Whether you caused a car accident or not, vehicle accidents are stressful and in many cases, they can be a life-altering experience.
Collisions and fender benders alike could have an effect on your car insurance rates no matter the severity of the accident.
The good news is accidents don’t stay on your record forever, which means your car insurance costs will eventually go down as well.
Also Read: Best car insurance cover you should know
When Do Accidents Fall off My Driving Record?
The amount of time that an accident stays on your driving record depends on your state’s laws.
The common length of time is anywhere between 3 to 4 years with many states imposing longer times for major violations, which includes DUIs and hit-and-run accidents.
Even if you didn’t cause the car accident, it is still recorded in your state’s DMV records.
Auto insurance companies of course have access to DMV records so they will see the details of the accident when you apply for car insurance with them.
If you are unsure about any moving violations that may still be on your record, get an official copy of or view an official copy of your driving record before you shop and compare insurance rates.
This will help you to avoid any surprises during the quoting process.
How Are My Auto Insurance Rates Affected by an Accident?
There is some possible good news concerning the car insurance price you pay after getting into an accident but is often determined by many different factors.
Below are the types of accidents or scenarios that may not have an effect on your auto insurance rates:
• You’re not at fault for an accident (in most cases)
• Small fender benders
• First accident or only accident (can only have one in a 6-year period)
• Your vehicle insurance policy includes accident forgiveness
While this could be a bit of good news for you, it is important that you make sure you are clear on what types of accident your vehicle insurance company considers to be a non-issue when it comes rate increases.
What Are My Options for Lowering My Car Insurance Costs?
If you’re a high-risk driver, there is little you can do to lower your insurance rates, at least in the short term.
Since you cannot remove any type of accident from your driving history, you will have to ride out the storm and wait until the accident falls off your record.
Below are some things you can do to help lower car insurance costs after an accident.
• Ask your auto insurance company about any discount programs for doing things like installing extra safety features or driving your car less.
• Compare insurance rates and go with a lower rate. The nice thing about shopping around is that each insurance company has a different way of determining your car insurance costs.
• If you’re in a minor accident, do what you can to pay for it yourself. The more claims you make, the higher your rates will be no matter the cause.
• Take a look at your policy and see what you are paying for—you may not need some of the coverage you have. Removing what you do not absolutely require will lower your premiums.
• Be willing to pay a higher car insurance deductible in exchange for lower monthly costs.
• Check what you are paying for your comprehensive car insurance rates. You may be able to do without that full coverage while you financially recover from your accident.
While there are some ways to lower your car insurance rates post car accident, be sure to check with different car insurance companies to see what they suggest in terms of the coverage you need and how you can save.
Switching to a different auto insurance company could help you pay less since all companies use their own algorithms to determine your rates.