You are right in that to file claim against your insurer or not is totally up to you the driver. But CRC will have a copy of report to your insurer once you report accident to them. This means insurer will have record of any major loss by all means even though you do not file claim. Will this have an impact on your premium upon renewal? Most likely.
In my case, i elected to claim because i also need to rent a car when my car is under repair. We are talking about another $500. or around for it. Total cost is thus easily up to $2,500. On the other hand, we are going to face premium increase in 2002 even we do not have any claim in the past, thanks to Sept. 11 and the hardening market. The extream story I heard is a guy in NS with 25 years driving experince without claim had an increase of 100% to have his policy renewed. Go back to my case, I do not think the increase will be as simple as 20% plus 20% or whatsoever, but will be somewhere in between. So, why not?