We all understand that if you cause an accident, you can pretty much expect and understand that your car insurance rates will increase for the next policy term. But what if it’s not your fault? Afterall, the other driver was 100% at-fault, accepts the blame and has car insurance! Even in this case it is still possible for your rates to go up.
Incidents, such as not at fault accidents, can still affect your rates. While some car insurance companies don’t count a not at fault accident against you, they can still add up to an overall picture of your tendency to make claims, especially if you’ve been involved in other accidents. Some carriers or programs have restrictions on the maximum allowable number of claims in order to be considered. A not at fault accident is still a claim made on your behalf, just as using the Roadside Assistance on your policy or hail damage is. Not at faults typically do not rate nearly as high as accidents that are your fault but could still impact the rate you’re paying.
Besides adding to the total number of claims made, not at fault accidents can affect your rate in other ways. Many companies give discounts for being accident-free, such as “3-Year Accident Free,” “5-Year Accident Free” or “Good Driver” discounts. Therefore, if you’re involved in an accident, it would knock you out of such a discount. It could also affect your company’s “tiering” of your risk. Tiering is a more intricate, behind-the-scenes calculation method used to determine rates by some carriers. You’ll often see the words Preferred, Standard and Non-Standard associated with companies that use tiering. It’s their more detailed way of predicting risks to calculate the premiums associated with them (in other words, determine rates).
From a company’s perspective, not at faults could be an indication that you’re not a defensive driver taking the precautions needed to avoid the situations. Though not something that is easily factored, it could be why some carriers limit the number of claims they’ll accept, regardless of fault.
Some reminders to avoid accidents of any type:
§ Don’t tailgate
§ Know your surroundings…
ü Watch for children in school zones, city streets and neighborhoods
ü Look behind you when backing up, double check for that zooming car in the parking lot
§ Pause a second or two before proceeding from a red light
§ Be aware of your car’s blind spots as you change lanes
§ Focus on the road and driving
§ Don’t drive when you’re tired or exhausted
Whether your car insurance company charges for not at fault accidents or not, it’s a great idea to work with an independent agent that will take the time to shop the rates for you at renewals to always make sure you’re with their best rate.
Contact Solo Insurance for more information about car insurance savings or to get a quote.
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