Almost every driver will have to face the unpleasant reality of a car accident during their driving career. Learn to avoid these mistakes and keep your premiums low.
Sadly, accidents can happen to us all. No matter how carefully we drive, or how diligently we scan the road for hazards, the possibility still exists that some other driver may make a mistake that will result in serious damage to both vehicles. Although the accident itself is stressful and unpleasant, many find contacting their auto insurance company after such an event even more so, as they are not sure how the accident will be assessed.
While most insurance companies are now far more customer-focused than in the past, and respond well to both questions and claims, there are a number of mistakes which any driver can make at the scene of an accident that can have an adverse affect on their monthly auto insurance premiums. The first of these is admitting fault. Put simply, there are times when every driver makes a mistake. While this should be written down if a statement to police is made, and the same should be told to your insurance company, it is unwise to admit guilt at the scene of the accident. This is because there may be extenuating factors or other issues that you are not aware of that will limit or entirely negate any fault on your part. However, if you admit fault at the scene, both the other driver and witnesses will attest to it, and your insurance company will be hard-pressed to declare you not at fault.
The second common mistake made by drivers is to not properly document damage to their own and the other person's vehicle, be it in photo or written form. This can be a problem if there is pre-existing damage on either vehicle, or if the other party tries to claim more damage than was a result of the collision. Without proper documentation, even your insurance adjuster may have a hard time determining exactly what damage is a result of the accident. This, in turn, can have you paying more if it appears you've caused a large amount of damage to the other vehicle. Lastly, drivers often forget to obtain all of the other driver's information. This can be a problem simply for the fact that they may disappear, leaving you stranded with no contact or insurance information. If your insurance company cannot speak to the other driver or their company, you will be on the hook for any damages, and your rates could increase.
When companies initially advertise car insurance quotes, they always assume a clean driving record. Multiple accidents, even if they are not your fault, can lead to an increased auto insurance quote at any insurance company, especially if they have been declared at-fault, either by admission or lack or information.