March 28, 2010

3 Tips For Limiting The Effects Of An Accident On Your Auto Insurance Rates

No driver wants to be in an accident. Aside from the potential damage to their car, the other driver’s vehicle and the possible injury involved, no one wants to have to call their auto insurance company and make a claim. Not only can the process be confusing and sometimes maddening, but it can often mean an increase in premium rates as well. While defensive driving, a well-maintained vehicle and a general awareness of the road can often mean that a driver can limit the number of accidents they are involved in, avoiding them altogether is almost impossible. Here are three ways to limit the effect of an accident, and the subsequent auto insurance claim, on your monthly auto insurance quotes.

First and foremost, be upfront. Some drivers choose not to report immediately, fearing a steep rate increase to their auto insurance premium or concerns that their auto insurance company will simply declare them at fault without hesitation. Many drivers attempt to resolve the situation without the use of their insurance company, and while this can sometimes be successful, if an accident does need to be claimed, the time spent waiting and hoping for a non-insurance resolution can work against a driver. It is far better for your insurance provider to hear from you about an accident than from another insurance company or the other driver involved.

Secondly, consider adding extra security or damage-mitigation features to your vehicle. Many car companies now offer electronic monitoring services which can detect car accidents and vehicle problems and can dispatch emergency services almost immediately. The safer that you can make your car in the event of any subsequent accident, the more reasonable your rates will remain. The third way to limit your rate increase after an auto insurance claim is to consider raising your deductible. A higher deductible means that a larger sum of money will have to be paid up-front by you before the insurance company will become involved. This limits the risk of payout on their part and will mean that your rates stay as low as they can.

No driver can avoid every accident, or pay for every damage or injury themselves. Despite their reluctance, there are times when calling the auto insurance company to report a claim is necessary. Although tough questions may be asked, and the insurance company may ultimately declare their driver at-fault, this does not have to mean the end of a reasonable rate of insurance for the consumer. By making sure to report early and honestly, install the latest safety features on their car and taking a proactive approach to up-front costs like deductibles, a car owner involved in an accident can still expect a reasonable rate.