How to Help Keep Your Auto Insurance Rates Down After an Accident
When you get in a car accident, you might think that all the pain stops with the impact itself. However, other kinds of pain, especially those of a financial nature might follow you long after the accident. Here, we are looking at what you can do to help prevent a rise in your insurance rates, post-accident.
If You Are Not at Fault
If the accident is not your fault, you will most likely come through unscathed. The odds are even better if you have no history of recent traffic violations or insurance claims and if this is your first car accident ever. Also, some states have specific laws that prohibit an increase in rates for drivers who were not at fault.
If You Are at Fault
If it indeed is your blame, then you may want to consider several options listed here on how to get the most out of the unfavorable situation. The severity of the accident i.e. amount of damage or if anyone is injured will likely have a major impact on your rates. The good news is that all is not lost and you still have a fighting chance to keep your rates down.
Check If Your Policy Includes an Accident Forgiveness Clause
The vast majority of drivers will be involved in a car accident during their lifetimes, and most insurance companies recognize this as part of reality. As a consequence, many insurance companies offer accident forgiveness clauses. Accident forgiveness is an auto insurance policy that helps protects your insurance rate from being affected by an at-fault accident. Do note that not all insurance companies provide this option, and even then it typically only applies to the first at-fault accident in your driving life.
Take a Safe Driver Course
If accident forgiveness through your insurance is not a possibility, you may want to consider taking a refresher driving course. This signals to the insurance company that you are committed to keeping you driving record clean and they might let you continue on with the same rates. However, if you were found to be driving recklessly or under the influence, this probably won’t be of much help.
Increase the Deductibles
The deductible is the amount that you pay out of your own pocket before insurance kicks in, in the case of an accident. So, for example, you can choose to increase your deductible from $200 to $300 which may lower your monthly premium by as much as 15% to 20%.
Look for Another Provider
If your insurance company simply cannot help you, perhaps you need to shop around for a new provider. Not all insurance companies are the same, so it is definitely worth exploring what they offer as their product might fit your situation even better than your current provider.
Don’t Report the Accident
This is the option of last resort and something you have to consider at your own peril. It might be viable if you haven’t had any other accidents recently and if the damage on your car is relatively small. The best advice in this situation is to drive your car to a reliable auto repair shop and get an estimate on the cost of your repairs. If the cost is acceptable, proceed with the plan. This especially works in cases where other drivers are not involved and you can pay for your own repair.
Although we hope you don’t find yourself in a situation to use the advice outlined here, we hope that it helps you keep the financial pain away!