Can I Cancel a Car Accident Claim?by Karie Lapham Fay
Accidents happen to everyone, as the millions of dollars in claims paid out by auto insurance companies each year show. But, as Auto Insurance Claims Advice points out, insurers make money by selling insurance policies—not by paying claims. That means your insurance agent will want to help you cancel an auto accident claim.
Reasons for Canceling
Accidents are upsetting, and you might reconsider your claim after calming down. Perhaps the deductible is so high that filing a claim is not worth it. For instance, if you carry a deductible of $1,000 and your vehicle incurs damages of $1,200, filing a claim may not be worth risking a raise in insurance rates. Insurance companies can even cancel policies due to excessive claims. As Insurance.com states, "It will definitely hurt your insurance premiums if you have the unfortunate experience of having to file too many claims." Remember that insurance companies consider the risk of each policyholder when setting rates. You might also choose not to file a claim if you were cited for not wearing a seat belt in the accident that caused the damages to your vehicle. Such tickets can raise your rates, according to Auto Insurance Claim Advice.
Your Insurance Agent
The first thing to do when you wish to cancel a claim is to contact your agent or claims adjuster. When it comes to canceling a claim, yours and your agent's best interests are aligned. Insurance agents earn bonuses by selling insurance to people who will not file claims. As Auto Insurance Claims Advice explains, the number of policies sold compared with claims filed is called a loss ratio. "Depending on the agent's loss ratio, the bonus or payment from the insurance company will increase or decrease. The loss ratio is also affected by how big of a loss you have." The bigger the claim filed, the more money your agent stands to lose.
What to Say
When you reach your agent or adjuster, you will need to give the date of claim, claim number and police report number, if the incident was reported to the police. Tell the person that you want to cancel your claim, and if asked, say why. Ask for help in canceling the claim. Try to keep the conversation short and to the point; if you are not asked, don't tell. Simply ask if the person can cancel the claim for you. The adjuster or agent may ask that you submit the request in writing. The file might be closed without any further action. Either way, cooperate fully with your agent. Again, the agent is trying to save both of you money.
As the Allstate Insurance Claim sample cited in the Resources section shows, a claim is not processed instantly. After you contact the insurance company to file a claim, information must be gathered. It takes time before your claim can move forward, so it may not be too late to contact your representative and ask that the claim be canceled. In an online claims system like Allstate's, you can even request the cancellation there. Just remember that once you cancel your claim, it will be too late to change your mind. So consider your choices and make your decision carefully.
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