After you've been in a motor vehicle accident, the last thing you're probably thinking of is long-term insurance implications. Repairs and injuries will be at the forefront of your mind. When the dust has settled, and things have calmed down, it's important to learn how this accident will affect your auto insurance rates in the upcoming years if at all.
What Happens to Your Auto Insurance Premiums After You've Had an Accident?
Depending on the type of accident you were involved in, your auto insurance premiums may not rise. If you were involved in an accident and it wasn't your fault, you will not see an increase in your rates. Minor accidents like fender benders may not mean bad things will happen to your premiums. However, your premium is more likely to increase after a major at-fault accident.
What's important to remember is that if your rates are going up, it won't happen automatically. You will not see this rate increase until your auto policy renews. So if your at-fault accident occurred in October and your policy doesn't renew until May, you will still have five months of your usual premiums until they increase.
Your driving record is a major factor when determining premiums; if you've been involved in a lot of accidents, you're considered a higher risk and will pay higher premiums. How long will your accident affect your rates you ask? Accidents follow you around and cling to your driving record for six years. Once that mark has been reached, your rates will decrease again if no other accident has occurred.
Read more: 3 Ways to Avoid Motor Vehicle Accidents
Is There Anything in Your Policy That Can Help You After Your Accident?
There are some add-ons to auto insurance policies that can help protect drivers if they've had an at-fault accident. If you have an accident forgiveness plan on your policy, this will help you. This plan means your first at-fault accident in a six year period will not influence your insurance rates. However, this policy add-on must be purchased before the accident.
The best way to defend yourself against high auto insurance premiums is to be a cautious and safe driver. Giving yourself extra time to get from point A to point B will ensure your safety, the safety of your passengers, and the safety of other drivers. Being a careful driver will save you a lot of money.