How Does a Minor Accident Affect Insurance?

How does a minor accident affect insurance? It depends on many factors, such as the type of policy you have, the severity of the damages, and your driving record.

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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...

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Reviewed byJoel Ohman
Founder, CFP®https://res.cloudinary.com/quotellc/image/upload/insurance-site-images/ciccom-live/41b5e36b-joel-ohman.jpg

UPDATED: May 22, 2020

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Here's what you need to know...

  • Even a minor accident can cause your insurance rates to increase
  • Insurance company considers is the severity of the accident in terms of the dollar value of any potential claims
  • In no-fault states, regardless of how minor an accident is or who is at fault, each driver’s insurance company is responsible for covering his claims

In the world of car insurance, there are two things that will most certainly cause our rates to go up: violations and major accidents. Will a minor accident increase my car insurance rates? How much does a minor accident affect insurance?

Unfortunately, it is possible depending on your specific policy and the circumstances surrounding the accident.

Keep in mind that providing car insurance is a business just like any other. Your insurance company exists first and foremost to generate a certain amount of profit for its owners.

Get several car insurance quotes by entering your zip code above into our FREE search tool now!

Under what circumstances would a minor accident increase my car insurance rates?

 

When drivers make a car insurance claim for a minor accident, one of the first things the insurance company looks at is driver history.

For example, if you’ve been driving 20 years without a single violation or accident, you’re a lot less likely to see a rate increase when compared to someone who has had multiple violations or accidents in his lifetime.

Remember that insurance is all based on risk.

If the minor accident in question is your first in a long history of safe driving, you still present a relatively low risk

Another factor the insurance company considers is the severity of the accident in terms of the dollar value of any potential claims. 

Things like bodily injury and property damage also increase the measurement of severity and the potential of higher rates. Should you tell your insurance company about a minor accident? Regardless of how minor you think an accident is, always report it to your insurance company.

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Do no-fault laws play any role in the increased car insurance rates?

Do insurance rates go up after a no-fault accident? Unfortunately, while no-fault insurance laws do have many advantages for drivers, there are certain disadvantages.

For example, the likelihood that they will play a part in raising insurance rates after a minor accident is high.

In the days before no-fault laws, insurance companies paid claims based on the amount of fault assigned to the driver they insured. After a minor accident in which no fault could be assigned, your insurance company would pay nothing and your rates would stay the same.

In states that have no-fault car insurance laws in place, this has all changed. Regardless of how minor an accident is or who is at fault, each driver’s insurance company is responsible for covering his claims.

Will a minor accident increase my car insurance rates if I have accident forgiveness?

 

Stiff competition among car insurance companies has caused them to offer several new innovations aimed at winning new customers.

One of the more popular ones is “accident forgiveness,” which helps to protect drivers from rate increases after minor accidents.

How accident forgiveness applies in your situation really depends on your individual policy. In most cases, it’s reasonable to expect that accident forgiveness will apply for your first minor accident.

Minor accidents are a hassle for both driver and insurance company alike. Hopefully, your insurance rates will not automatically go up in the event you are involved in one. If they do, you’re always free to shop around for a better policy at a better price.

If you’re paying more after a minor accident, start searching for better car insurance rates online by entering your zip code below now!

References:

  1. https://www.thebalance.com/how-to-get-your-driving-record-527249
  2. https://www.libertymutual.com/auto/car-insurance-coverage/bodily-injury-liability
  3. http://www.iii.org/issue-update/no-fault-auto-insurance
  4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No-fault_insurance
  5. http://www.iii.org/article/nine-ways-to-lower-your-auto-insurance-costs

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