Your driving record is one of, if not the most, important factors considered by your auto insurance provider. The more of a risk you are, the more you’ll need to pay for premiums. In most cases, your insurer will re-evaluate your car insurance rates following an accident claim. Even a simple moving violation, if you’re at fault, can be costly.
How Much Does Your Record Matter?
In most cases, it matters a lot. A 2017 Quadrant Information Services study concluded that car insurance claims averaging $2,000 in cost can increase rates by over 44 percent. But which aspects of your driving record hold the most weight? Premium price increases tend to occur in these scenarios:
- At-fault collisions
- High-cost damages
- Living in a no-fault auto insurance state
- Filing multiple claims
Again, an accident is more likely to increase your premium cost if you were responsible for causing it. If you were responsible, your policy provider can assume they’ll need to pay for additional claims in the future.
Sometimes, Claims Don't Increase Car Insurance Costs
It’s possible to file a car insurance claim without expecting heavy-hitting premium costs in the future. Insurers are rather reasonable when considering accident severity. They’ll pay attention to any factors justifying a price increase—but they’ll pay attention to alleviating factors, too.
You’re in luck if you’ve maintained a clean driving record, too. Minor accidents, not-at-fault collisions and minor damages might not be an issue if you’re an otherwise reliable investment. Your rates also won’t go up if:
- The other driver is at fault
- Your auto insurance policy offers accident forgiveness
- You’ve never filed a claim with your current insurer
Hidden Factors to Consider
Your record’s impact on premium prices might seem straightforward, but there are still several pitfalls to be aware of. If a claim has increased your rates, it’ll follow you for three years in terms of price consideration. Even if you switch car insurance companies, they’ll still count past incidents against you.
Auto insurance providers compare quote requests. There are a lot of drivers, out there, and many have a claims history. As such, any car insurance rate increases you’ll see may be proportional to the histories of their other drivers.
The final factor to consider is that of minor collisions. Sometimes, it’s tough to determine whether to file a claim at all. Maybe the damage amount is close to your deductible. Or, perhaps you can cover costs out-of-pocket. Can you avoid future hassle by not disclosing these minor infractions?
Probably not. Contact your auto insurance company whenever you’ve been in a collision. Even if damages are minimal, and even if you haven’t filed a claim, the other driver might have. The fewer details your provider has, the more difficult it’ll be for them to justify coverage. Plus, your insurer might even cancel your car insurance policy if you withhold information.
Your insurer is here to help. If you’re concerned about your claims history, give them a call. It’s possible to get a prospective outlook on future rate increases. It’s also possible to create a financial plan which makes it easier to pay for your auto insurance coverage. Ask about your insurer’s options, and connect with them about your driving history. You might even find several cost-saving options.
Also Read: 5 Tips for Teaching Teens How to Drive in Bad Weather