Rate hike after fender-bender and cell-phone use ticket

My daughter had a fender-bender and caused $1000 damage. She also got a ticket for “use of cell phone”. Should we report this to our insurance company? We're trying to avoid a massive rate hike.

Jun 25, 2018 Pine Beach, NJ

Taylor Covington

Jun 25, 2018

There are a few things to consider here. First, getting a ticket for "use of cell phone" will be reported on her motor vehicle report (MVR). Insurance companies use your MVR to help calculate the insurance premium. Therefore, the ticket alone can impact the rate negatively. As for the damage she caused, typically, the person you hit will file a claim in order to have their car repaired. So the insurance company will have to pay out on the claim which will impact your rates. You can offer to pay for the damages to the other car out of your pocket to avoid a claim but keep in mind, most companies require you to report any accident to them even if a claim is not filed. Check your policy documents for the specifics on your policy. In this case, unfortunately, there really is no way to avoid your rates being impacted. The good news is that your rates will not change until the time of your next renewal. If you're looking to make sure your new rates will be as low as possible, look over our guide to car insurance for 22 year olds.

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