It's possible to get an accurate car insurance quote with an open claim — find out how to get rates, find coverage, and switch companies.
If you have car insurance, it's likely you'll file a claim at some point. Having an open auto insurance claim can have ramifications when you try to switch insurance companies or make changes to your current policy. Let’s run through some common scenarios and some best practices on how to handle auto insurance with an open claim.
After you’ve filed a claim, you can switch car insurance companies. However, the open claim will be settled under your prior policy and handled by your previous insurer. Although you’re transferring your coverage from one policy to another, the claim will stand as-is.
You should keep in contact with your previous company to ensure the claim is resolved. Once the claim is satisfied, any future claims will be settled by your new insurer.
While you can always switch insurance companies while carrying an open claim, it could be tougher to change your coverage while staying with the same insurer. If you get into an at-fault accident but only have liability insurance, you won't be able to add full coverage afterward. While your liability insurance will provide coverage for the other individual in the accident, any damage to your vehicle won't be covered without collision coverage.
If you were to try to add collision coverage and backdate the coverage before your claim, you would most likely be denied. To avoid situations in which you could be left uncovered, carry all the coverage you might need at all times.
Other changes — such as adding a vehicle or making changes to vehicles not in the claims process — should be fine.
Yes — as long as the accident happened when your policy was active, canceling it afterward will not affect your ability to file a claim. For example, if you were involved in a total-loss accident on June 21 and canceled your policy on June 30, your claim would be unaffected: after all, you were carrying coverage when the incident occurred.
Except for adding coverage for a vehicle currently in the claims process, the way to car insurance with an open claim isn’t much different than purchasing, switching, or changing car insurance without a claim. You can still shop around and cancel your coverage. Just remember to keep your previous company’s information handy if you do switch, as your new company will not be able to provide support for this prior claim. If you are ready to shop around for car insurance — with or without an open claim — enter your zip code below to see rates!
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 driver 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 six-month rate increase after an at-fault collision claim was $308. Amongst our insurance providers featured below, the average increase in insurance costs was slightly lower — $306 per 6-month policy.
|Insurance Company||6-month Premium — No Claims||6-Month Premium — 1 At-Fault Accident Claim|
The overall difference between an average car insurance premium without a claim versus the premium with claim(s) is $618. Most auto 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, based on your driving history. 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 auto insurance quotes. The Zebra's online comparison tool can help — just enter your ZIP code below to get started.