October 7, 2010

How Accidents Affect Auto Insurance Rates

Alright, the cops have come and gone. Your smashed sedan is on its way to repair or replacement. As in most auto accidents, nobody was hurt. Now you get to find out if your traffic incident is going to impact the auto insurance quotes you need to keep your policy current. That question has several answers, and some work to your benefit.

It all comes down to the details. Accidents are categorized as to fault, damages, and the kinds of damages and/or injuries involved. Determining fault is a big part of the post-accident process. Accidents deemed not your fault will prompt most major insurers to not make any changes in your premiums. Be found at fault, however, and it's a whole different ballgame.

One type of accident is the 50/50 fault mishap. This kind of incident finds both parties in the wrong as each helped cause the accident. Be aware that some insurance companies consider their insured driver to be totally at fault, and will treat him or her in that way. That includes possibly raising premium rates. Other firms are more forgiving and will treat the 50/50 accident as a no fault situation that won't impact premium costs.

How much money was needed to settle accident claims also figures into how your insurance company will respond. Insignificant damage costs, and no injuries, normally won't cause a policy holder to suffer higher coverage costs. However, an at-fault accident that has injuries will incur higher premium rates.

Operators of emergency vehicles-police cars, ambulances and fire trucks-won't be found at fault should an accident occur as they are hurrying to an emergency. Other drivers involved in these accidents can sometimes get a break from their insurance company because emergency vehicles often breach traffic laws to reach their destinations.

Some special circumstances that could really bring the house down on your head include driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol and causing an accident with injury. Besides the legal ramifications attendant to this situation, rest assured your insurance company isn't going to treat it with kid gloves. Insurance premiums are going to atmospheric levels, and that happens only if the company agrees to keep you as a client.

Whatever happens between you and your insurance company, don't let the situation get out of hand. Accept the responsibility of your actions and try to work out the issues the company isn't happy about. If you can't convince your current insurer to bend a little, then go to another insurer to get lower auto insurance quotes. Lots of companies are on the Internet, and you should find a few eager for your business.