It's true that car insurance rates are partially dependent on your driving record. It's also true that should you have an accident, your rates may go up. However, there are cases where an accident, even one where you are at fault, will not cause your insurance rates to increase. There are also ways to keep your insurance affordable if your insurance company raises your rates.
It's important to note that in most states, driving records are based on a point system. Accidents and violations result in points being added to a driving record. You can view the type of system your state uses, and how points are delegated by visiting the DMV website for the state in which you reside. Because each state functions separately when it comes to driving records, insurance companies are likely to do the same.
Here are some general guidelines to help you should you become involved in an automobile accident:
Accident forgiveness is part of a car insurance policy that forgives the insured's first accident. This means the insurance company will not increase your insurance should you be at fault or partially at fault for an accident.
Most insurance companies offer accident forgiveness to their clients. Some companies charge for this coverage, but many offer it as a standard addition to policies for those who qualify. It is up to the individual insurance company to decide who is eligible and whether or not they charge their policyholders.
Be sure to ask your insurance company if they offer accident forgiveness, it's something you'll be glad you have should you become involved in an accident.
Policy Adjustments after an Accident
If your insurance rates increase after you have an accident, there are usually some things you can do to bring the prices down.
- Adjust your overall coverage – You are required to carry car insurance, but you may be carrying more than the state you live in obliges. Talk with your insurance agent and see if you have any coverage's that you might be able to drop from your policy. Dropping even a few small things like towing or roadside assistance will help make a difference in your rates.
- Adjust your deductible amounts – Raising your deductibles can make a significant difference in your premium.
- Drive a vehicle that costs less to insure – If you have to replace your car due to the accident, look for a vehicle that will cost less to insure than your last car. There can be substantial differences in the rates charged for vehicles. Have your agent quote you prices on the cars you are considering.
As you can see, there are ways to help keep your insurance rates down if you are involved in an accident. These changes may concern you, but remember you can always re-adjust them once the infractions are dropped from your driving record. To learn more, contact a company like Biglow & Company with any questions or concerns you have.