No one wants to have a car accident but it is a fact of life that accidents do happen. It’s also a fact that accident history can affect your car insurance rates. But what if someone else is at fault? What if they hit you? Will that still affect your rate?
Well, the safe and typical lawyer answer is, “it depends.” Many factors weigh into this answer, including:
- Whether you live in an at-fault state or not
- Whether you have an insurance policy through a company that automatically raises rates after every claim no matter what or not
- Whether you were a careless driver and created a bad situation
- Things beyond a person’s control, such as mechanical failure, problems with the road they are traveling, weather related conditions and so on
Regardless of the cause of an accident, if there is damage it is likely that all of the participants in the accident will need to contact their auto insurance carriers to make a claim and to ensure that all of the damages are covered.
If you are in this particular situation, read on and learn some general tips to help you decide whether or not you will be facing an increase in your auto insurance after a car accident and then be sure and use the FREE tool on this page to compare quotes for car insurance!
Who is at fault?
Usually, the first thing that will influence whether or not your insurance rates will go up after an accident is who is at fault for the accident. In order to determine fault, even in a no-fault state, the police or other authorities will assign blame for an accident.
While it may seem confusing, a no-fault state does not mean that no one takes the blame for an accident, only that no one can be sued for causing an accident unless the personal injury damages are extreme.
This is why it is required for people who live in no-fault states, like Florida, to carry uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage and personal injury protection.
Many people think that simply because someone else strikes their vehicle that they aren’t at fault in an accident. That, however, is not necessarily true.
If it is found that you created a situation where a person cannot avoid striking your vehicle, you will be found at fault and it is your insurance that will increase.
This is the case even if you cause an accident to avoid striking someone else; unfortunately, this is the way that the system works.
Who’s your auto insurance carrier?
Another factor that will affect your insurance rates is your insurance carrier. There are several things to consider when reviewing your policy and deciding to stay with your current provider or switch.
Here are a couple situations you will want to know how your company will handle:
- Accident Forgiveness – If you cause an accident but you are with an insurance company that has an accident forgiveness policy for drivers who have never caused an accident before, you may get a pass from your insurance company. All that matters is that you meet their criteria for accident forgiveness.
- Number of Accidents – Another consideration that your insurance carrier might make is how many accidents you have been in, even if you have never been at fault. A person who makes a lot of claims is considered a higher risk.
There are some insurance companies that automatically raise insurance rates anytime a claim is made.
This is something that you need to know about your insurance carrier because there are many insurance companies that don’t have this policy. If your insurance company does have this policy, you may want to consider switching insurance companies.
This simple fact will often put you in a position of paying more regardless of how well you drive. Part of the risk factor may be the area that you live in or the places that you have to drive through to get to work and so on.
What to Do When Someone Hits Your Car: Hit and Run Accidents
There are incidences that occur that are completely out of your control. Hit-and-run accidents are one of them. Someone hits your car and then they are long gone.
This can occur on the road or in places where you are away from your vehicle, such as a parking lot. Here are the steps you should follow:
- Decide whether or not to report to the police.
- The problem that many people face when it comes to this type of accident with a stationary vehicle is whether or not they should file a police report or file a claim. Sometimes people even wonder if the police will respond to a parking lot hit and run incident (many won’t).
- If the hit-and-run occurs while you are driving, you must call the police and get them involved if you need to file a claim.
- Make an insurance claim.
- Fortunately, most reputable insurance companies will accept a claim of a stationary hit and run without too much fuss, especially if you have never made such a claim before.
- Again, much like any situation, if you file many hit-and-run claims your insurance company is going increase your insurance rates and may require more documentation from you regarding these incidences as well.
As you can see, having a good insurance carrier can make quite a bit of difference when it comes to whether or not you will see an increase in your insurance rates if someone hits your vehicle in an auto accident.
Choosing the right insurance carrier with great customer service and good policies is just as important as getting affordable rates. You may find yourself paying more in the long run if you choose a company that has less than stellar policies regarding auto accidents.
The place to start when it comes to determining which insurance company is best for you is using a free quote tool. This will provide you a list of insurance companies along with the rates you can expect to pay for different levels of insurance.
You should take the time to do a little research on each of these companies and learn their policies. You should also check on how well they pay their claims and their customer service satisfaction rates, as well.
Finding Car Insurance Rates
For many drivers wondering, “if my car gets hit does it affect my insurance?” the best methods for protecting themselves and ensuring the best coverage for their vehicle can be easily learned.
With an insurance rate quote tool, you can take the first steps to finding an auto insurance company or replacing the one you currently have.
The process is fast and easy and you will find that in no time at all you will have found the perfect insurance company for your needs.