In the aftermath of an auto accident, insurance rates are yet another thing to worry about. Refer to our guide for ways to save.
Although the point of maintaining an active car insurance policy is to be able to utilize it when necessary, having claims on your insurance record can be costly. A simple but often-overlooked rule for car insurance is that you should only file a claim if the value of the damage exceeds the premium increase you would suffer as a result of the claim. That said, if you already have a claim on your record, this is a moot point. Let’s assess some car insurance options for an insurance customer user profile with an at-fault accident claim on their record.
After a car accident, it can be difficult to find affordable insurance coverage. In 2018, the average 6-month rate increase after an at-fault collision claim was $308. Amongst our insurance providers featured below, the average increase was just slightly lower — $306 per 6-month policy.
|Insurance Provider||None||6-Month premium after At-Fault Accident|
The overall difference between an average car insurance premium without a claim versus the premium with claim(s) is $618. Most insurance companies will rate the claim on your insurance record for three years. So that $618 annual average hike may add up to an overall increase of more than $2,000. And that's just the additional cost on top of your existing premium.
One way to mitigate this cost is to shop around for the best rate, starting with companies like USAA and State Farm.
While shopping around to find the best car insurance company for you is certainly the best way to save, you’re going to want to seek out cost-cutting solutions. Here are a few rules to shop by:
Unlike property, a vehicle's value depreciates over time. The coverage you once had on your 2004 Honda Civic might no longer be necessary as the car ages. As a general rule of thumb, if your vehicle is worth less than $4,000, you probably don’t need to carry physical coverage. Physical coverage — comprehensive and collision — is only required if you have a loan or lease on your vehicle. If you own your vehicle outright, the only coverage you’re required to carry is liability insurance.
While the cost of your collision and comprehensive coverage may vary based on your car's make and model, dropping these coverages can reduce your monthly premiums substantially. If your vehicle is worth more than $4,000 but you’re still looking to save, consider raising your deductibles. By raising your deductibles, you assume a great deal of your insurance company's financial responsibility, leading to lower premiums.
Another benefit of raising your deductibles is the lower financial incentive to file an auto insurance claim, an action that can be costly.
If you don’t know whether it's in your best interest to file a claim, consider these steps:
If you already have an at-fault accident in the last 3 years, be very cautious about filing another claim. Too many at-fault accidents (usually 3 within 3 years) will usually result in dropped coverage by most auto insurance companies.
While you probably won't qualify for every discount if you have an accident on your record, it's worth evaluating your options.
Discounts, changing your coverage, and bundling can only get you so far. Sometimes you're simply paying too much because you're with the wrong company. Enter your zip code below to see rates from different insurance providers in your area. Enter your zip code below to get started!