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How Much Does A Car Accident Increase Your Insurance?

Insurance

If you’ve ever been in a minor fender bender, the financial consequences might not be immediately obvious. Sure, there could be the cost of towing your vehicle and any damage that may have occurred on both cars. But what about the impact on your insurance rates?  

According to Forbes Advisor’s analysis, drivers with a clean record who cause an accident can expect their rate to increase by 41% for up to five years. Not every car accident will result in an increased rate, though. If your insurance rate rises due to an accident, you have several ways to minimize the financial impact on you and your family. 

This article will give you insights into your car insurance and how being involved in a car accident might increase it. For more information, you can contact Hale Law, P.A., who can help with any questions about car insurance and how they affect claims after an accident with another vehicle.

How Does A Traffic Accident Affects Insurance?

If you’ve been in an at-fault car accident, it’s likely that your rates will increase at renewal. This is because an at-fault accident is considered chargeable and can result in a surcharge on your liability insurance. The amount of the surcharge depends on how much fault was assigned to you by the court; if more than 50% of fault was given to you, then the surcharges could be significant. 

How Long Is A Car Insurance Surcharge In Effect?

If you’ve been in an accident and you were at fault, your insurance premium might go up. This may last up to five years. In Texas and New York, surcharges are applied only for insurance premiums within three years from the accident date. While in Massachusetts, surcharges may be applied for five years from the date of the accident. Some states offer reduced rates if you have not been involved in another at-fault accident or road traffic violation during that time period.

What Affects The Price Of Car Insurance After An Accident?

There are a lot of misconceptions about insurance premiums going up after an accident. In reality, your car’s insurance premium generally only goes up if it is determined that you were at fault for the incident. For example, if someone else’s vehicle struck yours and caused damage to both cars, then that was not your fault, and your rates will not change. However, if you caused the accident and are found to be at fault for it, such as by driving under the influence, then there will be an increase in your insurance rates. 

Here are some documents you can gather that might help keep your rates low following a crash.

  • You will need a report from the police regarding the accident for insurance company officials to know who is to blame for the collision. 
  • A satisfactory statement provided by the other driver’s insurance firm taking responsibility for the accident will also help you out. 
  • A witness statement or statements can be helpful to show it wasn’t your fault, especially if there are multiple witnesses who back up your side of the incident. 
  • The other party might have agreed to be liable for damages or injuries caused in the accident if they were insured.

How To Reduce Your Auto Insurance After An Accident

Reducing your car’s insurance premium is possible if you incur a surcharge due to a road traffic accident. First, ask for discounts. The best way to lower your car’s insurance is by asking for it! If you go paperless or drive short distances, you may qualify for a discount on your car’s insurance.

Some people may choose to drive less after their accident, but what if there was a way to reduce your car’s insurance premium by simply driving more safely? You can opt for usage-based insurance programs that track and score your driving actions and provide tips for improvement. If you score well, you can earn a discount!  

Another option is to compare car insurance quotes with other companies to see if they offer better deals. Even if the accident surcharge remains with you after switching providers, it’s worthwhile if they still beat your current company’s rates. 

Hopefully, this information helps you understand car insurance premiums and the increase that can occur after an accident with another vehicle. In addition, there are helpful nuggets on how to lower your car’s insurance if an accident occurs and you are found to be liable.

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