When it comes to the price of your car insurance coverage, there are several factors that auto insurance companies take into consideration before issuing your policy. Once you have an auto insurance policy in place, there are still factors that can affect the cost of your premium. One of the major factors that can cause your car insurance premium to go up is if you are involved in an accident. Even if the accident is found not to be your fault, the fact that you made a claim on your insurance policy is going to affect how much that you pay for it.
If you are involved in an accident and you have seen an increase in the price of your auto insurance premium, there are several things that you can do to lower your rates.
Eliminate Your Comprehensive Coverage
One of the fastest and easiest ways to lower your insurance premiums after an accident is to drop your comprehensive coverage. While this can leave you a bit more vulnerable if you are involved in another accident, it will help lower your rate so that it is more affordable. Remember, you can add it back on later after you have had six months to a year of clean driving.
Ask About an Accident Forgiveness Clause
Some car insurance companies accept that accidents are simply a part of life and are willing to ignore the first accident that you have and not increase your premium because of it. The details of these programs are different based on the company. Some companies will immediately provide you with accident forgiveness, while other companies will require that you be an accident-free policyholder for three or even five years before giving it to you.
Take a Driver’s Education Course
If you have been involved in an accident, consider taking a driver’s education or a defensive driving course. Insurance companies like when their clients try to improve their driving skills, so they’ll often lower the insurance rates of policyholders who complete these courses. Defensive driving courses are available in every state. Some states even allow you to take the courses online.
Adjust Your Policy
Dropping your comprehensive coverage is not the only thing that you can do to lower your insurance rates after an accident. There are several other things that you can adjust on your policy to make your rates more affordable.
First, consider raising your deductible. If you have a $500 deductible, consider raising it to $1000. Increasing your deductible can lower your rates considerably. You can also lower the amount of your bodily injury liability coverage, as this can drop your rate as well. Another option is to decrease your property damage liability limits.
It is important that you consider the pros and cons of each type of coverage and whether or not the savings will be worth it in the long run. You will want to make sure that you keep adequate coverage for your vehicle so that you remain safe if you happen to be involved in another accident in the future.
Maximize Your Discounts
Insurance companies offer different types of discounts for various reasons. If you do not bundle multiple insurance policies through one company, consider doing this as a way to save money. If you have not currently discussed the discounts that are available with your car insurance company, take the time to do it now. You can call your insurance agent and review all of the discounts that are available to you to make sure you are getting the lowest rate possible. To get an idea of the different kinds of discounts that could be available to you, please review our insurance discount checklist.
Report Every Accident
No matter what, you should always make sure that you report any accident that you are involved in, even if it is relatively minor. You may think that not telling your insurance company is the best idea, but if the other driver decides to sue you in the coming weeks or months failing to report the accident can result in your insurance company refusing to honor your policy, which means that you will be stuck with any potential judgments and legal fees involving the accident.
Shop Around for Better Coverage
Perhaps the best thing to do after your rates increase following an accident is to shop around for another car insurance company. You should check out your other options to see if there is a company that will offer you a better price on the coverage that you need. It is a good idea to shop around for car insurance at least once a year whether you are in an accident or not. Frequently comparing rates and coverage options ensures that you are getting the best policy for the best possible price.