It’s bad enough that you’ve been involved in a car accident. But for many drivers, the collision itself is just the beginning of the nightmare. According to Insurancequotes.com, filing only one claim can cause a driver to pay up to 41% more for car insurance. This fact leads to many questions to be asked. Will my insurance rates rise after a fender bender? What if the accident wasn’t my fault? Does that make any difference when it comes to premium increases? Thankfully, not every crash or blunder will cause your insurance rates to skyrocket. Keep reading to find out what factors play a part in insurance rate hikes after a mishap.
Factors to Consider
#1 How Severe Was It?
Insurance companies not only look at who was at fault for an accident before deciding to raise insurance rates, but they also consider the severity of the wreck. A major-fault collision will be assessed differently than having a windshield replaced after a tree branch falls on your vehicle. Most experts agree that how much it costs to fix the damage (aka the severity) is the number one factor that goes into an insurer’s decision to raise rates. Still, many people try to avoid filing claims at all and make DIY fixes for minor issues like dents and bumper problems. This is a common but costly mistake since quick fixes often lead to more damage and a higher tab when you eventually have to take your vehicle in for auto body repairs.
#2 Who Was At Fault?
You’re driving down the road, and as you pass through a green light intersection, another car blows through and T-bones your vehicle. Thankfully, no one was hurt, but you are worried about the possibility of an increase in your insurance rates. If you live in the state of Arizona, this shouldn’t be a concern. According to Zachar Law Blog, insurance companies cannot raise your rates just because you were involved in an accident that wasn’t your fault. The Arizona law states that specifically that insurers cannot increase insurances costs for a driver that did not “cause or significantly contribute to the accident,” so be sure to be on the lookout for any illegal hikes following a collision that wasn’t your fault.
#3 What’s on Your Record?
Another critical factor in insurance rates increase is your driving record. If it’s been 15 years since you had even a minor infraction, it’s likely that a fender bender wouldn’t increase your insurance rates by much. However, a driver that’s been involved in several accidents over the past decade would be seen as a risk by insurers doing a risk assessment. If you’re considered a high-risk driver because of accidents, license suspensions, or other factors, you can expect your insurance cost to go up after a crash. Although there’s not much you can do about it at this point; it might be a good motivating factor to keep a spotless driving record from this point forward.
There’s little you can do to change whether your insurance company will increase your rates after an accident has occurred, but you can be proactive and try to avoid future collisions and automobile damage.
If you do find yourself in the unfortunate position of having been involved in an accident of any kind, allow Orlando Auto Body to make the repair and insurance claim process easier by calling us at 480-418-4737.