CNN/Money has a new article out on the rising price of car insurance. I did not know this, but car insurance prices have gone up 23% over the last five years which is more than twice the rise in consumer prices. This should give regulators cause for concern.
CNN/Money has three tips for people in this article. The first one is to report all claims, even minor ones, since some damage may not show up for weeks. I am not sure I agree with this. If there is no damage, or if the damage is under your deductible, it may not make sense to report a claim. While the insurance companies cannot raise your rates just for reporting a claim, in today’s society, calling to report a claim for a broken window seems like its more work than it is worth and will take you away from other things for hours while you talk to adjusters.
The second tip is to use your smartphone to collect evidence at the scene of a car crash. This is a great tip. I actually saw this used a few weeks ago when a group of us where together and someone’s parked car was hit. The owner of the car went out and took pictures of the damage, the other driver’s car, the license plate of the other driver, and the scene. Those pictures are invaluable later when there is an investigation into the crash.
The thidd tip may be the best: do NOT let the insurance company’s preferred shop repair your car. Those shops may cut corners, according to CNN/Money and the Consumer Federation of America. Instead, either call a dealership or an independent shop. Get someone who is on your side to fight for the repairs to be done properly, even if it costs the insurance company more money.
We are required to have car insurance. If you have a claim, do not let the insurance company bully you or force you into using their repair shops, especially with the skyrocketing cost of auto insurance. If you feel like your adjuster is not listening to you, talk to a supervisor, call an attorney, or report this to the Department of Insurance.