How do you settle a car accident without an insurance company?

I backed into my neighbor's mailbox. I’m so embarrassed, and I’d rather leave my insurance out of it so that it doesn’t raise my premium. Can I do that without involving my insurance?

Answer
It may sound very silly, but hitting a mailbox is considered a single-driver accident.
The first step would be to talk to your neighbor. Take a picture of the damage, so they can’t claim that you caused more damage than what actually happened. If you want a third party to record the incident, it’s not a bad idea to call the police and get a police report.
Then, talk to some repair people to see how much it will cost you to repair your neighbor’s mailbox. Keep a record of any communication, including written documentation of the agreement that you and your neighbor came to.
As far as damage to your car, get quotes from a couple of mechanics to find a mechanic you trust who will repair your car at a fair price. If the damage is higher than what your car insurance deductible would be, it may be a good idea to go through your insurance company anyway.
If you do report the claim to insurance and your rates go up, you might want to consider shopping around for quotes. Jerry can help! Jerry is an insurance broker app that will allow you to compare quotes from over 50 top insurers in just minutes. Once you find a policy that works for you, Jerry will help with all of the paperwork.
Lauren Smith
Answered on Nov 12, 2021
Lauren has written for World Nomads, the Matador Network, Korvia Consulting, and once upon a time Three Fates Games. She graduated from Columbia College of Chicago with a BFA in Creative Writing. After graduating, she moved overseas and lived in South Korea where she spent her free time traveling and going on road trips with friends. She misses the rest stop potatoes and is trying to figure out how to recreate them at home. She's now based outside of Chicago and when she's not writing she spends her free time reading, playing video games, and exploring whenever she can.
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