Car insurance rates are an expense every driver has to live with, so there is no harm in trying to minimize the amount you pay out of pocket. But that gets a lot harder after you file a claim on your policy.
Even though it might seem like it, your insurance company doesn’t arbitrarily raise your rates after a car accident. Many factors come into play, from the state you’re insured in to your driving record to the type of claim you file.
What other can affect your car insurance claim?
Every state’s insurance regulations are different, and this can result in drastically varied results in car insurance rate increases once claims are submitted. The national average rate increase after submitting one car insurance claim is 44.1 percent.
But if you live in a state like California, where car insurance rates are determined by only three factors — driving record, miles driven per year and years of driving experience — one setback on your driving record can result in a gigantic premium hike. After one claim is filed in California, drivers see their premiums go up 63.1 percent.
How many claims have you filed in recent years? When you get to your second, expect rates to skyrocket. Many insurance policies consider your driving record as a whole when assessing your insurance rates. If your risk profile is low, one accident may not move the needle drastically.
The type of claim you file is key in determining your rate increases. If a tree branch falls on your windshield, that’s one thing. If you’re responsible for a major collision that injures multiple passengers in your car as well as people in the other car, that’s a different story. When you’re at fault and you’re filing a bodily injury claim, the rate jump will be significant.
Does your car insurance policy have “accident forgiveness”? Do they require you to report all accidents, even minor vehicle damage? It’s true that every state is different, but every policy is different as well. Ultimately, what’s most important is your personal driving record, so always prioritize safety.
Get educated on your policy and your state’s car insurance rate regulations. Discussing the details with your insurance agent will help minimize surprises after filing a claim. At Four Seasons Insurance, we’re dedicated to providing you with affordable, effective coverage. Call us today to get a quote.