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How Will My Insurance Premiums be Affected By a Car Accident?
How Will My Insurance Premiums be Affected By a Car Accident?2/18/2020

two men on their cell phones standing by damaged carsQ: I’ve been involved in a car accident and wondering what to expect as far as my insurance rates. How big of an increase can I expect to see?

A: The exact increase (if any) you’ll see in your monthly premiums following a car crash, varies by driver, insurance carrier and state.

Here are the answers to all your questions regarding vehicle accidents and insurance rates.

What should I do after an accident?

If you’re involved in a car accident causing major vehicle or bodily damage, you’ll need to file an insurance claim and a police report as soon as possible. You can find the information necessary for filing an insurance claim on the insurance documents you should have in your vehicle at all times. Be sure to get the name of the driver and car owner, the names of passengers in the car at the time of the accident, the vehicle make, model and license plate number. Also get the driver’s insurance company name, policy number and contact number for claims filing.

How much of an increase in my monthly premiums will I see after an accident?

The exact increase you will see in your monthly premiums depends on what kind of accident you were involved in, whether you were at fault, whether this is your first accident while on the plan, your particular policy and the state where you live.

A joint study between Insurance Quotes and Quadrant Information Services, which looked at data in all 50 states, found that drivers who made a single insurance claim worth $2,000 or more saw their premiums increase on average by 44.1%, or $371 a month.

How can I guarantee my insurance provider will look away from the accident?

If you’ve been with the same insurance provider for a while, you may qualify for accident forgiveness, or a program in which insurance providers waive the usual post-accident surcharge for drivers who’ve been insured by the carrier for a lengthy period of time and who have excellent driving records.

What if the accident isn’t my fault?

If you’ve been involved in an accident that was clearly not your fault, your rates may or may not increase, depending on your carrier, state and whether this is your first no-fault accident.

How can I lower my rates after a surcharge?

Implement some or all of these tips to lower your rates:

  • Improve your credit score by paying bills on time, keeping credit utilization low and paying down debts.

  • Increase your deductible amount in exchange for a lower monthly premium.

  • See if you qualify for discounts, such as a multi-policy, or a good student discount.

  • Shop around for another policy.

If, worst case scenario, your car is totaled and you need to purchase a new one, we can help. Use one of our easy car-buying services and take advantage of our affordable car loans!

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