March 11, 2012

Why Some Drivers Cannot Find Affordable Car Insurance After Making Claims

Drivers often have trouble keeping an affordable car insurance policy after making a claim, sometimes regardless of the claim's fault. This is a particularly serious problem for family car insurance policies and other multi-driver policies, as a single claim might mean higher rates for everyone on the policy. Auto insurance companies raise drivers' auto insurance rates after claims because statistically, the chances of an additional claim are much higher. However, by taking a few actions, drivers can usually avoid serious rate increases.

One of the quickest ways to keep rates down is to take a state-sponsored driving course. Drivers who were issued traffic citations after insurance claims can benefit enormously from these programs, which often consist of a few brief, simple classes. Most insurance companies will reduce the cost of an insurance policy after receiving a certificate of completion from the driving course's instructor. Even when an insurance company doesn't offer a set discount, some states will remove a traffic ticket from the driver's record or offer a sort of probation that prevents the insurance company from raising rates due to traffic citations.

Another way to keep affordable car insurance is to make a few changes to the policy's coverage. While lowering limits or raising deductibles is risky, some drivers buy too much coverage to begin with. Changing limits and deductibles is a quick way to keep premiums low and may not mean any serious loss of coverage. However, drivers should exercise caution when making changes to an existing policy. Ideally, drivers should try to keep all liability coverage and limit collision, comprehensive and personal injury protection. Considering the driver's vehicle and personal driving habits should make it easier to make decisions on coverage limits or deductibles. For instance, if the driver won't be spending much time on the road after the accident due to a total vehicle loss or an injury, it makes sense to restrict coverage significantly. However, if the driver is part of a family car insurance policy, he or she probably won't want to make any policy changes.

Drivers should look for insurance quotes after making an insurance claim. This will make it easier to gauge whether rate changes are fair, and many drivers can find much less expensive insurance policies simply by shopping around. Most car insurance companies will raise their rates in response to a claim, but insurance providers often interpret actuarial data in very different ways. Drivers who immediately look into safe driving programs and other discounts after an accident will limit their costs, and by checking rates online in the months after a claim, drivers can often keep affordable car insurance.