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To make a claim, or not to make a claim, that is the question

Discussion in 'Business Fundamentals' started by Plowtoy, Jan 24, 2014.

  1. Plowtoy

    Plowtoy Senior Member
    Messages: 929

    Well, I had a rough morning back in early december. I aparently backed into and barely touched a garage door (in fact i didn't even feel it) at one of my residentials. It left a nice 2 inch reciever mark in the door and knocked it off the track at what appears to be the same height as mine, so I cant rule it out as it wasn't me. Called my insurance agent and he told me to tell them to go ahead and get it fixed and we can work out the details later. Well, today I get a call and the customer has it fixed and it looks good, and they are wanting me to bill them for this month as they are leaving for FL. I asked them if they had the final bill for the door and he said that he would mail that to me with the check for the work. I asked him how much so I could figure out if I am going to make the claim. It's only $400 for one panel replacement, hardware, and adjustment. My insurance guy says if I choose to make the claim, it shouldn't affect my rates but only a few dollars a month for a few years (if at all) since I dont often make claims. So the question is, do I just figure out what the client owes me for the month and have him pay the differance? Or do I have my insurance pay it and pocket the money. Either way the customer will be taken care of, just not sure which direction I want to go.
     
  2. JB1

    JB1 Senior Member
    Messages: 178

    I would pay it myself.
     
  3. maxwellp

    maxwellp PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,112

    What is your deductible? Mine is over $400 so I would eat it.
     
  4. Mr.Markus

    Mr.Markus PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,157

    This would depend on your agent...$400 I would've just paid it. Sometimes even reporting it to an agent starts the process and whether you pay it yourself or not it becomes an at fault accident and you could lose your claims free discount. That "couple of $" suddenly adds up.
     
  5. Meezer

    Meezer Senior Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 291

    I would not make a claim.
     
  6. Plowtoy

    Plowtoy Senior Member
    Messages: 929

    No deductible



    Well, I never would have thought about that. I have used this agent for many years and think that he would only start the claim if I request it. He always seems to lead me in the right direction. I dont think I get a "claims free" discount, but my rates could go up. I am leaning on paying it myself, but now you talk about that, makes me wonder if i should just submit it anyway now that my agent knows...GOOD POINT!
     
  7. Mr.Markus

    Mr.Markus PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,157

    My wife's been an agent for 25 years, I try to tune it out but some of it creeps in...:(
     
  8. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    If you have a good agent they will offer advice and not submit the inquiry. So this way you don't have an 'ice" report on you. Why don't you have a deductible?
     
  9. Rc2505

    Rc2505 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,245

    Pay it and forget about it. I am in the process of changing insurance companies, and I have had one claim for theft. No other claims ever, and this 1 claim is now going to cost me close to a grand extra per year. 400 dollars is nothing compared to the rise in insurance costs over a 5 year period.
     
  10. Charles

    Charles Moderator Staff Member
    Messages: 253

    That is true! I know someone who had that happen to them. Just asked a few questions and then they got a mailer saying their Claim had been denied:dizzy:
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2014
  11. 32vld

    32vld Senior Member
    from LI, NY
    Messages: 620

    Rule No. 1 : Does not cover the deductible you do not put in a claim.
     
  12. Dogplow Dodge

    Dogplow Dodge 2000 Club Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 2,881

    EXACTLY the same thing I was thinking. It's not worth going through insurance for that small of an amount. My deductible is $500, so I'd rather the insurance company not know about it anyway. Pay it by check, notating on the check that it's for

    "repairing the garage door damage caused by plow truck, and by cashing this check, you release (your company's name) from any further claims on such repair" Taking pictures of before and after as well.

    If the job is small, throw in a "free snow clearing" the next time as well.

    You need to come out the hero on this one...... and by providing them a superior response to the issue, you will.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2014
  13. OSCLandscaping

    OSCLandscaping Member
    Messages: 32

    Deductibles only apply to the insure's loss. If the damage had been done to his property the deductible would kick in. When you are at fault and cause damage to someone else your insurance covers the whole cost. In large losses they will most likely negotiate with the losses but small losses they just pay it.
     
  14. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Don't call the 800 number ,even asking them will result in a claim not paid but on your record.
     
  15. Dogplow Dodge

    Dogplow Dodge 2000 Club Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 2,881

    After reviewing my policy.... this is true. No deductible on other's ... just mine, like when I hit that plastic garbage can with the side of my box truck, and it crushed the corner of the box. When I called to make a claim, the fix was only a hundred or two over my deductible, so I told them not to process the check.

    It's on my loss runs records as a claim, even though they never paid out a dime.
     
  16. 32vld

    32vld Senior Member
    from LI, NY
    Messages: 620

    Thanks for the info.
     
  17. JD Dave

    JD Dave PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,045

    First off you can write off the $400 and i can't imagine anyone with liability insurance putting a claim in for $400.
     
  18. Plowtoy

    Plowtoy Senior Member
    Messages: 929

    All good advice. THANK YOU!!

    I have called the client as they were wanting a final bill for January because they are leaving for Florida for the rest of the season. We agreed to have him pay the for the door repair and send me a check to me for the differance. I asked him if he was happy with the repair and he said yes.