Car Accidents…and Insurance Rates
Accidents happen for many reasons. Some are due to the failure of a driver to follow the rules of the road (or the law itself), some are due to distractions within a vehicle, still others are due to poor judgment, and some are due to the unavoidable acts of others on the road.
Many people fear reporting accidents to their insurance companies because of concerns that their rates will drastically rise due to the accident. It depends on the circumstances of the case; so people shouldn’t automatically assume that. And isn’t the risk of an accident the very reason we have insurance in the first place?
Why Filing a Claim Is Mandatory
Your insurance company operates by collecting premiums from their clients, fully knowing that there will be a number of claims that have to be paid out. In order to investigate the claims in a timely manner, gather all the necessary evidence, and determine fault for the accident, the insurance company first has to know about it. Read your policy. There is a very strong chance that it requires you to report any and all accidents within a specified amount of time in order for your coverage to stay in place. Therefore, assuming such language exists; failure to report an accident and file a claim is tantamount to giving up your insurance despite having paid for it.
How Can Your Rates Be Impacted?
Assuming you have a clean driving record, if your car is parked in a lot and someone sideswipes it while you’re shopping inside your local grocery store, is it likely that your insurance will go up? Probably not. Whether or not your rates will increase after an accident depends on a number of factors that include:
- Your driving record and any prior accidents;
- The determination of fault in the accident;
- Evidence of distracted driving or driving under the influence;
- Criminal activity related to the accident;
- The dollar value of any claims made for property damage or personal injury; and
- The severity of any injuries sustained.
While there is no single calculator you can use to evaluate the risk of your insurance increasing, the inescapable fact is that you need to keep your coverage. If you have questions regarding a car accident or Oklahoma car insurance law, reach out to Car Accident Help at (405) 285-4357 or toll-free (877) 478-3737.
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