If you've recently been in an auto accident, you may have medical bills and repair costs for damage done to your car. However, your insurance premiums may also increase after an accident, costing you more money each month. If you have recently been in an auto accident, and you're worried about your auto insurance increasing, check out these three frequently asked questions to help you determine if your insurance premiums will increase.
Did You Cause the Accident?
In most cases, if you caused the accident, you're going to see your premiums increase. This is because the insurance carrier assumes that you are a bigger liability now and you are more likely to cause another accident. The more severe the accident, the higher the increase. However, even if you didn't cause the accident, the other driver's insurance carrier may accuse you of being partially responsible. They may say you weren't paying attention, and if you had been focused on the road, you would have had time to stop. This may affect your premiums because you are not considered a defensive driver.
Are You Protected From Insurance Premium Increases?
Depending on where you live, however, if you didn't cause the accident, it may be illegal for the insurance carrier to increase your premiums. In some states, however, like Massachusetts, you this is only applicable if you are less than 50 percent responsible. In addition, even if you did cause the accident, you may not see your premiums rise if you have accident forgiveness on your insurance policy. This type of policy, however, usually only protects you after the first accident.
Do You Have a Good Driving Record?
One of the biggest factors that determines how high your premiums will increase is your driving record. If this is your first accident, the increase in premiums may be minimal. Insurance carriers don't just look at your accident history, however. They check your entire driving record, including traffic violations. If your driving record is littered with tickets and fines, you may see a high increase. Similarly, if you have recently gotten into multiple accidents (even if you didn't cause them), your insurance carrier may assume you are high-risk. If your driving record isn't great, consider taking safety driving courses, which may help reduce your premiums.
After an auto accident, it's not uncommon to see your premiums increase, but there are ways you can prevent this from happening, such as purchasing an accident forgiveness policy. If you would like more information regarding auto insurance coverages and premiums, contact an insurance agency in your area today.