Few things will increase your insurance premiums like getting into an at-fault accident. Even a minor fender bender will increase your rates, and on average, drivers pay 41% more on insurance after making an accident claim. Instead of simply accepting that your car insurance will be much more expensive from now on, it's a good idea to start looking for proactive ways to lower your insurance in order to counteract the increase from your accident. Here are a few ideas to try:
Make Changes to Your Policy
The best way to really lower your insurance premium is to change your policy by raising your deductible, reducing your coverage, or both. If you have an older car, you may decide to get rid of comprehensive coverage and only carry the minimum required coverage. If you have plenty of money in emergency savings, you may decide to raise your deductible. This means you will pay more out of pocket if you have another accident, but your rate will decrease significantly. It's a good idea to discuss all of the pros and cons of these options with your insurance agent first.
Take a Defensive Driver Course
Another way to snag a discount on insurance, especially after an accident that was your fault, is to complete a defensive driving or safe driving class. Each insurance company has their own list of courses they accept and discounts vary by insurance company, so be sure to double check with your agent before signing up for a class. Some defensive driving classes include behind the wheel time, while others simply involve taking a class online and then passing quizzes.
Be Sure to Report the Accident
Don't be tempted to skip calling your insurance company to report your accident. While this may delay the inevitable increase in your insurance premium, it will cost much more in the long-run. If the other driver notifies their insurance company, files a police report like you are required to do after every accident or sues you for medical expenses, your insurance company will most likely be notified. If you didn't report the accident to them yourself, they may not honor your policy, leaving you on the hook for a much bigger bill and also leaving you uninsured.
While your insurance premium will likely go up after a car accident, following these tips will help lower your overall cost and mitigate the increase. For more information, contact a local insurance company.