Well, it depends.
There are a number of different factors that go into determining car insurance rates for an individual which include the year and make of the vehicle, and if YOU have been in any accidents in the past.
These accidents can be anything from minor fender benders to catastrophic accidents that were your fault. And, these accidents will likely change your car insurance premiums for years, since the insurance company knows it’s more to insure you than the average driver.
But how much of an impact does an accident have on your premiums? Let’s find out.
How To Determine Fault and Its Impact on Rates
Fault is determined from a car accident in a number of ways.
Most states follow a legal doctrine called comparative negligence, which allows both the plaintiff and the defendant to seek compensation regardless of if they are at fault in the accident.
So, if the plaintiff (the driver not at-fault) is 20% at fault for the accident and the defendant (the driver-at fault) is 80% at fault, the plaintiff will receive 80% of the settlement, and the defendant will receive 20% of the settlement.
The only states that do not follow this doctrine include Alabama, North Carolina, Virginia, the District of Columbia, and Maryland. It’s also important to keep in mind that there are different types of comparative negligence which include:
- Pure Comparative Negligence: All parties can get a portion of the settlement based upon how much they are at fault.
- Modified Comparative Negligence: If you are more than 50% or 51% at fault for an accident, you can’t collect any money.
- Slight/Gross Negligence: To get any compensation from a settlement, your responsibility should only be slight, when you compare yourself to the other party.
Based upon the doctrine of comparative negligence, car accidents can significantly increase your insurance rates. An at-fault accident usually increases the rates of your coverage by 48%, depending on the facts and circumstances of the accident, as well as your personal coverage as well.
On the other hand, if you are in an accident that was no-fault, the average increase is usually around 12% or none if you are lucky.
Scenarios Where Rates Will Be Increased
In addition to car accidents where you may be at fault, there are also a number of other scenarios that can increase your premiums which include:
- Speeding Tickets
- A DUI
- Your Driving Record
- Credit Score
- Where You Live
- Being No Longer Eligible For Discounts
As car accidents are the main determinant that increases your insurance rates, these factors are also taken into consideration for the insurance adjuster to determine your rates.
Even the smallest accidents have the possibility of increasing premiums significantly, as compared to only major accidents. If you’re in a situation where you are not at-fault in an accident, and the settlement offer is unsatisfactory, you should get in touch with a Kent car accident lawyer from Caffee Accident & Injury Lawyers as soon as possible.
The Role of Insurance Coverage
The most important factor when it comes to how much you will have to pay for an accident is the type of insurance coverage that you have.
There are six main types of car insurance coverage which include:
- Auto Liability Coverage
- Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage
- Comprehensive Coverage
- Collision Coverage
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Coverage
Most of these insurances are required in most states, but there are specific states that don’t require certain types of coverage. For example, uninsured motorist coverage is typically not required in most states, but it can be important to get if you are in a situation where an uninsured driver hit you.
When purchasing auto insurance, it’s important to look at every option that you have and choose which coverage is best for you.
Steps to Reduce and Mitigate Rate Increases
The easiest way to reduce your insurance rates is to simply look for a new insurance provider. Get quotes from other providers to see how much of an impact it will make on your individual situation.
Next, you should also try to improve your credit if you are leasing or paying off your car. Chances are, a higher credit score will lead to lower payments on the vehicle, and lower insurance rates as a result.
For more information on how to reduce your rates, feel free to check out this article now.
Stay Informed Regarding Your Car Insurance Rates Today
In summary, to keep your insurance costs at a reasonable rate, you should:
- Learn how to determine fault
- Be informed of scenarios where your rates will be increased
- Learn About the Types of Insurance Coverage That Is Best For You
- Try To Reduce Your Rates
By taking proactive steps to lower your rates and staying informed regarding which insurance will be the best fit for you, that can prepare you for a tremendous amount of success in the future. Remember, your rights are worth protecting at the end of the day, rather than the interests of the insurance company.