Many people are hesitant to file claims with their auto insurance company out of fear that their premiums will be increased or the policy will be cancelled. While practices vary between insurance companies, more will increase your premiums by a predetermined percentage for each chargeable claim made against your policy above a specific dollar amount.
A chargeable claim is one that an insurance company considers to primarily be your fault. Also, these premium increases will generally stay on your premium for three years following the claim.
Your insurance company also has the right to not renew your policy if your driving record get worse or you have had several accidents. Insurance companies differ in what they feel constitutes a bad driving record; however, most of them view two minor violations (minor speeding, moving violations, etc.) or one major violation (excessive speed, DUI, etc.) within three years as a poor driving history.
You may also decide not to renew your policy if your driving record gets markedly worse or you have several accidents. Different insurers have different rules about what constitutes an unacceptably bad driving record. But some accidents, such as those caused by drunk driving, will probably trigger a nonrenewal from virtually every insurance company.
If you have an accident but don‘t report it to your insurer, you are taking a risk, even if the damage seems minor. If the other driver sues you weeks or months later, your failure to report the accident might cause your insurer to refuse to honor the policy. And even if they do honor the policy, the delay will certainly make it harder for the insurer to gather evidence to represent you.