Having accidents on record will certainly affect auto insurance premium as it will put you in the high risk drivers category. However, how much it does influence rates depends on many factors like age, experience, the number of claims you made, credit score, when you had the last incident, the provider and state you live in.
A collision that wasn’t your fault may not increase rates much. On the other hand, being at fault in a crash and receiving reckless driving ticket after leaves you no excuse and would concern any carrier you approach. They would at least want to charge enough for the risk that you may cause another one shortly.
Frequency of claims is as important as the size of them. Many people assume that small payouts don’t bother underwriters. This isn’t the case in the slightest because a policyholder who cannot stop making claims isn’t clearly going to be profitable.
Having one claim in the last five years isn’t same as having several incidents and tickets in quick succession. In the latter case there is even a chance that automobile insurer may drop you due to accidents. That would make it harder for you to find affordable coverage but it isn’t impossible.
More Affordable Insurance for Drivers with Accidents
Unfortunately, you cannot do much about something that has already happened. So, you need to look at other ways of lowering car insurance after accidents. It is more extensively covered in that post but we can mention a few methods here. You may have overlooked several discounts you can qualify when premium was cheap. But those savings can reduce the affects of an expected rate increase and bring down costs to a manageable level.
One thing that can help everyone regardless of how high or low they pay is to shop around. This is especially important for motorists with bad records. Some carriers are still old fashion and place a heavy importance on driving history. However, many companies have already switched to including many unconventional factors when they calculate premiums.
For example, a good credit score can save you as much as 20% with some insurers. This is alone enough to wipe off the affect of a claim on records. That is why you need to find those companies by getting a few quotes and comparing them.
Also, savings offered for things like having low mileage, paying in full, being a member of an automobile association (like AAA) would help. Here are other lesser-known discounts you may be able to get. You can also ask if they have any special offers at the moment.
There is a very high chance that renewal quote is going to be higher after a recent claim. But you should have a rough idea as to how much more you may need to pay. This depends on many factors. For example, if you live in California it may be a lot because this state doesn’t allow credit checking that reduces number of other factors can be considered.
Age and experience are very important too. Someone with otherwise good driving record may be able to get away with a slight change while a young person could see a huge rise.
These days, carriers use predictive methods rather than past history to assess the chance of future losses from a policy. That is why companies may still consider someone with good financial standing, respectable job and living in a low risk zip code as acceptable risk even with negative information on accident history.
Furthermore, recent incidents are more influential in comparison to older ones. Usually, insurers look at last three to five years and don’t take anything prior into account.
The main reason prices increase just after reporting an incident is that you lose no claim bonus that may have been saving you around 20 – 30%. But this is not the only saving as mentioned above and you now need to make the most of others to lower your premium. Don’t forget to get a few quotes and see which provider will offer you the best deal. It is very important.