Will my car insurance be affected from a single vehicle accident?

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Here's what you need to know...
  • Whenever your car insurance company has to pay money out for a claim, your insurance rates will increase
  • Single car accidents happen through a vehicle malfunction or collision with an animal or tree
  • Usually, a minor traffic incident will stay on your driving record for only  a short time

It doesn’t matter if you are in a 10 car pileup or a single car accident, if you make a claim with your insurance company, your insurance rates will increase.

Many people don’t understand that their accident doesn’t have to be the cause of reckless driving in order to see a rate increase.

If the insurance company has to write you a check, you are going to have to pay!

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How could a single vehicle accident happen?

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There are a lot of reasons that a single car accident might occur. Your brakes could go out, you could try to avoid hitting an animal, you could lose control of your vehicle, and more.

Although single car accidents aren’t as common as multi-car accidents, they are certainly common enough!

Not everyone will have a rate increase if they have a single car accident.

Liability insurance isn’t designed to protect your vehicle. Liability insurance is coverage for other vehicles that are damaged in an accident that you cause.

Understand this distinction because only collision insurance provides coverage for damage to your vehicle.

If you hit an animal, a tree, wall, or flip your vehicle, if you don’t have collision coverage, then you will be responsible for the costs.

Why will my insurance increase if no other vehicles were involved?

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Many people make the mistake of thinking that their insurance goes up after an accident because they get a ticket or are at fault in the accident.

The truth is, however, that the insurance company will determine an increase based on what they have to pay out after an accident.

If you are in a single car accident and you dent your fender, then you don’t even need to make a claim. In fact, unless the damages far exceed the amount of your deductible, then you don’t want to make a claim.

If you make a claim, even if the insurance company doesn’t have to pay you any money, you may see an increase in your premiums.

The increase should be minor if the insurance company doesn’t have to write a check but expect an increase nonetheless.

When you report you have had an accident, it goes on your record and counts against you in terms of being a safe driver.

Keep that in mind because in a single car accident, the insurance company can only assume you are responsible for the accident occurring.

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Will I get into trouble if I don’t report a single car accident?

First of all, if you hit a property fence, mailbox, or even a tree in someone’s yard, you need to talk to the owner about making restitution.

If you hit a deer or other animals, you don’t have to call the police and report the accident, even if there are damages to your vehicle.

You should, however, call your insurance company immediately if you are sure that you are going to file a claim.

If you aren’t making a claim and you haven’t harmed anyone else or damaged any personal or city property, then you don’t need to report the incident.

If you strike a road sign, you will be expected to make restitution. The truth is that the police aren’t likely to be breaking down your door in an effort to get money for the damages that you cause to a sign.

However, if you are caught without having reported the incident, then you could be in much deeper trouble than just hitting a sign would cause.

How long will my increase last if I make a claim?

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Like with most auto accidents, it takes about three years for a claim to no longer affect your insurance premiums.

The good news is that the smaller the claim is the less your premiums will be increased.

If you didn’t get a ticket for the accident, then you may want to consider switching car insurance companies.

If an insurance company didn’t have to pay your claim, they are more likely to give you a lower rate sooner than the company that had to pay the price for the accident.

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