If you are reading this now, chances are you just got into a car accident, or you know someone who has been in one. And chances are, you — or they — are probably upset over having damaged your vehicle (and someone else’s as well).
Yes, it is true that the stress of being in a life-endangering situation can lead to some pretty high emotions. But another reason why those who are involved in a car accident can get really high strung is they are worried about whether their insurance premiums will increase following the incident.
Car insurance companies are historically known to increase the premiums for policyholders who have been involved in a car accident recently. But there is also a good chance that your premium can stay the same.
If an accident was proven to be caused by the other party, your insurance premium may not increase at all. Premiums may also not be raised if it is your first time to get into a car accident, or if your history shows you do not have a lot of insurance claims. Being at fault, or having way too many claims or accidents might mean an increase in your premium.
Regardless of the situation, there are still ways that you can keep the premium you have after getting involved in an auto accident:
Always report accidents to your insurer
Let’s say you scratched someone else’s car, or there was a minor accident where nobody got hurt. It might be tempting to not inform your insurer about the accident and this way you nip the premium increase right in the bud.
This act of omission may come back to bite you in the rear end, as this means you may have violated the terms of your policy. You’ll end up shouldering the entire cost of any legal bills and other fees if the other party decides to sue, and these are usually higher than any marginal premium increase.
Reporting car accidents to your insurer ensures that they have enough time to prepare your case. They can even reach out to law firms specializing in car accidents like Hardison & Cochran to increase the chances of winning the case. The less likely they are to pay a claim for the other driver, the less likely your premium will increase.
Opt to increase your deductible
In the event that your premium does get raised, you can negotiate with your insurance company to reduce your coverage cost by increasing your deductible.
Most car insurance companies offer an average of 15 to 30 percent discount on your monthly premiums if you increase your deductible to $500. If you’re not sure what a deductible is, it’s the amount you shoulder if you file an insurance claim with your insurance provider.
Of course, this might mean you may need to set aside a specific amount of money every month to cover the costs of this deductible should you need it. Alternatively, you can also set up an emergency fund.
Of course, the best way to save money on things like these is to ensure that you never end up in a car accident in the first place. However in the event that you do find yourself in one, now you know what you need to do to stay financially stable even after a car accident.