Avoid Small Claims
If you get a small dent or other minor damage
on an older car, think twice about filing a claim
and getting it fixed. To avoid rate hikes, it
might be worth your while to just live with it if
there are no safety issues. And if you have towing
coverage on your policy and use it to get
your jalopy towed every six months, be ready
for a 10 percent rate increase on your next
renewal. Buy a roadside assistance plan (available
from AAA, AARP and other vendors)
instead. It’s cheaper.
This also applies to homeowner's insurance. A good rule of thumb is don't file
a claim if it’s worth less than $1,000 over your deductible.
Statistically, if you file
two claims in a three-year
period, or make
claims related to maintenance
issues such as a
chronic leak or some missing shingles, you risk triggering a rate hike or worse. Your insurance company may even drop
you completely. Just inquiring about a claim (without even filing it!) could raise your rates.