Getting cheap car insurance after an accident can be a challenge, especially if your insurer doesn’t offer “Accident Forgiveness”. If you’re worried about an insurance increase after a car accident, there are a few ways to lower your rates afterwards. Furthermore, we will discuss what you need to do once you’ve been in a car crash to continue getting the best car insurance rates.
Car Insurance Rates After An Accident
If you’re wondering how much does car insurance go up after an accident and are worried your premiums may double or triple, it’s not as bad as you think. On average, the best insurance companies will raise your rates by 10% to 30% after one accident.
Premiums only start getting really expensive after two accidents such that you can expect a 50% to 150% increase in your rate. Nevertheless, keep in mind that rate increases vary between insurers so you may want to consider a car insurance comparison after an accident just to see what other companies are charging.
Getting The Cheapest Car Insurance After A Car Accident
If your premiums increased more than expected after an accident and you need more affordable coverage, here’s how to get lower car insurance rates immediately.
Increase Your Deductible
By increasing your deductible – the amount you pay out-of-pocket before your insurance covers damages – you may be able to reduce your car insurance costs by 10% to 50%. For example, an increase in your deductible from $250 to $500 can save you between 15% and 30%, while an increase to a $1,000 deductible can save you 40% or more. Again, the exact deduction is dependent on your insurer, but the concept is universal for all companies.
Ask About Accident Forgiveness
The insurance industry estimates that the average driver will file a car accident claim about once every 18 years. Because some carriers understand that one accident every couple of decades still means you’re a good driver who deserves a low rate, companies are now willing to ignore your first accident and not raise your premiums.
However, the details vary by insurer. For example, some companies may offer immediate accident forgiveness, and others may do so after you’ve been accident-free for three to five years. During this time period, you will likely need to have no moving violations either. Ask your agent or representative to confirm the details for you.
Take Advantage of More Discounts
If you haven’t spent the time to research car insurance discounts, you may need to start. If applicable, make sure you are getting the following rate discounts:
- “Green” Vehicle
- Good Student
- Multiple Policies and/or Vehicles
- Low Mileage
- Military Service
Discount car insurance is the fastest and easiest way to save on premiums.
Shop Around For A New Insurance Company
While leaving your existing car insurance company may void your loyalty discount, a new insurer may be offering cheaper rates anyway. Due to the competitiveness of the industry and the difference in premiums between companies, you may find another insurer is still willing to give you cheap insurance rates after an accident. Just remember that price shouldn’t be the only factor when choosing a company.
If you’re ready to compare quotes to find the best car insurance rates, just enter your zip code in our comparison tool and choose a company to get pricing.
What To Do After An Accident
Although we’ve discussed what to do after an accident before, the steps you take after a crash are so crucial, they are worth reviewing again. If you want to reduce the chances of an insurance increase after an accident, follow these steps, especially in an at-fault incident.
Step 1: Assess the Physical Damage
The first thing you need to do after a car accident is find out if anyone is hurt. If you are hurt, you need to determine the extent of your own injuries first. If you are badly hurt, stay put and don’t try to move too much. If you are alone, only reach for your cell phone to call 911, if possible. Then, wait for the ambulance to arrive.
If other passengers are in your vehicle at the time of the car accident, ask everyone if they are hurt, and if no one reports injuries, call the police immediately. The police need to get there as soon as they can to make sure that the other motorist involved in the car accident does not leave the scene of the accident. The police also need to determine who was at fault.
So, the first thing on your list of what to do after you’ve been in a car accident is assess the physical damage to yourself and your passengers; and then call the appropriate authorities to get medical help or police protection.
Step 2: Do Not Talk to the Other Motorist About the Accident
The second most important, but often neglected, part is to not talk to the other motorists involved beyond asking if anyone is hurt. If someone in their car is injured, by all means, help them call an ambulance and get emergency medical help. However, after you determine the extent of the other motorist’s physical injuries, walk away from the motorist and wait for the police to get there.
Do not discuss any of the facts relating to the car accident at all. Do not admit fault, liability or any wrongdoing. Don’t say anything to the other motorist except “Let’s wait for the police to get here to talk about this.” Then find a safe place to stand or sit until the police arrive.
Step 3: File An Official Accident Report
Once the police arrive on the scene, answer their questions but do not volunteer more information than you have to. Again, do not admit any wrongdoing or fault. What might seem to be an honest admission at the time could actually be a distorted account brought on by fear and anxiety. Simply tell the police what happened and let them decide who is at fault.
If you disagree, you can speak to the attorney your car insurance company retains; but for now, just focus on giving an honest account of what happened and getting an official copy of the police report before the cops leave the scene.
Step 4: Get the Other Driver’s Personal and Insurance Information
Your car insurance company depends on you to bring the police report and names, addresses, vehicle identification number (VIN), license plate and telephone numbers of all other motorists involved in the accident. Providing this information upfront will expedite your claim and payout.
Step 5: Call Your Car Insurance Company or Agent
Call your insurer or agent as soon as you can after the collision. If your company employs on-call representatives, an adjuster may arrive at the scene of the accident. Having a trained professional protect your interests can be a huge advantage. Beyond that, your insurance company can start assessing the damages and processing your claim as soon as possible.
If you are involved in a car crash, follow these guidelines to protect yourself and avoid a huge increase in premiums. If your car insurance rates go up too much after an accident, explore the option of switching companies. Life is too short and precious to stay with an insurance company that won’t take care of you after you’ve been involved in an automobile accident.