I just got into my second at-fault accident this year. The damages are about $4,000 for their vehicle and they are willing to let me pay out of pocket if that’s what I want. I think my car would be about $2,000. Should I file a claim or not?
While the decision to file a claim is completely up to you, you should consider what impact another at-fault accident can have on your insurance. In 2016 in California, an at-fault accident (not necessarily your second, however) raised premiums by an average of 36% or about $900 according to our State of Insurance report (page 58). Now, most states will charge you for 3 years for any incident. Meaning, that $900 will stretch to $2,700 in addition to what you’re already paying. So, that amount is less than damages to your vehicle and the other driver. So, it might be within your interest to file a claim. Another factor to consider is most companies see drivers with 3 or more at-fault accidents to be too risky to insure and non renew their policy.