How Do Claims and Tickets Affect My Insurance
Hey, nobody’s perfect, right? Even the safest drivers can get into accidents or get caught speeding at the wrong time. It happens. The question then becomes, how do accidents and claims affect my insurance? This is a tricky question because there are various scenarios with different answers.
Types of auto claims
First off let’s talk about a few types of auto claims. This includes more than just car accidents.
Auto claims can also include windshield repairs, roadside assistance/towing, deer hits, among many others. These can be categorized into comprehensive or collision claims.
Collision is your typical car accident or impact with an object.
Comprehensive claims (also called “other than collision”) are broader and can include, but are not limited to, windshield/glass breakage, hitting a deer, or having your car stolen. The type of claim you have and the total cost can have different effects on your insurance.
We always see that one accident when driving home during rush hour. Two cars are pulled to the side of the road after an apparent fender bender.
You keep your eyes on the road ahead of you, like the safe driver you are and don’t look at the accident like everyone else (hopefully).
Imagine you were driving the car that was rear-ended and not at fault in this accident. What will happen to your insurance rates?
Probably not much. If the other party was fully at fault, their insurance should pay for the damages to your vehicle.
How insurance handles it
While in the insurance world a driver with no accidents is seen as less of a risk than a driver with a not-at-fault accident, it is up to the insurance company how they handle this. If there is an increase, it should be fairly minimal.
Now imagine you were the driver who rear-ended the vehicle in front. You are deemed at fault in this case, and will most likely see an increase in your rates when the claim is closed.
Comprehensive claims are not viewed in the same light as collision claims. Some carriers, depending upon the cost of the claim, will not charge you at all for this type.
However, if the cost is significant, it is likely there will be some impact on your rates. Towing and roadside assistance claims are often small, and will usually not have an effect. But, again, each carrier is different and will/won’t charge in different cases.
Another point about claims
Another important thing to be aware of is the frequency of claims. Even if small, if insurance carriers see a number of claims filed within a short period of time, there is a possibility of them non-renewing your policy.
Tickets, on the other hand, are a bit more complex. There are many different kinds of tickets you can receive on the road and each can affect your insurance in different ways.
The most common is speeding tickets. Depending on how fast you were going, your insurance can be impacted differently.
If you were caught going less than 20mph over the speed limit, this is seen as a regular speeding ticket. You will usually be surcharged (increase in rates) for this ticket for the next three years, unfortunately.
However, it could be worse.
Major speeding tickets are those in excess of 20mph over the speed limit. These are the tickets that make insurance agents (and insurance carriers) cringe.
Major speeding tickets will result in a surcharge on your auto insurance for the next five years. IF POSSIBLE, TRY TO GET THIS TICKET REDUCED! It will greatly help you in the long run. Major speeds also force the insurance carrier’s hand as well.
Some insurance carriers will not insure drivers with these violations, and if they do the premiums are not pretty. So please drive smart!
How we can help
Other types of tickets have various effects on your insurance. If you would like to be certain of what to expect with your insurance going forward, contact your CRG agent.
If there is one thing to take away from reading this, it is to drive safely. Drive like your insurance agent is in the passenger seat. After all, your driving has the biggest impact on the cost of your insurance.
Don’t be a stranger to your CRG agent. If you get in an accident or have damage to your vehicle due to some other reason, contact your agent to discuss your options.
We have expert insight as to how this could affect your insurance and can guide you towards making the right decisions going forward. This also applies to tickets.
Your agent can give you an idea of what to expect with your insurance rates. We can also give you advice as to how to reduce the possible rate increases.
Please keep us informed if you are put in a situation related to this topic. We are always here to help.
If you know of someone who could benefit from the services of a CRG agent, forward this to them!