a claims calculator). Good luck and if you have any further questions, don't hesitate to ask.

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