Once the dust has settled after an accident and fault has been determined, it’s time to deal with one inevitable side effect of being in an accident—changes to insurance rates. While many insurance companies tout accident forgiveness programs and good driver discounts, a single crash can mean hundreds of dollars added to your car insurance rates.
What Is an Accident?
The first question you need to consider is what counts as an accident in the eyes of an insurance company. For example, State Farm considers something an auto accident when a claim for over $750 of property damage and collision coverage has been filed. The crash also needs to be at least 50% the driver’s fault. GEICO also has a dollar threshold for what counts as an accident, but it varies based on drivers who are deemed “risky.” Other companies have varying definitions based on whether or not a driver is a new policyholder or a current policyholder and treat new customers more harshly.
What Isn’t an Accident?
Defining what isn’t an accident can be complicated when deciding insurance rates. Many companies consider the percentage of fault assigned to the driver. If your role in the accident was under 50%, there’s a good chance it will not be considered in your rates. A number of other factors are used by companies to deem you exempt, including:
- Accidents caused by contact with missiles or falling objects
- Accidents when you were lawfully parked
- Hit and run accidents that are reported to the police within 24 hours
- Rear-ending accidents where the driver was not convicted of a moving violation related to the accident
What Happens to Insurance Rates?
One study of 5 states examined what would happen to a 30-year old man driving a 2014 Toyota Corolla in the aftermath of an accident that caused vehicular and bodily damage. On average, insurance rates increased by 133% as a result. Accidents that only caused property damage caused less of an insurance rate hike (123% on average). Across insurance companies and states, rates can vary a great deal. What other factors will influence how much your insurance rates climb? If you are young, you are less likely to experience a drastic rate hike, since you are already considered to be a high-risk driver. The number of violations you already have on record will also influence your rate change.
Repair Your Car with Maven Motors
Maven Motors is dedicated to helping every customer find the car of their dreams, and keep the cars that they have in great shape. From auto sales to collision repair, we can meet all of your car buying and maintenance needs. We pride ourselves on honesty and integrity and always doing what is right for you. To learn more about our services, contact us today by calling (410) 358-1114 or visit us online.