How Getting into a Car Accident Can Affect Your Auto Insurance

man uses phone in front of car accident

Getting into a car accident is one of life’s potential hassles. To add insult to injury (hopefully, no pun intended), it’s highly likely your insurance premium will increase once an accident is on your record, regardless of who’s at fault.

While this may not seem fair — especially if you’re not at fault — an accident on your record can lead insurance providers to assume you’re a high-risk driver. In most cases, more risk costs more money. How much your premium will increase depends on your state and insurance provider.

Some car insurance providers include an “accident forgiveness” clause in their policy; however, you may need to be accident-free for a certain length of time before you can qualify. If you’re currently shopping for car insurance, be sure to ask if accident forgiveness is included.

Now that you know how car accidents can affect your insurance rates, let’s talk about which claims can increase your rates the most:

  • Driving Under the Influence (DUI)
    There are severe consequences that come with getting a DUI. On top of the possibility of getting fined, arrested and your license suspended, you also run the risk of getting dropped from your insurance policy altogether. If your provider allows you to keep your insurance, your rates may increase significantly.

  • Injured Driver from At-Fault Accident
    While at-fault accidents automatically increase your insurance premium, your rates can go even higher if the other driver is injured. If you’ve been injured in an accident, you should file a claim.

  • Totaled Car from At-Fault Accident
    If you’re the at-fault driver in an accident where a vehicle is totaled, your insurance premium will increase. If your car is totaled in an accident, you should file a claim.

  • Uninsured Driver
    If someone who’s not insured to drive your car gets into an accident, this can also increase your insurance premium. If you get into an accident with an unauthorized driver, you should file a claim.

How long will a car accident stay on your driving record?

According to PolicyGenius, most car insurance companies take the last three to five years of your driving history into account. However, if you’ve been charged with a DUI or reckless driving, it could remain on your record for at least a decade.

If you’re in the market to purchase a vehicle and need help getting approved for financing, a car dealership enrolled in the Credit Acceptance program can help. Simply fill out the form on our website and we’ll connect you with a car dealership in your area that can help you get started!

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