While many of us never imagine being involved in a car accident, that doesn’t mean we’re invincible to the overwhelming panic and shock experienced in the seconds following a collision. The aftermath of an accident is also when we’re greeted with the financial ramifications. When an accident is your fault, your car insurance plan is supposed to cover the damages. If it was the other driver’s fault, their insurance plan should cover the damages.
Accidents are accidents. By definition they are out of our control, or at the least, our intentions. But just because we didn’t mean for it to happen doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be prepared to face the consequences of a premium spike.
While this may not seem fair, there’s a bright side: limits. Insurance agencies can’t cross a certain monetary threshold. If you’re desperately trying to keep your premium rate as steady as possible following an accident, here are a couple of things you can do.
Understand Your Car Insurance Needs
The make, model and year of your car is just as important to your insurer as your driving record. If you drive a newer vehicle your insurance plan may be more affordable. Why? An older vehicle’s make and model has more known about it than a newer vehicle, which results in both positive and negative findings. For example, the 2005 Honda Accord was reported as the most stolen vehicle across the United States in 2014. To the contrary, the 2013 Toyota Sienna was least likely to be stolen, as reported by Yahoo Finance. Thieves tend to avoid stealing newer vehicles as they are often built with high-tech anti-theft systems. The more unfamiliar the system, the more unlikely a thief will target your car.
This in turn provides you with a chance to get discounts. If you practice responsible driving, park in a garage or well-lit area, and have an anti-theft system, insurance agencies will be likelier to lower your monthly insurance premium.
Another thing to consider when looking for insurance? Dropping some of your coverage on an older vehicle. You’ll obviously want (and more importantly, need) the minimum car insurance liability coverage, but collision insurance coverage could end up costing you more in the long run.
Does Your Provider Have an Accident Forgiveness Policy?
Although it’s justified to have a hefty monthly premium if you’ve been in a number of accidents or a very recent one, car insurance providers are experts in their industry – and they know that even the most diligent of drivers can get in accidents in which they’re at fault.
If you’ve never been in an accident before, or were involved in accident several years ago, you could save yourself an insurance hike altogether in the form of an accident forgiveness clause. After all, according to Forbes, most drivers only get into an accident once every 18 years or so.
Report Your Accident Immediately
After an accident occurs, you might think about paying for that auto body work on your own and using your health insurance for any medical issues. But if the accident was your fault, you could get sued trying to sweep it under the rug. You don’t want to end up in court without having the full support of your insurance company behind you. You may also check out some more options by going here.
In some cases, insurance companies may be drop your coverage if you take too long to report an accident. When you report your accident as quickly as possible, you could save yourself a number of legal fees covered in your insurance, as well as having the full support of your insurance company.
Finally, Consider a New Policy
To ensure you’re getting expert insurance care, make sure that your insurance company is reputable and has a strong legal record. When in doubt check A.M. Best, which compiles all sorts of ratings and statistics on insurance companies and their practices.
If you’ve been with an insurance company for a long time, it’s possible that under new management some policies have changed. This could mean a discount for you, or a higher car insurance liability cost.
One way to get a great deal and lower your monthly payment is using an online comparison tool. If – even after you’ve explored all the options your insurance provider can give you – your premiums are still too high to pay after an accident, then switching to another insurance provider is a must.