November 16, 2010

How Even Fender Benders Can Increase Your Auto Insurance Premiums

Auto insurance premiums are at an all time high for varying reasons, ranging from the costs of vehicle repair, the number of cars on the road, and the types of drivers on the roadways. Whatever the reason for high auto insurance premiums, it is surprising to find out that even fender benders can increase your auto insurance premiums. There is a reason why fender benders cause this increase in rates: fender benders are considered the same as other claims.

Fender benders are defined as collisions that occur between motor vehicles and produce minor damage. The damage is so minor that oftentimes drivers might consider settling on the damages without involving any authorities like the police department or insurance company. This is not advisable, however, because of later repercussions that might manifest. These repercussions arise because one or more parties might change their minds, or remember the course of events that caused the damage differently after the fact. Also, more damage might be realized later that was not noticed initially. It is good practice to protect oneself by reporting every fender bender.

If every single minor infraction is reported, this means that more claims will be filed with insurance companies. Although these fender benders are minor in damage, they are still considered by the insurance company as being incidents on record. With more incidents on record, this gives insurance providers just cause in hiking up auto insurance premiums.

Fender benders usually occur at low speeds, and a lot of times damage is contained only in the fenders. It must be realized that although the damage might appear to be relatively minor, there might be more damage done then realized by someone who isn't well informed in costs of repair parts or labor. If the collision is not an at fault incident, then the other party's insurance company will be liable. If it is an at fault incident, then damage to one's own vehicle will only be covered after the cost of the deductible is reached. It is important to report all damages no matter what the belief of estimate of repair and follow all procedures as dictated through the auto insurance policy.

Although common belief suggests otherwise, fender benders are usually considered the same as other incidents, such as traffic infractions and major collisions, by the auto insurance company. If a minor collision does occur, it is important to follow legal and insurance company procedure as outlined in the auto insurance policy. Auto insurance premiums might increase according to company policy, but it is important to report incidences for the protection of all parties involved in fender benders.