Is my car insurance affected by claims?

At-fault claims affect car insurance rates by increasing them $137.78/mo on average. If you're not at fault, it's less likely that your rates will change.

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Zaneta Wood, Ed.S. has over 15 years of experience in research and technical writing bringing a keen understanding of data analysis and information synthesis to reach a wide variety of audiences. She studied adult education and instructional technology at Appalachian State University as well as technical and professional communication at East Carolina University. Zaneta has prepared technical p...

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP®

UPDATED: May 13, 2020

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Here's what you need to know...

  • Every time you submit a claim for auto insurance, the chance of having a hike in premiums increases.
  • Generally, you can expect your auto insurance premiums to go up in direct relation to the expense of your claim.
  • You will not know definitively if your premiums will go up until it is time to renew your car insurance policy.

Because your insurance provider will be paying to have your car repaired, and possibly even for medical bills, there has to be a way for them to recoup their costs over time.

For example, if your car was totaled and you were hospitalized because of serious injuries, your premiums will go up quite a bit.

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How does your driving history affect car insurance rates?

If you have only submitted a claim with your auto insurance provider once and the repairs made to your car were minor, your premiums might not go up at all.

However, motorists that continually get into accidents will see an increase in their auto insurance rates, whether they change insurance providers or not.

Every time you receive a ticket, you run the risk of having your car insurance rates go up.

Combined with the amount of time that you have had your current insurance policy, the number of points that you have on your license at any one time can have a major impact on your insurance premiums.

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What does risk have to do with a car insurance claim?

When you submit a claim, you are viewed as a bigger insurance risk. The more claims that you submit, the more of a risk that you become.

However, some claims are given a higher insurance risk value than others.

The amount of your deductible, as well as the number of times that your car insurance provider has had to settle claims on your behalf, will be taken into consideration before your premiums go up.

You might have never submitted an auto insurance claim, but the other drivers on your policy may have.

Younger drivers and motorists with spotty driving records are charged higher premiums because insurance companies expect them to submit claims at some point.

If your car insurance rates have gone up as a result of someone on your policy submitting a claim, you might want to ask them to get their own separate coverage.

How can you stop insurance claims from impacting your car insurance rates?

There are only a few options available for those who want to prevent their premiums from going up after submitting a claim.

If you purchased your policy from an insurance company that has an accident forgiveness program, make sure that you are signed up.

Of course, there are limitations and exclusions that you need to be aware of, but accident forgiveness programs can be great for motorists that want to avoid an increase in rates.

You can also try to negotiate with your current insurance provider and see if there is a way for you to get your premiums back down again.

This might include increasing your deductible, or reducing your total amount of coverage.

If you are not able to save any money on your premiums this way, comparing rates from other insurance companies can be helpful.

When will your auto insurance rates go down?

It is hard to say if and when your premiums will be reduced if they have gone up after submitting a claim.

Some insurance companies will inflate premiums for a couple of years to see if you will have another accident. When your premiums are calculated, remember that several other factors are being considered in addition to all of your submitted claims.

You could avoid getting into another collision but have racked up numerous traffic tickets in the meantime.

Ultimately, submitting too many claims can cause your car insurance premiums to increase for a very long period of time.

Drivers that have several major accidents where their cars are totaled might not see lower rates until they get married, take defensive driving classes, move to a different state, or just get older.

You should be able to talk to your insurance agent about the factors that are causing your premiums to go up.

Purchasing a policy with a different insurance provider, such as a company that insures high-risk motorists, can help you to find relief.

Alternatively, getting a group rate discount or signing up for programs that will give you additional protection might help to even out your car insurance-related expenses.

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