Will my rates increase for claiming an accident?
I took my eyes off the road for a couple of seconds. In that short time my car veered to the left striking the left guard rail on an entrance ramp. Fortunately I was not hurt but every section of my vehicle from the front bumper to the rear bumper were damaged just enough to need repair, probably replacement. I will be 65 in October, have not had an accident since 1998 or so and that was caused by the other driver; I was hit by him. The accident was reported to my insurer (Geico) but his insurance was responsible for the accident. Don't know what to do, I am sure the repairs will be more than I can afford, but I certainly don't need an increase in my rates. What do you recommend?
Long story short: yes, claiming this accident is very likely to increase your future rates for at least 3 years. It sounds like the accident was fairly significant, but you can still take the vehicle to a repair shop for a damage estimate. Doing that will allow you to assess your situation with a bit more certainty since you will have a pretty decent idea of what the repair costs will total. You can use our State of Insurance report to estimate the amount of increase you might see for claiming an accident and if the cost to repair the vehicle is more than the potential increase to your policy then obviously filing a claim is the way to go. This is all based on the assumption that your policy includes comprehensive and collision (full coverage). If not, you will have to pay for the repairs yourself. Sorry to hear about your situation, but best of luck!