My vehicle met with an accident but luckily the damages were really minor. Do I still have to lodge a claim or is it optional to lodge a claim especially when the damage is minor?

It is not necessary to always lodge a claim especially for minor damages. For very small damages, the claim amount will be very small and you will still have to pay for depreciation and excess. Most significantly, you will lose your no claim bonus at the time of policy renewal. However, once you have decided not to make a claim for a particular accident, you will not be able to make a claim for the same at a later stage.