Car insurance is one of those things you invest in and hope that you’ll never have to use. However, accidents do happen, and when they do, it can be devastating. The average collision claim in the U.S. as of 2013 was over $3,000. Without car insurance, could you pay for damages out of pocket?
The actual cost of insurance varies depending on numerous factors including your gender, age, profession, geographical location and the amount of time you spend driving your car. Your driving record also plays an important part in determining the cost of your insurance premium. A clean driving record can easily earn you discounts from your insurance provider, but a less-than-stellar record can earn you higher insurance rates.
What Accidents do to Your Insurance Rates
If you’re involved in an accident, your insurance rates may increase depending on the circumstances of the accident. If you are not at fault and the accident was caused by the other driver, your insurance rates shouldn’t change. However, if you are found at fault in the accident, your insurance premiums will most likely rise.
A 2015 study revealed that insurance rates can increase by as much as 41 percent after making a claim for an accident for which you are found liable. The actual increase you will experience depends on your insurance provider and the circumstances of the accident.
The violation that does the most damage to insurance rates is an accident in which the driver is intoxicated. Your insurance provider can even decide to drop your coverage entirely if you have been found guilty of driving under the influence.
How to Get Discounts with a Tainted Driving History
We all make mistakes, but some mistakes are more expensive than others. Being in a motor accident can be a devastating experience. It is only made worse by the news that your insurance rates will spike when the time comes to renew them.
Many auto insurance providers use motor accidents as an excuse to increase insurance premium rates. This is because you are now considered a high-risk driver. But even with a tainted driving record, there is still hope. You can still get a discount on your auto insurance with the following tips.
- Tell your insurance provider about the accident as soon as possible
Many car owners are tempted to keep quiet about auto accidents when they are at fault. However, this will only reflect poorly with your insurance provider. Insurance companies can easily refuse to honor your policy in such cases if you have found to be dishonest about your driving history. Insurance providers like to be notified as soon as possible in order to investigate the incident and be adequately prepared to defend you.
- Does your policy include an accident forgiveness clause?
Accidents are a part of life. Some insurers include an accident forgiveness clause in their insurance policies. This means they are willing to ignore your first accident. As result, you won’t suffer a rise in your premium!
- Go to traffic school
This will reflect positively with your insurance provider. Your insurance company will take this as an effort to improve your driving skills and will not increase your insurance upon renewal.
- Look for other discounts
Take advantage of discounts that you may not have been aware of previously (e.g. long term customer discounts or low annual mileage discounts). Don’t forget to ask!
- Shop for a new policy
If you can’t get a better rate from your current insurance provider, it may be time to move on. You can shop around for a new policy by comparing online car insurance quotes with comparison sites. Insurance premiums vary from one company to the next. Be sure to be honest and report any accidents or incidents on your record. This will help you get an accurate quote.
Understanding all your options will help you determine the best way to keep your insurance premium rates low. Be sure to explore all your options and find the best possible deals on insurance where you can.