For many drivers, the dreaded fender bender has happened at least once. It’s always at the worst time, when you are running late to work or in heavy traffic. When the accident happens, usually one of the first thoughts that come to mind is car insurance and how that split second mistake is going to increase your rate. There are a few factors that impact how the insurance company will access your rate after the accident including severity, fault and driving history.
The biggest mistake people make is not reporting the accident. If the police are called or if the other driver decides to report, it becomes a matter of public record and your insurance company will find out. So, do the right thing and report it. When you file the report the company will look at the severity of the accident. Depending on the damage, this can have an effect on your rate. A cracked windshield will cost far less to replace then and entire rear bumper. The company will also take a look at your driving history. If you have had a clean record for fifteen years, they will probably take that into consideration.
They also look at your loyalty to the company and how long you have been a member. Different policies have different incentives for those who have been loyal; this is why it’s important to know your policy before you find yourself on the side of the road. Also, shop around! Some offer accident forgiveness, which allows for so many minor accidents without being penalized. The insurance companies will also consider who’s to blame. If you are responsible for the accident then expect an increase. However, if you are not to blame, you may not see an increase at all. This especially comes into play when an impaired driver is a culprit of the accident.
No one likes fender benders, but having a car comes with that risk, Fortunately nowadays you have a lot of choices out there for car insurance and can chose to work with.