How Much Does a Car Accident Impact Auto Insurance Rates?

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  • Millions of Americans are fully aware of what their auto insurance costs them every month, and that getting into an accident can, in many cases, lead to those premiums rising. But what they might not know is why this is the case, when rates can rise, or what they might be able to do about it. For this reason, it could be wise for insurance agents to take a little more time to explain the ins and outs of coverage and rising costs to their clients, so that they aren’t blindsided by higher premiums when they do happen to get into an accident.

    There were 5.6 million car crashes reported to police in 2013 – the latest year for which data was available – but the average American only files a claim with their insurance companies every 18 years or so, according to a report from the consumer financial advice site Nerdwallet. Now, regardless of whether a person is a good or bad driver on a historical basis, these incidents might end up counting against them and raising their rates. Just how much they can rise, though, is very flexible.

    What can lead to rising premiums?
    One of the biggest issues that many drivers find will raise their rates sharply is if they get into rather serious accidents, the report said. In general, the greater the cost of the crash, the more rates are likely to rise. This is also true if the driver in question is found to be at fault in the accident overall – typically, it’s only that person who will see their rates rise. Finally, if a person has a history of getting into accidents, their next ones – whether they’re at fault or not – might end up leading to higher ongoing costs.

    The more wisdom about how coverage works that insurance agents can impart, the better off those workers and their clients are likely to be. That’s because consumer trends show people prefer high quality customer service as the No. 1 issue that drives satisfaction, even over being able to save a bit of money with the occasional discount. Thus, agents who take the time to explain how coverage works and how it’s impacted by an accident might just find that their satisfaction ratings and client retention rates are on the rise in the future.

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