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Scratched Bumper with Police on the Scene

Bogleheads • View forum - Personal Finance (Not Investing) - www.bogleheads.org
Do I have to contact my own insurance company Geico in New Jersey if I was in a not-at-fault accident and police was on the scene? Any advantages / disadvantages doing so? I only have liability coverage. Are there any disadvantages making a claim against the other drivers policy if the damage is only a few hundred dollars?

I have very good rates, I was never in an accident, and my car has a clean Carafax report, but is only worth 4-5k. Regarding repairs, since police was involved and I am not comfortable talking to the other driver, the choices are either to do nothing or make a claim against his insurance.

This is what happened at my local supermarket:

1. I turn from the access road into one of the perpendicular aisles to park my car and stop at the front of the aisle because there is other traffic.

2. An older gentleman starts to back up from the handicapped space at the front of the aisle. I honk to alert him that I am there and put the car in reverse.

3. He keeps backing up out of the aisle, eventually making a turn going backwards onto the busy access road without even looking, all while I am honking and backing up behind him.

4. Eventually I had nowhere to go so I had to let him bump into me. My front bumper and his left side are scratched, nothing major. He proceeded forward partly over the median and parked his car.

5. He didn’t know what happened and was a bit argumentative, but eventually gave me his info. He said to call a body shop and talk more on the phone. I let him leave because I thought it is not worth the hassle to call the cops over this.

6. The police show up anyway and talk to a witness who called them. I presented myself and described what happened. A police report will be prepared and I will be picking it up in a few days. The policeman said it was not my fault and that he he will talk to the other deriver.


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