Friday, September 18, 2009 11:56:35 AM

If I get into a minor car accident will my auto insurance rates increase?

Insurers use your past driving history as a predictor of your driving future. Therefore having no accidents (or only one or two minor accidents) makes you a lower risk and will make your auto insurance more affordable.

If you have a minor fender-bender, you may get away with not having to pay more in auto insurance, but it depends on where you live and your insurer. Some states have laws to prevent insurers from raising premiums for accidents that result in damage under a certain dollar amount. Additionally, some auto insurance companies offer “accident forgiveness” for their customers. This policy usually only applies to your first accident and sometimes is only available to customers who have been a customer for a certain number of years. In general, however, minor accidents in which you were not at fault should have little to no effect on your premiums.

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Laura Adams is a personal finance expert and award-winning author who is Senior Insurance Analyst for InsuranceQuotes.com. She represents Bankrate Insurance’s web properties in the media and works as an advocate to make sure consumers protect their financial futures by having the right kinds of insurance.

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