How Will a Car Accident Affect My Insurance Rate?
In most cases a car accident will negatively affect your car insurance rate. Generally, the safer you are deemed as a driver, the lower your insurance rates will be. However, the amount of increase really depends on the severity of the accident, the state you reside in, and your driving history.
In the majority of states, if an accident was not your fault, you will not see an increase in your rate. However, in no-fault states, both parties involved are required to file a claim with their provider, which can often result in increased rates regardless of who was at fault. That being said, the percentage increase would still be significantly less for the party who did not cause the accident.
In Illinois, after being involved in an at-fault car accident you could expect your insurance rate to increase by 49% on average. However, it will vary depending on your insurance provider. For specific rates and questions contact your provider.
HOW TO GET A LOWER INSURANCE RATE AFTER AN ACCIDENT
After you get into a car crash your first steps should be to make sure you and your passengers get to safety and call for help. Then, after everyone is okay and taken care of you will want to file a claim with your insurance. However, this insurance claim will result in an increase to your rates. There is not much to do to prevent an increase after an accident, however there are a few steps you can take to try to get your rate reduced as much as possible. Insurance Information Institute has provided many different ways to lower your insurance rates, these may include:
Shop around to find the cheapest insurance rates after an accident
There isn’t always going to be one single provider that will always guarantee the lowest rates. So, if you get into an accident and notice a drastic increase in rates, it may be time to look around to see what other insurers may offer.
Ask for a higher deductible
By requesting a higher deductible from your insurer, you will be able to lower your cost significantly. However, your out of pocket costs for any claims you make will end up being more, so it is important to make sure you have money set aside that will be available to you in case something happens.
Look for discounts
Most insurance agencies will offer many different types of discounts. These may include, a low mileage discount, good student discount, a discount for taking a defensive driving course, or a long-time customer discount. These discounts will vary by company.
Raise your credit score
Your credit score is often used in determining your policy rates, thus keeping up with your credit score, by paying your bills on time, and keeping your balances as low as possible, will help cut your insurance costs.
Reduce coverage on old cars
If you own an older car with a value this is less than 10 times the premium, it may be more cost effective to drop collision or comprehensive coverage.
Buy a home and auto coverage bundle through the same insurer
Many insurance companies will offer a bundle discount if you purchase multiple insurance plans through them. Some companies will even offer a multi-car discount just for having more than one car insured.
Look into group insurance
Many companies or groups may be involved in group insurance plans that offer lower rates. Ask your employer about any group insurance plans they may offer or ask around in alumni or business groups.
HOW LONG WILL AN ACCIDENT AFFECT MY INSURANCE RATES FOR?
In most cases, an at-fault accident will stay on your record for three to five years, but this is dependent on the state. For more serious accidents like a DUI, the violation could stay on your record for ten years.
HAVING TROUBLE GETTING CAR INSURANCE?
If you are having issues getting car insurance you need, you may want to look into different options. People who have serious marks, or a multitude of accidents on their record, may need to look into a state-run high-risk policy. Use the following link to get a list of specific high-risk policy options according to your state: Policy Options by State.
TIPS TO PREVENT AN AUTO ACCIDENT
Millions of people every year get into a car accident. While there are many precautions to take to lower the risk of being involved, sometimes it is out of your control and there might not be too many options for you prevent it.
- Never drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Follow speed limit signs and all other traffic signals.
- Practice defensive driving.
- Always be fully aware of your surroundings.
- Stay off your phone and/or other devices that could be a cause for distraction.
WHITESIDE & GOLDBERG, LTD.
Being involved in a car accident can be emotionally and physically stressful. You probably wish that the insurance companies could just figure everything out for you. However, not being actively involved in your claim from the start can affect your compensation. Luckily, consulting with a personal injury attorney can help you understand your situation and what options are available. A good attorney will communicate with insurance companies on your behalf and negotiate for full compensation for your damages.
Whiteside & Goldberg, Ltd. works hard to get you the settlement you deserve. They offer a free consultation and do not charge you anything until you win a settlement. The experienced attorneys at Whiteside & Goldberg, Ltd. fight to secure your financial future. For more information on handling insurance claims after a car accident, call 312-334-6875 for the Whiteside & Goldberg Michigan Avenue location and 815-730-7535 for their Shorewood office.
The content of this blog is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute or establish an attorney-client relationship, nor constitute legal advice. If you wish to discuss any further aspect of the material contained herein, please contact an attorney at Whiteside & Goldberg, Ltd.