Operating a vehicle comes with significant risks. An accident can occur under any circumstances in a split second. If you are researching coverage and you have an accident on your driving record, then this article provides you all the information you need to know about how auto accidents impact auto insurance policies.
Do not automatically assume that an auto accident will cause your premium to go up. Several factors influence the situation, such as your driving record and whether you are at fault for the accident.
1. The Seriousness of the Accident Claim
Each claim is a unique situation. There is a drastic difference between a small accident with minimal damage and a more serious accident when a vehicle is completely totaled. The severity of the claim is a huge factor in regards to whether your insurance premium may rise.
2. Your Driving Record: Whether You Are a Safe or a High-risk Diver
The insurance company will look at your driving record regarding calculating the cost of your auto insurance policy. If you are designated a high-risk driver, your premium may increase. Even if you are viewed as a safe driver, your insurer can change your designation and alter your premium if you have become a more high-risk driver over the past year.
3. Are You Found to Be the At-Fault Driver?
Another factor determining if your auto insurance policy will be adjusted is whether you are found to be at fault for the damages. Once you file a claim, an insurance adjuster will take over. The adjuster will assess the damages, speak to any eyewitnesses regarding the crash, and review the policy report. This helps the adjuster determine who is responsible for the accident. There are some cases where multiple drivers are found to be at fault.
4. What Will Happen in Case of a No-Fault Accident?
You may be required to carry no-fault insurance as part of your auto insurance policy. A no-fault insurance plan can cover your medical expenses if you are injured in an accident, irrespective of who is responsible. If your insurer has to pay a lot towards your medical bills, that may change your rate.
5. What about Surcharges and Time Frames?
If your insurer increases your premium, the rate will likely remain fixed for three years. If a surcharge is added to your auto insurance policy, that may decrease each year you avoid having an accident. You can also lose your safe driving discount if you are ruled to be at fault for an accident. The length of time an accident impacts your auto insurance policy depends on the state and your insurer. Discuss with your insurance agent if and how your insurance provider applies surcharges.
6. Consider a Forgiveness Program While Purchasing Auto Insurance
Be aware that some insurance companies have established accident forgiveness programs. If you add forgiveness to your auto insurance policy, your rates will not increase if you are involved in an accident, regardless of whether you are responsible. Check with your auto insurance company to see if they offer this feature.
Consult with CF&P Insurance Brokers
While researching auto insurance policies, remember that the total cost of the damages and the severity of the claim dictate whether your insurance premium will rise. In most cases, one accident is not enough to change things. If you have any questions, contact our insurance experts here at CF&P Insurance Brokers to assist you.