What if you’re dropping your kids off at school one morning and you inadvertently bump into the car in front of you? Or what if you bump into another car while you’re backing out of a parking space?
Who should you call first — the police or your insurance agent?
Should you always make a claim or is it sometimes better to work it out on your own?
Owensboro Times took these questions to Owensboro Police Department Public Information Officer Andrew Boggess and Kentucky Farm Bureau Agency Manager Gavin Roberts for some expert advice.
Boggess and Roberts both agreed it was best to get an official police report, so your first call should be to local law enforcement. Boggess said one of the first things your insurance agent will ask for is a police report number. The officer on the scene will make an official report and file it after the scene is cleared.
“Fault and blame can still be disputed by both parties afterward,” Roberts added, “but the damage caused and whether or not there were injuries will be included in the official police report.”
Now that you have a police report on file, deciding whether to submit a claim to insurance or not may come down to a few things. Is the other party reasonable and dependable? And is the damage minor enough to pay for it out of pocket? Paying for the repair yourself is an initial expense, but that also means it doesn’t go on your record, whereas making a claim could raise your rates.
Either way, Roberts recommends always getting a police report, exchanging contact information with the other party involved and getting estimates at the body shops of your choice. After following those steps, then you should decide if it’s within your means to cover the expense out of pocket or make an insurance claim.