How do Accidents Affect Insurance Rates?
June 28, 2013 | Car Accidents \ Personal Injury
Most motorists will unfortunately be involved in some type of vehicle accident in their lifetime. Regardless of whether they hit someone else, or someone else hits them, it will likely affect their car insurance. How a car accident affects an individual’s car insurance and for how long depends on who was at fault and which insurance had to pay the claim.
Certain accidents will not affect insurance rates. There are several types of accidents that will not tarnish individuals driving records. If an accident is not your fault, there is a pretty good chance you will not be penalized for it by your insurance company. Similarly, any accident where your insurer does not have to pay out a claim will probably not affect your insurance rates or be a problem in determining your insurance premium. A crash with an uninsured driver should not increase your rates.
Your car insurance company will most likely have to pay out a claim if you were hit by an uninsured motorist. Of course, your collision insurance must include uninsured motorist coverage for you to get compensated. Accidents with an uninsured motorist should not typically increase your rates unless you start having several of them in a short time frame. This is also true for hit and run crashes. Many insurance companies will not increase your rates for a single crash.
Not all insurance companies are the same, but some insurance companies will not increase your rate for just one crash. If accident claims can be spaced out with five to six years between them, you might not ever see a rate increase if your insurer stays the same. If you decide to change insurance companies after a crash or have another claim right after a crash, your rates may rise.
The length of time your crash claim affects your insurance rate varies.
Most insurance companies will ignore crash claims that are more than five years old. If you have been crash-free for five or more years, certain companies will decrease your rates. After the five year mark, it may be a good time to shop for new insurance, as the company that paid your old claim will leave your rates higher than another company looking for new business.
Some insurers look back only three years for insurance claims.
Not all insurance companies will completely ignore your accidents that occurred five or more years ago. The older accident claims will simply carry less weight on your rate determination. Other insurers choose to consider only the past three years when adjusting rates. It is important that when purchasing insurance, you always ask about their policy on viewing claims and on the length of time that a claim affects rates.
Missouri Car Crash Attorney
Obviously, every car insurance company works differently, and there is not one succinct way of summing up how a claim will directly affect your rates and for how long. But, if you have been injured in a Missouri car accident because of someone’s negligence, you should speak to a Missouri injury attorney before cutting a deal with an insurance company. Unfortunately, insurance companies are concerned about their own profits, and many times, they will low-ball your claims, and give you unfair settlement amounts. Once you sign with the other insurance company, you can never go back and fight to get the money you actually deserved. So, before working with the insurance company on settlement figures, it is in your best interest to contact a St. Louis car crash lawyer for a FREE, no-obligation consultation. Call us today at (314) 208-2808