You purchased your car insurance policy because your insurance company offered you accident forgiveness after your first accident, or maybe you bought it because you believe you are going to receive a discount for being a good driver. However, you have just been involved in a car accident and the time has come for you to test out those assumptions. Will your insurance company come through for you? Or will those promises turn out to be empty ones? Now is the time to find out.
What Do Insurance Companies Take Into Account When Setting Your Rate?
Many factors come into play when insurance rates are set. Among them:
- Your age
- Your gender
- Your claim history
- The infractions and accidents on your driving record
- Your location, both where you live and where the car is driven
- The vehicle you drive
- Your credit history
- Your marital status
Is It A Good Idea To Switch Insurance Companies Right After An Accident?
The answer to this question is actually, it depends. Were you found at fault in the accident? If the answer is no, then it is completely up to you if you want to stay with your present insurance company or switch. However, if you are at fault, you need to know that you might be facing considerably higher premiums with your current provider and it may be worth your while to shop around and get different quotes. You may discover that you’re better off staying with the company you know.
How Many Years Will My Rate Remain Higher?
Increases in your insurance premium can remain for as long as three or even five years after an at-fault accident when damages to your vehicle surpass $2,000. But rates vary, and some insurers will charge much more than others. You may have to get some quotes and decide what insurance company better fits your needs and your budget.
Can Insurance Companies Legally Raise Their Rates After You Have An Accident?
The law, in this case, is on their side. And insurance companies base their rates on your driving record and your risk profile. In other words, after you make a claim, statistics show you’re more likely to make other claims and therefore become a riskier customer. They will charge you more to compensate for potential future losses.
It is more than clear that the best way for you to avoid getting a rate increase from your insurance company is to drive safely, follow all traffic indications and never be involved in an accident. But we all know that is wishful thinking.
What If You Simply Don’t File A Claim?
You should definitely weigh your options when deciding whether to file a claim. If you are in an accident and the other party is found to be at fault, most likely their insurance company will handle everything. If your car needs only minor repairs, you may find out how much those are and see if they come under what you would pay for your deductible. Just make sure not to file a frivolous claim that could have long-term consequences.
Reach out to car accident lawyer Hipskind and McAninch to talk about your case and get their expert opinion on how best to proceed when you are in an accident. Call them today to receive your free initial consultation.