TIP OF THE DAY: Before you file an insurance claim, did you know that you can first ask your insurance agent to run policy with a hypothetical claim, to see how filing a claim will affect your rates. For example: You hit a a column in a parking garage and damage your bumper. You get an estimate and find it will cost $850 to repair. You have deductible of $500, so you would only get $350 from the insurance company towards the bill. Since it would be an "At Fault" Claim you want to check with your agent and find out how the claim will affect your rate. You find out your auto insurance premium would go up @ $75 per year. As a consumer you need to evaluate if is worth it financially to file the claim. One of the factors in insurance ratings is the number of incidents on your Clue Report. The less incidents you have, the better your rates. It is more advantageous to save filing a claim for higher dollar estimates that could financially burden you. If you tend to be claim free most of the time but want extra rate protection when you do have an "oops", check out insurance carriers that offer accident forgiveness.