Drivers who are wondering how much more they will have to pay for auto insurance coverage following an accident won’t be able to find a hard and fast answer to this question. Each insurance company sets the rates it charges to its policyholders independently, based on the level of risk they are prepared to assume on behalf of their customers.
Some auto insurance providers offer accident forgiveness for a first at-fault accident to their policyholders. The insurer may charge higher rates to add this extra level of protection to the policy, so a consumer should make a point of shopping around comparing prices from several companies before making a decision.
The worst case scenario following an accident is not having to pay more coverage, though. The insurance company may refuse to renew the policy when the current insurance term expires. The driver will have to start shopping for a new one, and not all companies will agree to extend coverage to a driver who has recently been involved in an accident.
Auto Insurance Rates After an At-fault Accident
If you have been involved in an auto accident where you are the at-fault driver, you will likely be charged higher rates for your coverage when the policy is up for renewal. The insurance company will consider you a higher risk for coverage purposes going forward, since it considers your driving history as a way to predict how you will behave in the future.
The insurance company will also take into account the fact that it had to pay out money to settle your claim. If your current auto insurance provider agrees to continue to provide coverage, you can expect to pay more for your coverage for between three and seven years. The exact time you will be dealing with more expensive rates will depend on the seriousness of the accident and how much the insurance company had to pay out to settle the claims made by the occupants of the other vehicle involved in the event.
Auto Insurance Rates and No-fault Claims
If you live in a no-fault state, you would make your claim for medical bills and other losses to your own insurance company. You would have coverage up to the policy limit you have agreed to buy from your insurer.
Making a claim against your no-fault coverage will likely also result in higher rates when your policy comes up for renewal. The insurance company will evaluate the amount it has had to pay out on your behalf when deciding how much more to charge for this protection.
If you have received a notice that your auto insurance rates will be increasing when your policy is up for renewal, make a point of getting quotes from several providers before deciding whether to stay with the same auto insurance company. Since companies vary in the level of risk they are willing to assume on behalf of a policyholder, it’s possible to find better rates by shopping around.