Traffic accidents cause not only physical and emotional pain but also financial pain. Even though insurance companies exist to protect client interests, they first have to protect their own financial interests. They do so by assigning risk ratings to drivers so that those who keep getting in accidents pay higher car insurance rates. Here are ways to keep rates from jumping if you are involved in an accident.
Notify Your Insurer of the Accident
It’s essential to report your accident to your car insurance provider as soon as possible. Be clear and accurate on the details. Include a description of road conditions and how you were driving. The insurance agency will then have time to process the information before contacting the other driver. If your insurer hears from the other driver before they find out your side of the story, they may decide to take the other driver’s side, regardless of who was at fault.
Provide Evidence That the Crash Wasn’t Your Fault
Make sure you provide plenty of photographic evidence that indicates you were not at fault. Taking photos of the crash site from various angles helps strengthen your case. So does taking video footage of witnesses who can help confirm your story. It’s important to avoid apologizing to the driver at the accident scene. It’s better to stay calm and rational without evaluating what happened while exchanging contact information.
Find Out If Your Policy Offers Accident Forgiveness
Talk with your insurance agent about the possibility of accident forgiveness, even if you are at fault. Some policies allow drivers one accident before premiums are affected. If the policy includes this feature, it will not take the accident into account when calculating your next premium.
Reduce Your Coverage Limits
You don’t necessarily need comprehensive coverage unless you are financing your vehicle through a conventional lender. States require that you carry a certain amount of liability coverage to pay for victims of accidents and property damage. The rest of your coverage options are up to you. By lowering your coverage limits, you can reduce your monthly premiums.
Raise Your Deductible
Another way to lower your monthly payments is to raise your deductible, which represents the small percentage of the damage you pay first when you file a claim. The insurance company then handles the rest of the balance. Your deductible is adjustable and inversely related to your monthly premiums, just as lowering your deductible will raise your premiums.
Get Quotes from Other Insurers
If none of the above helps lower your insurance rate or keeps it from spiking after an accident, consider moving on to another provider. There are hundreds of insurance companies to choose from online, and some are positioned better than others to offer more affordable rates. It’s a competitive industry that wants your business, provided you keep accidents and traffic violations to a minimum.
We Can Help!
Many drivers see their auto insurance premiums go up following an accident. If you check into the options listed here, it’s possible to avoid a rate hike. Otherwise, you should shop around until you find a suitable policy. Contact us at Lou Aggetta Insurance Inc. to learn more about your auto insurance coverage and how you can avoid a hike in premiums after an accident.