Being involved in an automobile accident is typically a stressful experience.
Not only because of the accident itself, property damage, possible injuries,
and overall hassle – but dealing with insurance companies afterwards
as well. The average person speaks to a representative from their auto
insurance company only when signing up for or changing coverage, which
is not a frequent event. So speaking to them after an accident can be
intimidating and stressful.
Many people have the belief that an accident automatically means higher
insurance rates. But that’s not always the case. A variety of factors
are considered by an insurance company when policies are due for renewal.
Below are a few of the considerations insurance policy adjusters take
into consideration when reviewing a policy:
Driver history. Let’s face it, car insurance companies value safe drivers because
it benefits the company’s bottom line. But company loyalty is also
a significant factor. If a driver has an accident, the insurance company
will consider their entire driving history to rate them high or low risk.
If a person has been involved in numerous accidents, or received numerous
traffic citations, they are considered a high-risk driver – which
is likely to leave them with a higher chance of rate increase. Low-risk
drivers are those who have few citations or accidents on their record.
Even if you have an accident, having a positive driving history can prevent
your rates from increasing.
The seriousness of accident(s). Auto insurance companies see all types of accident claims – some
with significant damage and personal injury, others with a simple broken
windshield. The more significant a claim, the higher the possibility of
Who was at fault? If you’ve been involved in an accident that was not your fault, it’s
unlikely your rates will be raised. Even if you claim against your own
policy due to an uninsured or underinsured at-fault party, or if the at-fault
driver flees the scene of the accident, an accident report showing your
lack of fault is beneficial to you. The opposite also applies, though.
If you are found to be at-fault for driving recklessly or while impaired,
an increase in your insurance rate is almost guaranteed – sometimes
insurers will drop your policy entirely.
Policy add-ons and specifics. Some insurance companies offer products such as
accident forgiveness, which allows a driver to file one or more smaller claims with a guarantee
that their rate will not be affected. These add-on products are used by
insurance companies to stay competitive in the market, but may cost extra
with some companies. And many accident forgiveness products are subject
to certain conditions – so review your policy frequently to stay
There are many factors involved with insurance rates and policies following
accidents. A crash by no means automatically leads to a rate increase.
Unfortunately, many drivers choose not to pursue claims because of their
fear of rate increases. This fear shouldn’t hinder you from seeking
legal representation for your rights following a crash. As personal injury
attorneys, it’s our job to make you aware of your options after
an accident, including the specifics and details of your insurance policy.
Call us today at 770-427-5498 to discuss your possible claim.