How can I settle a car accident without using insurance?

I dented another car's bumper. I don't want to go through insurance since it will raise my rate. How do I settle the accident without insurance?

Answer
Settling a minor car accident without insurance is a savvy move that can save you money down the road.
To avoid going through your car insurance after an accident, get a written agreement with the other driver. Keep in mind that you’re also responsible for paying the agreed-upon amount out of your own pocket.
If you don’t get a written agreement, the other driver could still decide to go through their insurance. If that happens, you have to report the accident to your insurance company. This could cause further issues as most car insurance companies want to know about accidents immediately.
Without a written agreement, the other driver could also claim additional damage. If you agree to settle verbally and pay for the dented bumper, they could claim more damage after the fact. Worst case scenario, they could file a lawsuit for the damages.
When you go through your insurance company after an accident, they protect you from lawsuits and negotiate with the other driver. Without their protection, you’re responsible for everything.
Before you decide to pay out of pocket, weigh your options. Depending on the cost of damage, the amount your insurance could increase may be less than the damage you’re paying for.
If you decide to go through your insurance, you may see an increase in your rate. If the rate rises too much, start searching for new auto insurance. Use the Jerry app to compare quotes from dozens of insurers to get the right coverage at the best price.
Emily Maracle
Answered on Oct 20, 2021
Emily Maracle is a car insurance specialist living in New York. Originally from the Pacific Northwest, she has a degree in English Literature and a background in customer service. She enjoys cooking, gardening, and living sustainably. In the future, she can't wait to upgrade to a hybrid or electric car.
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