Did you know that if you call the claims number on your insurance card to report a claim that even if you decide not to file the claim, are ineligible to file the claim based on your policy terms or decide not to accept a loss payout that the claim will still count against you? Most companies when you call a claims hotline report the call as a claim regardless of the outcome. This will then count against you for future rate increases particularly if you are looking at switching carriers. One of the benefits of having a personal agent that direct writers like GEICO and PROGRESSIVE do not offer is the opportunity to discuss your claim with someone who is looking out for your best interest and concerned about retaining you as a customer. A personal agent will help you determine if your claim is valid, if it meets the terms of your policy, if the loss justifies the claim amount, and most importantly helps you navigate the claims process. So the next time you consider filing a claim ask yourself the question, what will this cost me today and what will it cost me tomorrow.