An accident can make a big influence on your annual Auto Insurance rates, which in some cases can reach hundreds of dollars more in annual premium. However, there are accidents that insurance companies do not take into account, while there are situations which the carriers pay closer attention to. The difference in your premium before and after an accident will depend on the state you live in as well as your insurance provider. On average, your rate can become 1,5 times higher in the event of a claim including both repair expenses and hospital bills, while you can expect a slightly lower increase if you only suffer property damage.
Largest insurance companies consider the situation an accident when it is more than 50% driver’s fault and combined collision and liability damage reaches at least $500-750. Moreover, new customers get stricter definitions of an accident compared to returning customers.
Some examples of accidents not considered chargeable include damage caused by contact with birds, animals or falling objects, damages suffered when lawfully parked, being hit by a “hit-and-run” driver with an accident reported within 24 hours, being reimbursed by the person at fault in an accident, or being struck in the rear and not convicted of a moving traffic violation.
Your insurance company might have an accident forgiveness program, which can waive one qualifying accident. More frequent violations lead to larger increase in insurance rates. However, if you are a young driver, this may not apply to you, as your rates are already higher from the beginning, since insurance companies consider young drivers a high-risk group.