There are a few things to consider when deciding on whether or not to put through an insurance claim
Fault percentage is established for every collision. The degree of fault is established using a chart which has every possible collision scenario. This chart takes into consideration right of way, vehicle impact points, road signs etc. If you are deemed at fault in any collision, the cost of the claim or repair cost is irrelevant. A ‘little’ accident would have the same impact on your premium as a major collision, if you are at fault. If you are found to be 0% at fault, there would be no impact on your premium. Note that if you hit a vehicle from behind you are most likely 100% at fault.
This is the portion of the claims cost that you would have to pay yourself. If you are not at fault, you most likely would have a zero deductible unless you chose a deductible when purchasing your insurance policy. If you are 50% at fault you pay 50% of your deductible and so on.
If you have had a few at-fault claims, your insurance company may refuse to renew your insurance contract. Find out what your insurance company’s guidelines are.
Your insurance policy’s terms and conditions
You are very likely required, in the terms and conditions of your policy, to report every accident to your insurance company. A violation of this condition could compromise your insurance company’s ability to investigate potential claims in a timely manner, or their ability to take other measures to protect you in the event of future claim. There may be penalties for non-disclosure of losses.
Potential for future 3rd party claims
Other parties that may have suffered losses are legally entitled to file claims against their insurance policies. Third party claims may even be filled directly with your insurer against your policy. Claims for bodily injury can arise months, and sometime even years, after the actual collision date.
Local laws and statutes
You may be required by law, to notify the police of any accident where the damage exceeds a certain threshhold. You may face convictions for faliure to report losses to the authorities.
In summary, while there is the obvious temptation to avoid involving insurance companies in claims or losses where the damage seems minimal, careful consideration should be given to the possible consequences.