By June 18, 2007 0 Comments Read More →

Car Insurance Claims for At Fault Accidents.

Reader question:

I got into an accident recently, and it was kind of my fault. I’ve been through the car insurance claim process before when I was on the victim end, but what I do now that I’m the one responsible?

Emmanuel

Making a claim, period, is stressful, but At-Fault claims have to be the worse.

Not only are you worried about the damage to your own vehicle and person, but your guilty over whatever damage or injuries you caused to the other driver involved, and then maybe you’re premiums will go up, and…it’s just endless. Luckily for you, rates don’t always go up when you make an at-fault claim, do to legal changes since the old days when your rates could go up if a fly landed on your windshield.

The laws for allowed rate raises for at-fault claims are different in every state, but here are some basic tips.

  • Police reports are not the be-all and end-all. Just because the officer who made the report says it was your fault, doesn’t mean the insurance company will believe them. Most of the time, they’ll do their own investigation and there are laws on how this has to be done.
  • Small accidents usually won’t hurt you. A fender bender probably won’t make your rates any higher, but a serious accident that involves injuries and all that probably will.
  • If this is your second at-fault accident, you can look for a big rate increase, especially if it comes pretty close after your first one.
  • If you have a bunch of at-fault accidents in a few yours, you’ll probably get dropped.
  • Know the time limit for rate increases. It changes based on what state you’re in, but insurance companies can’t keep penalizing you for an at-fault accident once the time has passed.
  • Ask your agent from the beginning what your insurance company’s policy is when it comes to raising rates after an at-fault accident. Sometimes, you can avoid paying really high rates by subscribing to an accident forgiveness program and paying slightly higher rates.

Hope it helps,

Fashun Guadarrama.

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