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Hello, all.

My 17-year-old daughter was in a car accident on Christmas Eve. Everyone's OK, though I may have a heart attack once I see how much our insurance premiums will go up. (The police officer determined it was her fault, though he didn't give her a ticket.) Our car had minor bumper damage, but the other car didn't get off so easy and had to be towed. My question for you is: Would it be better for us (in terms of limiting how much the premiums will increase) if we don't make a claim on our own car, and just buy and replace the bumper ourselves?

Also, the insurance company (GEICO) is asking for our permission to speak with our daughter since she's a minor. Any advice on whether we should or shouldn't allow that... or whether it's even a choice?

Many thanks!
Robert
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(The police officer determined it was her fault, though he didn't give her a ticket.) Our car had minor bumper damage, but the other car didn't get off so easy and had to be towed. My question for you is: Would it be better for us (in terms of limiting how much the premiums will increase) if we don't make a claim on our own car, and just buy and replace the bumper ourselves?

Who is paying for the repairs to the other car ?
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Glad everyone's OK.

Let insurance take care of it. That's what it's there for. With car insurance, especially, the body shop may give an estimate, but once work starts they often find it'll be more, and you really don't want to get involved in that. Not to mention, the injured party might have medical expenses, despite seeming to be OK now, or might decide to sue, and you really don't want to get involved in that.

Your premiums will probably rise, but only temporarily.

(For homeowner's insurance, I'd give a different answer, because when you make a claim on homeowner's (or even inquire about making a claim), that puts you at risk of the insurance company moving a step closer to dropping your policy. For homeowner's, I have the largest deductible possible.)

As far as the insurance company having a chat with your daughter, if it were my kid I'd allow it, because I think it'd be a good experience for her. Obviously, I'd hope she'd learn from the accident experience itself, but I think having a conversation with the insurance company might also help. The most important thing here is your daughter's being a safer driver going forward, and any embarrassment, premium increase, etc, is small potatoes compared to that.
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Thanks for the reply!

Just to clarify (in case I wasn't clear beforehand), we have indeed notified our insurance company about the accident, so they'll be paying for the damage to the other car (I hope!). But we haven't decided whether we'll be filing for the damage to our car.

Thanks,
Robert
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Just to clarify (in case I wasn't clear beforehand), we have indeed notified our insurance company about the accident, so they'll be paying for the damage to the other car (I hope!). But we haven't decided whether we'll be filing for the damage to our car.

So you already have filed a claim and presumably paid a deductible. There really is no further downside to having your car repaired as well, especially if it is relatively minor. The damage to your claim history is already done so why drive around in a banged up car or pay even more to fix it yourself.
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Just to clarify, the liability insurance on your policy will pay for the damage to the other car if it was your daughters fault. The collision coverage will pay for the damage to your car, less the deductible. Your daughter's statement to the insurance company will help to establish fault. I'd probably want to be present when she gives the statement. Most auto insurance policies have a dollar limit on damages that will increase rates for a period of time. In other words, if the total damages are less than a specific amount rates don't go up.
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It's an old post but :
https://boards.fool.com/cars-and-insurance-10039954.aspx?sor...

and one of my kids did actually have to pay the deductible.
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A little late to the discussion but since your insurance is already going to pay for the other car your rates will go up anyway that I doubt making the claim on your car will have much more impact.

FWIW, about 18 mos ago son sideswiped a car in school parking lot. we knew the family and handled it privately as I called the local insurance agent and based on their projected increase and the cost of the repair I have already saved the the cost of the paying for the repair out of pocket. Again since it was on "private" property no official police report though the School Resource officer did handle the exchange of information.
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