Car insurance can be quite costly if you aren’t careful. You can’t get around paying for insurance since it’s required by law, but you can lower the cost you pay by shopping around and by making some personal changes. But first, you need to know what influences your car insurance rates so you know what changes will have the most impact.
To start, car insurance companies look at personal factors like how old you are, how long you’ve been driving, whether you’re married, and whether you’re employed. These and other factors give the company a sense of your maturity level and your ability to make sound decisions. Next, the insurance company will look at your driving record to see if you have traffic violations like speeding or failing to wear your seat belt or whether you have been in any auto accidents.
There is a widespread belief that if you get into a car accident, your insurance rates will skyrocket. But this isn’t necessarily the case. Here are a few things that the insurance company will consider when determining your rate (or whether to increase your current rate):
Who Was Responsible?
If you were the one at fault for the accident, your insurance rates are almost certain to go up. However, if the accident was the other person’s fault, you shouldn’t see any raise in rates. You just need to communicate clearly with your insurance company so there is no confusion about fault. Having a police report is important for this reason.
Was Anyone Hurt in the Accident, and What Were the Damages?
Insurance companies care about their bottom line. If you cost them a lot of money, they are going to charge you a lot of money. Therefore, if the accident was your fault, and your insurance company has to pay out a lot of money for damages or injuries, you can expect your rates to go up significantly.
If the damages in your accident were significant, or if someone sues you for wrongful death, you are likely to lose your insurance coverage. Your insurance company can cancel your policy, and you will have a hard time finding another company to cover you.
Do You Have a Negative History?
Everyone gets into an accident once in a while. We’ve all been distracted and accidentally rear ended someone at a light or had some other minor dustup. Insurance companies understand these, and most aren’t likely to penalize you for it.
However, if you have a history of accidents that are your fault, you can expect your rates to go up each time you have a new accident. Likewise, if you have a history of moving violations or reckless driving, you can expect your rates to go up when you have an accident.
Obviously, you can protect yourself by taking care when you are driving, ensuring that you follow all the traffic rules and that you use good judgement and caution. However, if you are in an accident and are subject to a personal injury claim, you might consider hiring a personal injury attorney to protect you from damages and from increasing insurance rates.
If you are in an accident that is not your fault, rising insurance rates are not a problem, but medical bills, lost work, and other issues are. You can file a claim with the insurance company, but you can be sure that the offer you get won’t be nearly as much as you deserve. Insurance companies have to protect their bottom line, and that means spending as little money as possible.
Injury Lawyers Mesa can help if you have been injured in an accident that was not your fault. Our experienced car crash injury lawyers in Mesa are ready to take on the insurance company to get you the money you deserve for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. We are tough legal advocates ready to fight for your rights and ensure that you get the settlement you are entitled to under the law. Do not let the insurance company take advantage of you. Call our firm in Mesa today to talk with one of our personal injury attorneys about your legal options.