If you have a clean driving record, you are probably paying less than a driver who has tickets and has been involved in a car crash. You even may be getting a safe-driver discount. But what happens if you are involved in an accident? That’s a good question. Many insurers add a surcharge between 20 to 40 percent to your base insurance rate. When you apply for auto insurance quotes, ask the insurer how much the company will increase your rate if you have an accident.
Accidents that raise your auto insurance rates
If you have a minor accident, your insurer may not increase your premium. Some states prohibit insurers from raising premiums for accidents when the damage is under a certain dollar amount. But even if you have had had a fender bender with minor damage, call your insurance company. Not only do some states require you to do so, but you also may be surprised to learn that your repair bill exceeds your deductible. In addition, your mechanic may discover more extensive damage. If you decide to handle repair costs with the other driver, check your state law about these arrangements. Find out how your insurer will handle minor accidents, when you apply for auto insurance quotes.
Some insurers will forgive your first accident, a minor one or an accident in which you were not at fault. Some states have laws concerning what circumstances an insurer can use to raise your premium. But in most cases, having an accident will increase your insurance costs. To determine how much, find out your insurer’s surcharge schedule. Every insurer has a different one, but many follow the Insurance Services Office’s standard schedule. Under the ISO’s guidelines, your premium could increase by 20 to 40 percent of your insurer's base rate, after your first accident. The base rate is the average rate charged in the state before discounts and other adjustments and includes the insurance company’s claims-processing fee. If you want to switch companies, apply for auto insurance quotes.
After your second car accident, your base rate can increase anywhere from 45 to 150 percent. The increase usually takes effect when your policy is up for renewal. If your insurer significantly increases your rate, shop around for auto insurance quotes. You may be able to find one with a lower surcharge schedule. You can also expect your insurance rate to skyrocket, if alcohol played a role in your accident. Your insurer may even cancel your policy. Depending on the circumstances and where you live, you may also face jail time, heavy fines and the loss of your drivers license.
Once you have done your research, you are ready to shop around for lower auto insurance rates. You can call agents in your local area, contact insurance companies directly or use insuranceQuotes.com to instantly get competitive auto insurance quotes from the nation’s leading insurance providers. Simply fill out an online form on insuranceQuotes.com to find the right insurance coverage at the best possible price. Take the time to protect you and your family today.