insurance adjuster inspecting vehicle after a car accident

If you get into a car accident, you probably expect your insurance rates to go up. Why does this happen though, and how much can you expect rates to rise after a crash? Our Westchester County car accident attorneys can tell you more.

Why Do Insurance Rates Go Up After an Accident?

Insurance rates go up after accidents because insurers charge based on risk. When you first get insured with them, you might not have a car accident in your recent driving history. That makes you look like a safe driver who will pay your premiums and won’t cost them any money.

If you have a history of getting into accidents, that changes the calculus a bit. You will still pay your premiums, but they are also more likely to pay out at some point. So those premiums are going to rise in order to compensate.

How Much Will My Insurance Rates Go Up?

How much your insurance rates will rise can depend on several factors. If you were not at fault for the accident, you may not see your rates rise too much at all. If you were at fault, rates could rise as much as 40%. So if you do not have something like “accident forgiveness” on your policy, it is completely reasonable to be worried about an additional cost.

When Will My Insurance Rates Decline Again?

In general, an accident starts to fade in significance after three to five years. Unless you keep on getting into accidents within a short period of time, there is no real reason for an insurer to keep holding one crash against you forever.

There are also other ways to attempt to lower your insurance rates while you wait for the memory of your last accident to fade. Some drivers have some luck lowering costs by:

  • Opting for a higher deductible
  • Changing what types of coverage they have
  • Driving a car that’s less expensive to insure, e.g. buying a sedan instead of a sports car
  • Getting quotes from different insurers
  • Looking for discounts, like student or multi-policy deals

What Should I Do After an Accident?

If you do get into a car accident, you need to pull over somewhere safe and exchange insurance info with any other drivers involved. Call the cops to the scene too, even if it does not seem like a serious accident. Your insurance company can use that report later, and you could use the police report as evidence in a personal injury suit later. Then take pictures of the accident scene and any damage to the vehicles. Finally, get the medical care that you need as soon as possible and consider talking to a personal injury attorney.

Contact Our Law Firm

If you got into an accident and you believe that someone else is to blame for your injuries, contact Hausman & Pendzick. We can schedule a free consultation and take a closer look at your case. We would love to tell you more about your legal options.