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How does an accident affect my car insurance premiums?

Being involved in a collision will affect your rates in various manners. The ways in which it will affect your premiums are dependent upon the underwriting guidelines your insurance provider has. There will not always be a negative effect on the policy rate. That said, your premiums may increase or you may be declined future coverage if the collision is deemed to be chargeable.  

Vehicle collisions are classified on a few factors. One of the most important ones is whether or not you are considered to be at fault in the accident or not. If you are not found to be at fault in the accident, more than likely your premiums will not be affected. However, if you are considered to be at fault, your rates may be increased. The 20% discount that motorists are extended for a clean driving record may be revoked. If the collision did not involve another vehicle, an accident might be considered chargeable unless it was the direct result of an act of nature. An act of nature is defined as a circumstance beyond your control, like striking an animal. A police report will usually suffice for an insurance company in determining who is at fault in an accident. It is possible for more than one party to be found at fault in the scenario.  

The circumstances surrounding an accident play a large role in how the collision will be classified. If you collide with an emergency vehicle (i.e. an ambulance or police car), you may not be deemed responsible for the accident. In their hurry to reach the scene of an accident, traffic laws may be disregarded by the vehicle's drivers. If this is the case, you are not considered to be at fault. There are other considerations to take into account, though. Was a driver involved in the accident under the influence of drugs or alcohol? This is considered to be a major violation, and the accident will almost certainly be considered to be their fault.  

A collision may be considered non-chargeable if the damages to a vehicle amount to less than $750 in repair charges. This $750 limit may be raised or lowered depending on the specifications of your insurance company. If there are no injuries to any parties involved and the damage is confined to a small amount, your insurance premiums will not be affected. If you are considered at fault in an accident where traffic laws are broken, you may receive a citation. If you are issued a citation, non moving violations will not be included.  

If an accident on your record occurred more than three years ago, it will not be considered chargeable by an insurance company since a statute of limitations exists on accidents. If you are in an accident, do not worry about how it affects your rates too much. If your insurance provider raises your rates, it is possible for you to use price comparison techniques to find a carrier with more affordable rates.  



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