Being involved in a car accident is incredibly stressful on its own. There’s potential for injuries, or worse, not to mention the damage to your car plus the headaches and time lost. You don’t need the threat of increased insurance rates hanging over your head too, but you’ll likely face it. It’s hard to estimate how much your insurance will go up after an accident since there are so many factors involved including who was at fault and how much damage was done. Premium increases will also vary state by state as different states can take different factors into account when determining your rates. With all that said, rates can easily increase by $1,000 following an at-fault accident.
Generally speaking, at-fault accidents where someone was injured are going to cause the highest premium increases. Depending on your state and insurance company, you may or may not see increases for accidents where you weren’t at fault. There are also personal factors involved like demographics and driving record that can affect your rates. Here are some things you should do after an accident to help out as much as possible.
Get Medical Care
Before you start worrying about your finances, you should always get checked by a medical professional following an accident, no matter how mild you think it was. This is important for your safety as well as any claims you may make later. You’ll also need to follow any recommendations or follow-up appointments whether they involve seeing an NYC chiropractor or just keeping your foot elevated. Receiving expert advice from a chiropractor can do wonders for your physical and mental health, whether you are going for treatment after an accident, a simple adjustment, or for attention on a longterm condition. In any case, failing to get medical attention after a big event can lead to serious complications later on, especially if you have an injury case.
Inform Your Insurance Company
You need to notify your insurance company of any accident as soon as possible, regardless of who was at fault. Even if the other driver was at fault, you won’t be able to repair damages to your vehicle under your own policy if your insurance company doesn’t know about the accident. Failing to report an accident soon enough may give your insurance company the right to deny coverage. In some states, your rates won’t go up if the other driver was at fault, but if you live in a no-fault state you’ll have to file a claim regardless, and there’s a good chance your rates will increase. If you wish to seek repairs under your coverage, you’ll need to let your insurance company take control of the situation. If you have difficulty getting your claim approved, you may need to contact an attorney.
Let’s say you used a car loan interest calculator to find the best deal on your car, and you bought the cheapest insurance policy you could at that time. Just because that was the best policy for you then doesn’t mean it’s still the best policy now. In fact, it’s recommendable to shop around for policies once a year to find the best deal, and you’ll definitely want to do this if your rates are about to go up.
You may find that another insurance company will offer you a better rate following an at-fault accident. It’s also important to realize that there is no insurance company that’s the cheapest for every driver. You need to explore your options based on your location and circumstances. Keep in mind that big companies like Geico or State Farm might not offer the best rates. If your state has smaller insurance companies, they’re worth looking into.
Luckily, increased rates won’t haunt you forever, whether you were at fault or not. After three to five years, things should go back to normal, barring additional accidents.