Will Filing a Claim Affect my Car Insurance Rate?

Car owners often worry about whether or not filing a claim is going to increase their car insurance rates. As is, car insurance is already expensive enough and getting increases for an accident could be enough to make coverage unaffordable for families. If you do get into an accident and have to make a claim against your policy, your rates could go up. A lot of this is going to depend on the specific policies of your company and whether or not you were actually at fault for the incident.

Your insurance provider's company policy will help you to answer the question of whether your car insurance rates are going to go up if you have to file a claim. Different insurance companies have a strict policy that says every claim, no matter what the circumstances are, will result in a rate increase. It's best to know about these kinds of policies before you choose to sign up with an insurance company. There's nothing that says you can't ask a bunch of questions before you secure a policy, so you should check for clauses like this before you make a purchase.

When You're Not at Fault

If you are not at fault for an accident, then there's a great chance that your insurance rates will not increase. In cases where you are not at fault, your expenses will usually be taken care of by the other driver's insurance company. In the event that the other driver doesn't have coverage and you have the specific type of coverage to guard against this, your insurance company may decide to raise your rates a small percentage to make up for their loss. If you want to make sure that your rates will not increase if you are at fault for an accident, then you should ask your insurance provider specifically.

When You're At Fault

If you are at fault for an accident, then it's reasonable to expect that your insurance rates would be raised a bit. A lot of this is going to depend on what exactly the accident was like that you caused. If it was a minor accident that did not cause a lot of damage, then your rates might not go up as much. If it was a really bad accident that caused a lot of property damage, then you might have to pay a lot more for your insurance coverage each month.

Usually, if you are at fault for an accident, your rate increases will take effect the next time you have to renew your car insurance. When the time comes, you can decide to go with a different company but having an accident on your record is going to matter to other companies as well. Basically, your driving record will be used to assess how much of a risk you actually are. Getting into an accident will communicate to other companies that you are more of a risk than you once were.

Lowering Your Rates

Even if your car insurance rates do go up after an accident, there are some things that you can do to make sure that they go down in the future. One that that you can do is choose a provider that will give you the chance to earn back their trust. A lot of companies offer programs that will allow drivers to get great discounts after every year that they are accident free. Even if you do have an accident and your claim affects your insurance rates, it doesn't mean they have to be high forever.

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