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Do Premiums Increase after At-Fault and No-Fault Accidents?

Accidents – especially those not your fault – are traumatic. You may be injured. There’s damage to your vehicle. Then there’s the disruption in your routine to fix the damages, both physical and emotional. Yet you have car insurance for the financial end of it. At least that part’s taken care of. Or is it? In many cases, the accident leaves a lasting hole in your wallet through increased car insurance premiums — even if it’s not your fault.

Most insurance companies base their monthly car insurance premiums on risk factor. If you’ve had a spotty driving record in the past, you may still be semi-blamed for the latest accident. Sometimes, frankly, car insurance rates are raised out of fears of insurance fraud — where the insured is trying to profit off the car insurance company using the excuse of road hazards. It may not sound fair, but it’s realistic. If you show bad driving habits or excessive claims, you’ll often pay the price by being labeled a high-risk driver. Insurance companies have standards, and bad habits often show driving patterns car insurance companies can’t afford. So understand that accidents affect your car insurance premiums.

Diligence is a key, and safe drivers are diligent drivers. They avoid accidents because they’re watching the road. They’re ready for scenarios that aren’t self-induced. A pipe on the highway isn’t your fault, but not being ready for the car that swerves into your lane is. Three, four and five accidents show a pattern. Perhaps you should have slowed down. Perhaps you should have thought ahead, paid more attention. Perhaps, next time you will, as you become aware of how your inattention is causing your car insurance premiums to rise. These rising costs act not only as a stop-loss for insurance companies from overpaying, but they tend to spur drivers toward vigilance. The truth is that your car insurance rates most likely won’t rise after one simple no-fault accident. But if the situation continues, rates will certainly go up.

So maybe you’ve matured. You’re a better driver today than in the past. Or perhaps your previous record doesn’t reflect an accurate picture of who you were then or who you are today. The best way to address a situation you feel is unfair is to bring it to the attention of your agent. But, sometimes time is the only solution. Without a claim, rates do fall. They eventually drop off your record and your driving situation is reassessed. If you’re able to maintain your clean driving record for an extended period of time, your car insurance premiums will eventually be reduced.

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