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  • Writer's pictureTom Fowler

How to Avoid Insurance Increase After Accident Cases and Claims

Thousands of car accidents occur every single day in the US. Results vary from a few paint scratches and stern words to significant injuries and fatalities. One thing they all have in common is the need to talk to the insurance adjuster.

It is a well-known fact that the cost of a car insurance coverage policy tends to rise once an accident is registered on a person's claims history- but is there a way around it?

The increased cost of insurance after an accident is something all drivers worry about. In some cases, it is unavoidable- but not always.

Here are some tips on how to avoid insurance increases after an accident- and some useful things to know about the correlation between accidents, fault, and an insurance premium.

What Impact Do Car Accidents Have on Car Insurance Rates?

What Impact Do Car Accidents Have on Car Insurance Rates?

Unfortunately, insurance claims can add insult to injury following a car accident- in the form of higher premiums and costs.

Most insurance companies increase coverage car insurance rates for policyholders who have been involved in an accident claim.

This is especially true for responsible parties in at-fault accidents and those who have multiple accidents on their driving record.

If an insurance company pays out because a claim was made against a policyholder, they are very likely to increase their premium for that person the following year.

How much more drivers pay depends on their policy, the nature of the accident, and the procedures used by their provider.

When Does a Car Insurance Company Not Increase Premiums After Accidents?

  • Some auto insurance premiums offer accident forgiveness policies. Details vary depending on the company, but having it included in your policy usually means your car insurance rate stays the same if an accident meets certain criteria.

  • Accident forgiveness can also apply to a person's first accident- as long as it doesn't involve drunk, dangerous, or reckless driving on the policyholder's part.

  • A minor no-fault accident where nobody was hurt and damage was minimal can often be overlooked.

  • People may avoid increased auto insurance rates after an accident if they have a long claim-free history and a clean driving record.

  • If the driver is not at fault, accident insurance rates may not increase.

Do Drivers Need to Inform Their Auto Insurance Provider of Every Incident?

It can be tempting for people involved in insignificant accidents, that resulted in very little harm or damage, to simply omit telling their insurance company.

Failure to report incidents to the insurance company immediately is a very risky action.

Anyone involved in a car accident of any kind- no matter how insignificant it may seem- should report it immediately to their insurance provider.

If there is no claim or lawsuit, it may not impact the premium. Even if a claim does come of it, telling the provider gives them more time to prepare. They may choose the path of accident forgiveness if it is the first accident claim.

An insurance company that is blindsided with a claim for an accident they were never told about could refuse to pay altogether- leaving the individual to cover the costs themselves.

A person could put themselves in a difficult financial position by trying to hold on to cheap car insurance should the other party decide to sue. Put simply- people should always report a motor vehicle incident to the insurance company.

Three Tips for Avoiding Increased Car Insurance Premiums After an Accident in Iowa

Remember, insurance rates are less likely to increase after an accident for people who are not at fault. Accidents that had no fault on either side may also be more likely to pass for accident forgiveness, but there are no guarantees.

What is more or less guaranteed is that the costs will increase for people who have made multiple claims in a short period, were driving under the influence, or recklessly.

If a person causes someone to suffer a serious injury, faces criminal action, or is found to be involved in a hit-and-run incident, the insurance company may even refuse to renew the policy.

That said, some circumstances are more open to options. Here are three ways to potentially avoid paying more for insurance after an accident in Iowa.

1: Take a Qualifying Driving Class

As long as the accident was not caused by the policyholder driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol or driving recklessly, they may be able to avoid (or at least reduce) any increase to their car insurance rates by attending driving classes.

Certain courses and classes qualify as examples of effort to improve driving skills and mitigate future risk and may be looked upon favorably by insurance providers.

Many insurers stipulate in their terms and conditions what driving classes are accepted in a case against rate increase. There are official databases to search for licensed classes in specific zip codes.

Policyholders can do this without being asked, and then inform their insurance companies. Sometimes, the insurance adjuster will suggest it before the costs are reviewed.

2: Increase the Deductibles

It is not always possible to avoid a rate increase after an accident. That said, people can manage the annual cost of car insurance by increasing their deductible amount.

Insurance deductibles are the amount of money the policyholder must pay by themselves before their coverage kicks in. Usually, the higher a deductible is, the less the annual premium costs.

Good drivers who have a clear driving history prior to the accident may prefer having a higher cost if they are involved in an accident again, rather than pay extra for the same premium.

Be sure to limit the deductible to something reasonably affordably to avoid a difficult financial situation.

3: Consider Switching to Another Car Insurance Policy

People often stick with the same car insurance simply because it is what they are used to- especially if they do not need to make a claim. After involvement in an accident, it may be worth re-assessing.

Sometimes, the provider's decision to raise rates despite the person being previously accident-free and not at major fault is enough to push the policyholder to look elsewhere.

It is worth comparing prices from at least three different providers. Compare rates for full coverage taking the recent accident into account. There may be a more comprehensive coverage option at a better price elsewhere.

What to Do After an Iowa Car Accident as the Not-At-Fault Party

Car accidents often lead to significant physical and financial damages. Since Iowa is a fault state, it is the responsibility of the at-fault driver to cover the other party's expenses using their insurance coverage.

In theory, the non-fault party should not have to claim anything from their own insurance- although they should still inform them.

Following an incident that was not their fault, Iowa motor vehicle accident victims should take the following steps.

  • Call the police immediately from the accident site. Not only is the police report a crucial piece of evidence to support a claim, but it could be very damaging to leave the scene before police arrive.

  • Collect the contact, vehicle, and insurance information from any other involved parties.

  • Gather evidence- including witness statements, photographs, and videos.

  • Seek medical attention if injuries are sustained.

  • Inform the insurance company of the accident- no matter how big or small, or who is to blame.

  • Contact the best injury attorneys in Des Moines to get a head start in settlement negotiations or lawsuit filing.

It doesn't matter who is at fault or how severe the incident was- all involved parties should remain at the scene until the police give approval to leave (unless emergency medical treatment is required), gather important information from the other involved parties, and contact their insurance company and legal representation as soon as possible.

Non-fault accident victims may not face increased car insurance rates if they follow the correct procedure and win their claim against the responsible party.

Contact Tom Fowler Law Today for Expert Legal Assistance in Des Moines, Iowa

Contact Tom Fowler Law Today for Expert Legal Assistance in Des Moines, Iowa

Anyone involved in a motor vehicle accident in Des Moines, Iowa, can find the reliable and dedicated support they need at Tom Fowler Law. They can also help when trying to decide is it worth repairing a car after an accident?

As a leading expert in auto accident claims, Tom Fowler Law knows how to win insurance settlement battles and ensure fair compensation for victims. They can also advise on right of way laws in Iowa.

Remember, a successful claim against an opposing insurance company could put a stop to the rising costs of car insurance after an accident- so it is worth arranging a free consultation with the experts to discuss the next steps.

Car insurance rates go up after accidents in many cases- it is an unfortunate but generally unavoidable fact. There are ways to limit increases for those who are responsible- but it may involve switching providers.

Victims have a much better chance of accident forgiveness- especially if they win a settlement claim and don't need to ask for money from their own insurers. Tom Fowler Law can help make that possible.

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