Car Insurance Rates: What Happens After an Accident? How Can I Lower Them?

What Happens to Your Car Insurance Rates After an Accident?

Learn what happens to your car insurance rates after you're involved in an accident. Plus, helpful tips to lower your insurance rates after the fact.

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The last thing you want is to be paying more for your car insurance than you need to. Never more so than after an accident. This is when insurers may believe you're now a bigger risk and will hike up your premiums, even if you weren't at fault.  

You can help reduce the chances of spiraling car insurance rates. Here's everything you need to know.

Playing the Claim Game

Make sure you understand your car insurance policy. It could be that the cost of any repairs is close to your deductible. If that's the case, then it may not make sense to put in a claim at all and risk higher premiums as a result.

If you need to claim then you could consider raising your future deductible. So, for example, if it's currently five hundred dollars you could think about increasing it to a thousand dollars. This is likely to lower the premiums you will pay.

There may also be other areas of your policy you can tweak which will have an impact on the price you'll pay. 

Take a Course and Always Be Honest

Enrolling on a driver's education course is worth considering. Some insurers will see this as a tangible way that you intend to improve your driving. It can help to reduce rates in the future. 

If you're involved in any kind of accident it's always best to inform your insurer. The driver of the other vehicle may decide to sue you at some point in the future.

Your insurer could refuse to honor the policy if you didn't inform them about the incident. Even if they do honor the policy, they're still likely to increase your premiums.

Does Your Policy Have a Forgiveness Clause?

Some policies will excuse drivers their first claim and not raise the cost of the premiums afterward. You should check the conditions of your current policy to see if you can benefit. 

If you’re not happy with any new potential rates, you should shop around. Insurers use all sorts of factors to determine risk. Low annual mileage can translate into lower premiums, for example.

Seeking Legal Help 

Car accidents can have a severe emotional impact. Hiring a personal injury lawyer can take away some of the strain and help you win your case, especially if you are wrongly accused of being at fault.

Car injury lawyers will speak on your behalf and take control of paperwork and insurance issues. Some will even offer free consultations.

If you've suffered whiplash or back pain, they may well be able to obtain medical benefits and compensation. They'll also be best placed to ensure your future premiums remain as competitive as possible. 

Getting the Best Car Insurance Rates

If you want the best car insurance rates after an accident, it's best to take a few simple steps to ensure you're not going to pay over the odds.

If your car's been involved in an accident then it may also be an opportunity to think about trading it in. Find out more here about how you can get the maximum cash benefit when selling your car.