With insurance rates increasing every year, we’re all looking for ways to keep our monthly payments down. Many believe that little fender benders will increase their rates while a comprehensive claim like hitting a deer won’t make a difference. Keep reading to get the facts.
Accident Factors That Affect Insurance Rates
Not all accidents are created equal, and they won’t all have the same effect on your insurance rates. The examples below list accidents or circumstances that could increase your insurance rates.
Who’s at Fault? – If the accident was not your fault, your rates will typically not change. However, it could change if the insurance company feels you’re at risk of being in another accident, but this is rare.
Severity of the Accident – An accident that costs the insurance company a lot of money is more likely to cause your rates to increase than a small scratch on your car.
Comprehensive claims – Accidents like a deer jumping in front of your car are considered an “act of God” and will typically not have any bearing on your rates.
No-fault states – In no-fault states, each driver’s insurance company pays for damages regardless of who’s at fault, so your rates could increase even if you were not at fault.
Being in an at-fault accident won’t always guarantee you an increase in your insurance premiums.
Driving record – Your driving record, and how long you’ve been with the company, can play a large role in your rates. Even if you were in an at-fault accident, your rates may stay the same if you’ve always had a good driving record.
Accident forgiveness – If your insurance company offers accident forgiveness, your first accident will be forgiven and shouldn't affect your rates even if you were at fault.
Don’t underestimate the importance of discounts offered by your insurance company. Many people don’t realize that losing them can result in premium increases. If you’re getting a discount for being accident-free or claim-free for a certain period of time, and you’re in an accident or make a claim, you’re no longer accident- or claim-free. You will lose the discount even if it wasn’t your fault.
With all states requiring that drivers carry auto liability insurance, optional coverages like collision and comprehensive are our choice. Accidents can’t always be avoided, but being a safe driver can give you the best advantage. Shopping for the best insurance rates and discounts can also be a huge help.
Make sure your coverages are where you need them. If you're worried about your financial risk from being underinsured, please reach out here.