If you have been in an accident or if your vehicle has suffered damage, you might be hesitant to file a claim because you are afraid that your insurance premiums will go up. But that isn’t always true.
If your rates increase, and how much they increase are dependent on the circumstances of the accident, the cost of the claim, if your policy has accident forgiveness and your auto insurer.
You can’t definitively know if your rates will be affected by filing a claim, there are a few things that you can consider that will help you predict the after-effects.
Specifics of Accidents and How Your Rates Are Affected
There are several factors that will be considered by your insurance when they are determining how an accident will affect your insurance rates, or if they will affect them at all.
Here are a few of the things that your insurer will look at:
- The Accident Severity
- The Driver at Fault
- Valuable to the Company
- Accident Forgiveness
They will consider the severity of the damage. It could range from a deep scratch in the paint to a totaled vehicle. The greater the damage, the greater the rate increase or surcharge. This is because the insurance company must make a larger payout.
If the accident is your fault, often your premiums will increase. If the other driver was at fault, usually, your rates won’t increase. Some insurers, however, will increase your rates because the likelihood of your being in another accident increase and they are at greater risk.
If you live in a state that uses the no-fault approach, the insurance companies of all drivers will pay toward the costs, and you will most likely see a rate increase regardless of who is at fault.
Drivers who are safer are cheaper for auto insurers to cover. If you have an extensive safe driving record and you have been with that insurer for an extensive amount of time, you are much less likely to see dramatic rate hikes than someone who has had other claims in the past.
There are some insurance companies that offer accident forgiveness programs for their customers. This benefits safe drivers. This means that your first accident claim will not result in a rate hike if this coverage is offered by your auto insurance company.
Vehicle Theft Can Affect Your Rates
If your vehicle or items from inside your car are stolen, you will file a claim to cover the costs of your loss. Because your car insurer will have to pay out for this claim, you most likely will see a rate increase just as you would with an accident claim.
If you reside in an area that has higher crime rates, you are going to pay higher premiums than someone who lives in an area where the vehicles are less likely to be stolen or vandalized. When it comes to auto insurance premiums and rate hikes, several things are taken into consideration.
Anytime you have been involved in an auto accident, you should consult with a personal injury lawyer who will determine the best way for you to proceed with a claim.
To have your claim reviewed by a personal injury attorney in your area, complete the Free Case Evaluation Form.