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How Much Will My Insurance Rate Increase After One Accident?
Courtesy of ComparisonMarket.com
It's no accident that drivers often save money on their auto insurance bills if they haven`t been in a fender-bender or any other roadway accident. On the other hand, if you have been in at least one vehicular accident, chances are you`re going to pay more for car insurance when your policy comes up for renewal. Insurance industry experts such as Carolyn Gorman point out that this increase can "vary" for several reasons.
The amount is "going to vary from state to state and from one insurer to another," says Gorman, vice president of the Insurance Information Institute, which is based in New York. "But a lot depends on the nature and severity of your vehicular accident and who's found to be at fault. If you were driving drunk, you are going to be in deep trouble with the insurance company and the law. In that situation, you're likely to have your policy non-renewed. However, you can still get insurance, but it's going to cost you a lot more."
State Farm Insurance Co., for example, typically ratchets up your premium if an insured is found to be "at-fault" for a vehicular accident - meaning any accident in which the company pays more than $750 in property damage liability and collision claim payments, according to State Farm spokesman Bill Sirola. State Farm policyholders should expect to see the increase at renewal time on their liability, collision, and personal injury protection or medical payments coverages, Sirola confirms.
"If you've had a good record, and you've been with a particular company for more than five years, companies such as Allstate won't necessarily bump up your rates if you're found to be at-fault in a relatively minor vehicular accident," says Daniel Kummer, director of auto insurance for the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America, in Des Plaines, Ill.
Your rate rise depends on various factors such as state law and your insurance company rating plan," says Dave Snyder, American Insurance Association vice president and assistant general counsel.
Snyder says that "a minor accident may be forgiven under state law or by an insurance company. On the other hand, there could be severe insurance and legal consequences if there is a major accident with serious bodily injury and the at-fault driver is operating the vehicle under the influence of alcohol. There could be a dramatic increase in insurance rates or even a cancellation of coverage, subject to state law. ...
Insuring a Used Car
Courtesy of ComparisonMarket.com
A standard auto insurance policy is a package of different kinds of coverage. There is generally some flexibility in terms of both the types and amounts of coverage you select.
However, practically every state has enacted insurance laws that require drivers to carry at least some auto insurance. Many states even require that you present proof of insurance before you register a car. So the short answer to the question is that you will probably need to insure your car, regardless of its value.
Every state requires that drivers carry liability insurance. The liability coverage section of an auto insurance policy provides financial protection from liability claims against you when you (or certain other people) cause an accident that results in bodily injuries to other people and/or damage to their property. Every state has mandatory minimum levels of coverage in this area. The rationale behind such laws is that at-fault drivers should be able to compensate victims who suffer accident-related losses. But the required minimums in most states don't even come close to covering the costs of a serious accident. Consequently, if you wish to be adequately protected from liability claims, your liability coverage should probably exceed your state's requirements.
Other coverages are required in some states and optional in others. Medical payments coverage and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage are two such coverages. Medical payments coverage covers medical expenses incurred by you, your family members, and your non-family passengers. Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage covers losses you and others suffer as a result of an accident caused by a driver who either has no insurance or insufficient insurance. If buying these coverages is optional in your state, base your decision on your needs, circumstances, and other factors. Consult your insurance agent for more information.
Collision and comprehensive insurance is optional in virtually every state. The collision and comprehensive section of your policy covers physical damage to your own vehicle resulting from collisions and a variety of other causes (e.g., fire, falling objects). It may also cover losses associated with theft. However, your car's value plays a big part in assessing your need for this type of coverage. It may not be cost-effective if your vehicle is worth less than $1,000 because you'll have to satisfy a deductible, and t...