Just because you’re involved in an accident that isn’t your fault doesn’t mean that you don’t need to go through your insurance company. Whether your rates rise or not will depend on personal history. The first thing to keep in mind is that this was an accident. If the other party is willing to exchange information and seems to be apologetic, getting nasty with either insurance company won’t help your cause. The first step is to make sure that, even though the accident wasn’t your fault, you give your insurance information to the other party.
At first, you may be reluctant to contact your insurance company. But, if the other party never initiates a claim, you might be left with damage. Normally, you will get an idea of whether the insurance company is going to take care of your damage or is going to be difficult. Notifying your insurance company is never a bad idea but eventually, you may need to take the route of making a formal claim. If you get hit in a parking lot, utilize your Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage to take care of the damage if it’s significant. As always, weigh your options.
Multiple claims in one year can really add up and if the damage doesn’t place the structure or engine in jeopardy, it may be worth it to leave the insurance company alone. But, if you need to make a claim and the accident isn’t your fault, it’s likely your premiums won’t rise. On the other hand, if this is the 4th accident you’ve been involved in for the past two years, the insurance company likely now views you as a liability. If you notice that your premiums go up without explanation, give your insurance company a call. Your agent can explain the price hike.
Conclusion – Claims Do Not Always Cause Rate Hikes
Insurance companies look at many factors when deciding your insurance rates. They also look at many factors when deciding whether or not to raise or drop your insurance rates. Probably the most important of all these factors is your driving history. This means that you need to always be sure to stay safe on the road at all costs. A safe driver with little to no violations will often not even have their rates hiked even if they do need to file a claim.
No matter what, it is good practice to notify your insurance provider of any auto accident – minor or large. The reasons for this are as followed: First, if the other party in the accident makes a claim (and you don’t), your insurer will be notified anyways (and this might look bad for you). Second, if you don’t file a claim but still file an accident report with the police, your insurance company will probably find out about it anyways, thus possibly leading to a rate increase.
In conclusion, always stay safe on the road and don’t be afraid to file a claim. These claims are not your enemy and do not always translate into increased insurance rates!