If he wasn't in the car at the time, you're best off just paying it yourself. Keep in mind, many states have a threshhold, and if there isn't $1000 or some such paid out, that accident isn't surchargable, anyway. The best thing to do is to talk to your insurance agent and be frank with him. Ask him how much your insurance will go up and he'll be more than willing to help. Simply mentioning it to him does not mean he will file the claim. Since the damages are greater than $1000, it's quite possible it will be less expensive for you to go through insurance, especially if this is your first accident. After my first accident, my insurance only went up $8 per month and I'm in a high risk age group.