If you’ve been in an auto accident, then you may be hesitating to notify your insurance for fear your rates will automatically increase. Before you try to handle this out of pocket, let’s look at how an accident may affect your car insurance.
The consequences of your car accident will depend on a few different factors:
- Your car insurance company
- The circumstances of the accident
- Your insurance policy’s accident forgiveness
- Your age and gender
- The type of car you own
- Your driving history
First, let’s define a car accident. Most insurance companies say an accident is a collision that has damaged a minimum of $500-$750 worth of property. Many also say that you must have been more than 50% at fault to count it as an accident on your record. If your accident doesn’t meet that criteria, then chances are that your rates won’t go up. This isn’t true for all companies, however, so make sure to check with our insurance agents about your policy!
The Specific of an Insurance Rate Increase
- Who is at-fault
This is the single greatest factor in determining whether or not your car insurance will increase. If you are not at fault for your accident, then most insurance companies will not increase your rate. If you are at-fault, then you will be held liable and your insurance rates will likely increase. Determining fault can be quite complicated and is rarely cut and dry. California is a fault state and holds each party liable for the amount that they contributed to the accident.
- The accident itself
Accidents can range from a paint scratch to a totaled car with injured persons. The greater the amount of damage that was caused, the more likely your insurance rates will increase by a higher percentage.
- Your driving history
Safe drivers are more valuable to an insurance company. If you’ve had a long history of driving safely, then you probably won’t get as large of a premium increase as someone who does not have a good record. Also, some companies have accident forgiveness for safe drivers so a first accident won’t result in premium increase at all!
Questions about your car accident? Give our insurance agents a call.
Just been in a car accident? Give our insurance agents a call to find out more about your next steps. We can take a look at your policy and make recommendations for the best course of action.
When you work with our independent insurance agency in Glendale and Santa Clarita, you work with a company who cares about your needs. We are known for our fast customer service and helping clients get their accidents taken care of quickly and effectively. When you have trouble getting a pay out from the insurance company, we are here to help!