The Impact of an Accident on Your Insurance
Auto insurance is mandatory in 48 of the 50 states. This is to prevent accidents from occurring which result in unpaid repair and medical bills. There is a relatively complex equation auto insurance companies use to calculate your bill, which includes age, driving experience, driving record, and more. Below, I’ll outline some of the components which will affect your bill, and what happens to your premium if you are involved in an accident.
Your bill is a combination of the following things, in a rough order of importance: driving history/record, accidents, age, financial status, and bonuses/discounts. The most important factor is obviously how you’re known to drive. Even if you’re in your forties, considered an age by which a driver is mature enough to drive sensibly, if you have a long history of tickets and accidents your premium will be sky high. By contrast, if you’re only twenty five but have had no accidents or tickets in your lifetime, you will most likely have a comparatively low premium. Every insurance company is different, but having more than one ticket in a year period will probably raise your premium, and every accident within 5 years will definitely impact you negatively.
What is the premium increase? Unfortunately it’s hard to say. It will depend on how much the insurance company had to pay out on your last accident. If it was determined by the company or police that the accident was your fault, the rate will rise as well. Being t-boned at an intersection in a Honda Civic will have a far different impact on your premium than slamming your Mercedes into a wall at seventy miles per hour. Mitigating circumstances can also include time of day, the other driver’s record and inebriation, or other factors.
One important way to keep your premiums from rising if you’re involved in an accident is to hire an accident attorney as soon as you are able to. An accident lawyer will coordinate with all involved parties while you recuperate or focus on travel arrangements while your car is being fixed. They can speak to your insurance company as well as “the other guy’s” and negotiate a settlement as well as the impact on you. You may be able to negotiate a settlement on your end in return for your premiums not rising. If you’re struck or have the bad luck to strike someone else with your vehicle, your first step must to contact a car accident lawyer.