You were just in an accident. You were backing up and hit a pole. The pole was fine, but your back fender was damaged. You’re not sure you want to start a claim or how much would you need to pay up front. You might have had an accident months ago and don’t want your insurance rates to go up or you are close to getting accident-free credits on your account. You want to talk with your agent about the “what if’s” before you decide. We call this claims counseling.
You must be aware that, when you claims counsel, or speak with a direct writer (i.e. a State Farm agent, an Allstate agent, Geico agent), you are speaking with a company employee and they are required to tell the company that you called about an accident. Whether they pay out or not, the accident will now be listed in your claims history.
When you claims counsel with an independent agent, you do just that: counsel. Ask your questions, find out your options, get help with your decisions and move forward. Be aware, at this time we cannot tell you if your cost of insurance will change or how much the company will pay if the car is totaled. In the agency, your file will be noted, but we will not move forward with the claim unless you have decided you want to. All bets are off, however, if anyone was hurt. Those types of accidents should always go straight to claims.