How Much Does Your Car Insurance Increase After an Accident? And What Are Your Next Steps?
By Ben N.
My Insurance Broker
Aug 17th, 2016 at 02:32 pm • Richmond Hill, ON
How much does your car insurance rate increase after a car accident?
Auto Accidents happen. Preparing for them is necessary to avoid insurance premium increases. Many insurance companies may waive a premium increase after your first accident, even if you are the at-fault driver. However, should you find yourself at-fault in another accident, your premium may increase 50% - 200% (instead of $200/month, your premium may increase instantly to $300 - $500) because your insurer may begin attributing a higher risk of at-fault accidents solely to you.
What are your next steps after an accident?
Due to the likely rate increase after your first car accident, it’s generally recommended to pay for expenses privately if the damage is under $1000 and you are the only vehicle involved. It’s better to make a claim if the estimated damage is above $1,000 because making a claim for under this amount is often not economically viable and will automatically result in higher premiums. Always ensure you exchange insurance and driver information even if the damage is under $1,000, to ensure accountability from the at-fault driver and receive appropriate compensation from your insurer.
Does your accident mean you are now considered a risky driver?
After an at-fault accident, you may appear to be a riskier driver and your insurer may consider it a trend. Since your premiums will generally increase after an accident, your best course of action is to be extremely vigilant when driving, more so than usual, in order to avoid higher rates in the long run.
How long can the auto insurance rate increase last?
There is no definitive figure regarding the period of premium increase after an auto accident, but estimates range between two to five years. This, however, is the least of your concern. The most vital component of driving is to drive carefully and have the most appropriate and affordable coverage. If you are not satisfied with your current coverage, don’t be discouraged, shop around. After all, it’s always better to be prepared for the unexpected than to be sidelined.