Each has own cars with separate insurance from the same company and listed drivers in each other’s policies. If I have an accident with my partner’s auto how would it go down? In other words, would both be charged high rates for one claim when the next renewal comes?
It is a very good question indeed. Normally, when you have a collision with a partner’s car her coverage would pay the damages and it would go down as a claim on it. The partner’s premium would go up at next renewal as a result. However, it should not directly affect you. So, your own policy must be safe from price increases for this incident, as they cannot really put down one claim on two. So, you should still keep current rates or see a slight uptick for several reasons. Although your policy still has no claim history you caused an accident and have to notify them of this fact. Also, both are listed on each other’s policies and that would mean that it might affect the premium one way or another but only slightly.
The only way a claim can be registered on two vehicle insurance polices is when both pay for damages and injuries. For example, if the third party liability losses were too large for the primary coverage (partner’s in this example) a secondary one (yours in this case) would have to come into play and cover the rest up to its limits. Otherwise, they have to leave one alone.
Normally, you get a discount for a clean history and you might have had for a clean traffic record as well. If you get a ticket for being reckless in the crash it would show on the record. Once they see it there they can apply a surcharge on your rates or take away a good driver discount because the collision and ticket are two separate things.
This is a delicate situation and you need to make sure it is handled properly. Providers would want to know if any listed name has any history. Somehow they will have to write it down and keep in mind in the future. If you are involved in another incident they may have a different view about the previous one.
You need to be open and upfront with car insurance companies about the facts. It is out of question to withhold information about your involvements. You may decide to keep quiet when you paid the damages out of pocket and there is no third party or police involvement. This would be a choice you make. But you shouldn’t take chances when it is recorded in the accident database and they could find out about it.
This case goes to show how discounts and surcharges work separately from each other. While still getting the former you can still face the latter and while one reduce costs the other increases. Also, each carrier applies them differently and that is why you may get wide range of auto insurance quotes in the market. So, you should always check alternatives, especially after an unproportionate premium hike.