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Do Accidents Increase Auto Insurance Quotes?

September 6th, 2023 | 5 min read

By Daniel J. Middleton

You’ve been in a car accident. You’re shaken, scared, and worried. You wonder how this will affect your life, your health, and your finances. You hope your auto insurance will cover the damages and protect you from lawsuits. But you also fear that your premiums will skyrocket after this incident. Auto insurance quotes will also increase.

You’re not alone. Many drivers in Central New York face the same dilemma after an accident. You want to know how your insurance rates will change and what you can do to lessen the impact. You need an expert who can explain the complex factors that determine your quotes. And you want someone who can offer the best options for your situation.

That’s why we’re here. We’re Horan, an experienced CNY agency that specializes in auto insurance. We have helped thousands of customers like you find the right coverage for their needs. We know how to handle accident claims and negotiate with insurance companies. We can help you save money and avoid stress after an accident.

In this article, we’ll show you how different types of accidents affect your rates. We’ll also discuss how long the effects last and what you can do to lower them.

How Different Types of Accidents Affect Your Rates

Not all accidents are equal in the eyes of insurance companies. Some accidents have little to no effect on your premium, while others can make it go up a lot. Here are some examples:

  • Glass or towing claims: These are minor claims that don’t involve damage to your car or other cars. They either affect your rates slightly or not at all. So, when you start shopping for a new quote, these claims should have little impact on the rates.
  • Not-at-fault accidents: These are accidents you didn’t cause, such as being hit by another driver or an animal. They may have some effect on your rates, depending on your insurer and state laws. Some insurers may raise your rates by a small percentage, while others may not change them at all. Your auto insurance quotes may vary depending on these factors.
  • At-fault accidents: These are accidents you cause, such as hitting another car or a tree. They have the most effect on your rates, as they show that you are a risky driver. They can raise your rates by 45 percent or more, depending on the severity and frequency of the accidents. Your auto insurance quotes will increase a great deal after these claims.

Infographic-1_The Problem with Cheap Auto Insurance Quotes

How Long the Effects of an Accident Last and What You Can Do to Lower Them

The effects of an accident on your rates don’t last forever. They often fade over time, as long as you don’t have any more accidents or violations. The length of time depends on your insurer and state laws. But the industry average is five years. Some carriers extend the probation to six years or more.

The older the claim, the less of an impact it has on your rate. So if it’s recent, it’s going to have a strong impact when you’re trying to get a quote for new rates.

Many people are dissatisfied with how their claim is processed. They realize that they don’t have the coverage they expected. After the claim is resolved, they look for a new policy. But they face a challenge: their recent claim affects their rates. Insurers consider the claim and charge higher premiums. It makes no difference if it’s their first claim in decades. If it occurred in the last five years, insurers will focus on it.

One of the factors that affects your auto insurance rates is the intensity of the claim you file. The intensity of the claim refers to the amount of money the carrier has to pay to cover an accident. The extent of damages or injuries caused by the accident determines this. The higher the intensity of the claim, the more expensive it is for the insurer. And the more likely they are to raise your rates.

During this time, there are some things you can do to lower your rates and save money on auto insurance:

  • Consider accident forgiveness. This is a feature some insurers offer. It prevents your rate from going up after your first at-fault accident. It can save you money and keep your good driver discounts. You may get it for free as a reward or buy it as an option.
  • Shop around. Compare auto insurance quotes from different insurers and see if you can find a better deal. Some insurers may offer lower rates than others, especially if they specialize in high-risk drivers or offer discounts for certain factors.
  • Improve your driving record. Practice safe driving and avoid any more accidents or violations. This will show that you are a responsible driver and reduce your risk level. You can also take a defensive driving course or install a telematics device in your car to prove your good driving habits and earn discounts.
  • Adjust your coverage. Review your coverage with an agent. See if you can lower it without compromising your protection. You can reduce or drop some optional coverages. For instance, you can drop collision or comprehensive if your car is old or has low value. You can also increase your deductible. This is the amount you pay out of pocket before your insurance pays for a claim. This will lower your premium, but make sure you can afford it in case of an accident.

The Surprising Way a Not-At-Fault Accident Can Impact Your Auto Insurance Quotes

Your premium won’t change much if you file a glass or towing claim. Your auto insurance quotes will stay normal. But a not-at-fault accident can affect your premium. You may ask, “Why? It wasn’t my fault.” Let me explain.

Imagine this: You’re driving toward Sandy Creek. You see a deer on the road and slow down. Arthur, a driver from Redfield, hits you from behind. The brake pads on his 2002 F150 are worn to nothing. You hear metal scraping as he tries to stop. You get rear-ended, so you’re not at fault.

Even though you were going about 40 miles per hour on Route 3, you have some serious injuries. You’ll need to access your personal injury protection coverage.

Every insured driver in New York has $50,000 in personal injury protection (PIP). In a not-at-fault accident, if you’re injured, your PIP coverage kicks in. It pays for medical expenses and lost wages before your health plan or other coverages. And you can’t get it from the other driver, even if you did nothing wrong.

Those medical expenses come out of your auto insurance policy. Most carriers won’t charge you for it. They understand that you had to rely on your auto policy first because it’s state law. But should you decide to get a new quote from another carrier, you might see a higher rate because of your past PIP claim.

Many factors affect how much your rates increase after an accident. Your vehicle type, location, and driving record are some of them. They form a rate bubble that is unique to you. A PIP claim is another factor that can raise your rate.

Auto Insurance Quote Sheet Graphic

Save Money and Avoid Stress with the Right Auto Insurance Policy

We know how stressful and costly it can be to deal with the aftermath of an accident. That’s why we want to help you find the best coverage for your needs and budget.

We covered how different types of accidents and claims can impact your rates. We also covered how long the effects last and what you can do to lower them. These are important aspects to consider when looking for auto insurance in CNY.

If you follow our advice, you can save money and avoid stress after an accident. You can find a policy that offers accident forgiveness, lower rates, discounts, and adequate coverage. You can also improve your driving record and adjust your coverage to suit your situation. You can enjoy peace of mind knowing that you’re protected and prepared for any unexpected events.

But if you overlook our advice, you may face higher rates and quotes after an accident. You may end up paying more for less coverage. You may also lose your good driver discounts and face higher deductibles. You may have trouble finding a new policy or switching insurers.

But we’re here to help you make the best decision. We’re an experienced agency that specializes in auto insurance. We can help you with accident claims and negotiate with insurance companies. We can help you save money and avoid stress after an accident.

Click the Get a Quote button below to get started. One of our auto insurance specialists will contact you to discuss your options.

You may have noticed that auto insurance quotes are showing rate increases in New York State. Read our companion article to find out why and learn ways to lower your premiums.

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Daniel J. Middleton

Daniel is an accomplished content creator. He has been working in publishing for almost two decades. Horan Companies hired Daniel as its content manager in November 2022. The agency entrusted its messaging to him. Since then, Daniel has written insurance articles, service pages, PDF guides, and more. All in an effort to educate CNY readers. He's helping them understand the world of insurance so they can make informed decisions.