Of course, if you are involved in an auto accident, your primary concern needs to be on getting your life back to normal, including settling any car insurance claim that you had to file or recovering from any injuries sustained in the crash.
After that, you may turn your attention to your auto insurance premium because you are probably anticipating that is going to go up. This is not always the case, but being prepared for it is the smartest move.
While you may not be faced with a premium increase, if you are, then you need to look into discounts from insurance companies that could help you pay a lower rate if possible.
Your Car Insurance Rate After an Auto Accident
The circumstances of the car accident that you are involved in will definitely help to determine whether your car insurance company raises your premium and by how much.
For example, if you were found to be intoxicated and were at fault for an accident, your car insurance company may decide not to offer you a policy after the expiration of your current policy.
If the other driver is found to be responsible for the car crash, then the insurance claim would probably be handled by their auto insurance company. This means that your auto insurance premium would not ultimately be affected.
The amount of the property damage or if any personal injuries are caused by the auto accident also come into play in determining the amount by which your car insurance premium will go up.
In general, if you were responsible for causing a higher amount of property damage in the accident, then your premium will probably increase by a greater amount.
The Possibility of an Accident Forgiveness Policy
Some auto insurance companies have a program called accident forgiveness. They recognize that car accidents actually happen quite frequently.
To keep from losing out on customers who would be nervous about their rates increasing after an accident, these companies might forgive an accident that results in damage below a certain dollar amount.
You can speak with your auto insurance agent right now to find out if this is a possibility with your current car insurance company. It is also something to keep in mind to ask other insurance companies about if you are in the process of getting other rate options.
Getting Discounts on Car Insurance After an Auto Accident
Once an accident is over, you do not have any control over how the auto insurance company factors it into your premium.
However, you can do everything in your power to look into other available discounts. That way, any premium increase is at least partially offset by some reductions.
A popular discount offered by many different insurance companies is for taking a driver’s safety course. Insurance companies want to reward drivers who take steps to reduce the risk that they pose on the roads.
You need to inquire specifically with your insurance company whether this option is available.
If you have your renter’s or home owner’s insurance with a separate company than the one that you use for your car insurance, you should check into combining them.
Bundling is one of the most common ways to save money on your insurance premiums. This is because insurance companies are competing for your business and want you to do as much business with them as possible.
Options for Getting Car Insurance After an Accident
If you only have one car accident on your record in the past three years or so, then you probably do not have to worry about having your car insurance policy not renewed after this policy term.
You may be a bit more worried if you also have multiple traffic tickets on your record in recent history. In this case, you may have a more difficult time getting the coverage that you are looking for once this term is up.
The first thing that you should do is get as many insurance quotes as possible. Getting an estimate from multiple insurers is very easy and can be done from the convenience of your own computer.
The more options that you check into, the more likely you are to find a company that will offer you a car insurance policy.
Your last resort would be to contact your state department of insurance. Every state provides options for drivers who cannot find typical car insurance because states require that all drivers carry auto insurance.
The thing to keep in mind with this option is that you will end up paying more for your car insurance because you will be a part of a pool of high-risk drivers in your state with poor driving records.
You should not feel like you are simply stuck with your current auto insurance company if your auto insurance rate goes up after a car accident.
You always have the choice to get multiple quotes so that you are not hit with paying a high rate for car insurance unnecessarily.
Some insurance companies may even have an accident forgiveness program that would not count an accident against you in terms of calculating your rate.
Even without that program, there may be plenty of discounts that you could qualify for if you take the time to check into them.