Getting into an accident, even one that isn’t your fault can be anxiety-inducing, to say the least. Once the bills have been paid, and the damage has been repaired, the next worry is the insurance rates. Will they be affected? Will they go up or will they stay the same?
Unfortunately, there is no tried and true answer here. It will largely depend on the insurance company and how they decide to treat the claim. A lot of companies have accident forgiveness programs but that is largely dependent on the policy holder’s history of filing claims and history of accidents.
How to Lower Your Car Insurance Rates
If the worst happens and your rates do go up following an accident there are methods you can employ to lower your rates. Listed below are things you can employ to bring your insurance rates down.
• Improve your credit score: While many customers fail to realize this, it’s true. A person’s credit rating is directly related to the car insurance rates in many states. Ensure that debts are paid on time and adopt a spending budget to cut down on frivolous spending. You should also address any discrepancies found on your credit report.
• Increase your deductible: Raising your deductible will indeed lower your rates however if a claim is filed you will be required to pay more money out of pocket. Before making changes to your deductible make sure you can cover the expense if an accident does occur.
• Look for discounts: Most insurance companies will offer special discounts for specific circumstances. This might include discounts for being a good student or having multiple policies with the same company for home, life, and auto-coverage policies. Some also offer safe driving discounts which are coupled with driving data tracking devices such as Progressive Snapshot, State Farm Drive Safe and Save, Allstate Drivewise, and Nationwide SmartRide.
• Lower your coverage: While it might make some customers a little uncomfortable, you can always decrease the amount of coverage you have for a specific vehicle. By cutting comprehensive or collision coverages, it can lower your premiums.
• Shop Around: There is nothing to say you have to say with your insurance carrier if your rates go up. Shop around and see if another company would offer lower premiums.
• Consider Changing Cars: The more valuable the car, the more expensive it is to insure. If you need to cut down your costs get a less expensive vehicle.
Accidents and Driving Record
It is important to remember an accident typically comes off your driving record after 3-5 years, and your rates will be readjusted. If the accident was considered reckless or involved a DUI, it can stay on your record for up to 10 years.
If you have questions regarding a car accident, please reach out to us. We are The Barnes Firm and we are here for you.