Commonly asked insurance claim questions answered
For almost everybody (excluding businesses and people with very rare high-risk insurance policies, ect) the only way an insurance claim can affect your insurance rates for policies written in California are if ALL 3 of these requirements are met.
• A collision (NOT comprehensive)
• that is at least 51% or more your fault
• and the total of all damages are $1,000 or more.
So if any of those requirements are not satisfied, for almost every single situation, your rates will not be affected.
See Department of Insurance website for proof Here.
The insurance premium increase does not increase as the repair estimate increases once the total claim is already at or above the $1,000 threshold in California. If you fit all 3 of these requirements listed above, then a point will be generated on your driving record and affect the insurance premium. The dollar amount of the estimate does not matter after it reaches the $1,000 threshold (the estimate can be $1,000, $10,000, $50,000- the premium increase will be the same). However it should be mentioned that claims involving an injury or a person affect your premium more than just one with vehicle damage only.
Liberty Mutual / Safeco structures their claim process to usually have one of their adjusters physically view/write the original estimate for the car. They will have an original estimate inspection of the vehicle at your house/workplace or sometimes the body shop. Once you have that estimate from them (their approval), you can bring it straight to our body shop and leave the vehicle for repairs.
Sometimes, we can do an estimate and take all the photos that they require. As long as the claim has been fully established, we will digitally send the estimate package to them right in front of you. The approval process usually takes 48 hours. Once approved, we will then notify you and have you drop off the vehicle for repairs.