If you have been in a car accident, there are probably many things you are worried about, such as your injuries, the injuries of your passengers if there were any, and, why not, your car. How long it will take to get it fixed, will it need to be replaced, and many other questions are probably running through your head. However, something is giving you peace of mind: you have car insurance! And it is precisely for incidents such as this one that you bought it!
How Long Does A Car Accident Stay In Your Records?
Generally, between 3 and 5 years. And this is how long you may find you have to pay more for your insurance policy. You may also be placed in a probationary period for as long as six years.
How Much Do Insurance Rates Go Up After An Accident?
On average, car insurance rates go up 31% after a car accident where you are found to be at fault and the damage exceeds $2,000. Of course, the increase may be influenced by several factors such as whether you are found to be at fault or not, the state where you live, your particular insurance company and the type of accident you were involved in. The type of accident implies a variation in the rate hike of between 8% and 32%.
Is It Guaranteed That Your Insurance Rates Will Go Up After A Car Accident?
A car crash is not an absolute guarantee of a rate increase. If you are not at fault for the accident, your rates might not increase. However, the more severe the crash, the higher the rates will tend to rise. But if you are involved in several minor accidents, your rates will rise even more.
Are There Factors That Make Your Rates Be Higher To Begin With?
Absolutely. Teenagers, for example, tend to pay more for their policies. Seniors are another group that is associated with higher insurance rates.
Is There Anything You Can Do To Lower Your Insurance Rates After An Accident?
Although you may always drive as safely as possible, you may find yourself in this situation of having had your insurance rates increased due to an accident. Don't despair, besides waiting, there may be some things you can do to avoid having to pay too much more.
Ask your insurance agent if you qualify for any discounts. These may be for installing safety features, driving less.
Find out if your rates will decrease if you bundle your car and home policies. Since you already have both, bundling them may bring you a nice surprise.
Get some more quotes. Another insurance company may offer better rates than your current one.
Take a good look at your current policy and figure out if all the coverage levels are what you need now, or if you can eliminate features such as roadside assistance.
A car accident can be minor and insignificant or major and able to impact your life for a long time and even forever. A car accident lawyer will understand how complex this process can be and be by your side in order to help maximize your injury settlement. Visit our website or call us today for a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our attorneys.