If you’ve never been in an auto accident, congratulations. That’s a feat on today’s fast-paced highways. If you have been in an accident, you’re likely somewhat aware of the effect it can have on your auto insurance. Either way, it’s best to remain as knowledgeable as possible when it comes to accidents and your insurance. Although people will tell you your premium will skyrocket after an accident, this isn’t always the case. There are many different scenarios that can cause changes to your premium, and they’re not all expensive.
Remember: you’re not liable for every accident that occurs. Sometimes, the other person’s insurance provider is liable. In these situations, their insurance will pay and you won’t have to deal with the financial consequences. Automobile accident lawyers who specialize in personal injury can and will represent you in the event you’re in an accident and suspect the other driver is at fault.
The Effects of a Minor Accident
Minor accidents, such as a fender bender, may not increase your premium, especially if you have a good driving record. The best insurance companies look at your complete driving history instead of just the single accident. If your insurance company does raise your premium, it may be time to look at other companies.
If the minor accident was not your fault, your insurance premium shouldn’t change. After all, if the accident wasn’t your fault why should you pay the price? If your insurance company holds you liable, again, you may have the wrong insurance.
The Effects of an At-Fault Accident
If you’re the reason for the accident, you may see an increase in your premium at your time of renewal. This is especially true if you’ve been in an at-fault accident before. Although this increase isn’t written in stone, there is a chance it will happen.
Look to insurance companies that offer discounts, such as safe-driving discounts or discounts for taking defensive driving courses. Keep in mind, if you’re already taking advantage of these discounts, you may lose them after an at-fault accident. With the loss of a discount, it’s guaranteed your premium will increase; however, after some time you should be able to receive the discount again.
Dealing with Rate Increases
If you’re someone whose rate has increased due to an accident, you can expect this increase to last for a minimum of three years. It really depends on the type of accident and how much damage there was. For example, if you caused a serious at-fault accident and the insurance company was liable for your vehicle plus other vehicles, you’re increase will be more than what it would be following a minor fender bender. You can always check with alternate insurance companies for the best rate, but they’ll all have access to the information on your motor vehicle report.
Take Advantage of Discounts to Offset the Costs
Post-insurance premium increase, you should look to discounts to offset the costs. For example, you can bundle insurances to save money (homeowners, recreational vehicle, etc.). If you haven’t already, take a defensive driving course and use the discount associated with that to save money. Look into what your insurance company offers and oblige them wherever possible.
As a reminder, have your insurance card in your vehicle at all times and the company’s phone number in your phone or on record somewhere. Keep a pad of paper and pen in your glove box to note important accident information, such as time, date, the other vehicle’s license plate number, and the other driver’s license and insurance information. If you’re in any sort of accident, be sure to file a claim as quickly as possible.
*This post is brought to you by Abby Locker.*