Stop Paying Too Much for Insurance

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Getting in a wreck is one of a driver's worst fears. After you make sure everyone is okay, get medical treatment and file an insurance claim, you'll likely still face remnants of the incident through increased car insurance rates. It's an added frustration on top of an already stressful situation. But how much do your insurance premiums actually go up after a wreck?

On average, premiums rise by 44.1 percent after one accident. This varies per state, however. In California, you're looking at a possible 60.3 percent increase, while Kentucky only raises your rates by 30.6 percent. Other factors that influence the increase of your car insurance rates are:

  • Amount of previous claims
  • Circumstances of the accident
  • Insurance companies involved
  • Amount of damage done in the accident

In the Kansas City area, Kansas has a 22 percent increase for one accident, which is about $313 more a year from the states average insurance rate of $1,412. Missouri has a 20 percent increase, which is about $189 more a year than the average insurance rate of $1,039.

Some insurance companies have accident forgiveness and offer cheaper rates for drivers with a bad driving record. The more previous violations and accidents on your record, the higher your car insurance may be. The average rate increase for an accident is:

  • 1 at-fault accident: 29.66 percent increase
  • 2 at-fault accidents: 110 percent increase
  • 1 comprehensive claim: 3 percent increase
  • 2 comprehensive claims: 8 percent increase

How Long Does An Accident Affect Your Car Insurance?

This depends on the state and circumstances of the accident. On average, a car accident will stay on your insurance for 3 years. If an accident occurs due to a DUI, however, you may have the DUI on your record for up to 10 years.

Does Your Car Insurance Go Up After An Accident In A No-Fault State?

If you get into a wreck, it's usually safe to assume that your insurance rates will go up. Kansas is a no-fault state — meaning that each driver in an accident must file a personal injury protection claim to pay for injuries to themselves and their passengers. Filing a car insurance claim will generally raise your rates. Even in at-fault states, insurance rates may rise for drivers who are not considered at-fault for the accident. This is because filing a claim — even if only for damages done to the vehicle — costs the insurance company money in compensation. After one or more claims, you are considered more likely to file another claim. This is also where it's important to consider what insurance agency to insure with. Some companies offer more forgiveness for at-fault or not-at-fault accidents. If you're a high-risk driver, you should consider insuring with a company that specializes in insuring nonstandard drivers.

What Is A High-Risk Driver?

A high-risk driver is a driver who is considered risky to insure by insurance companies. Your risk is determined by the likelihood that you will file a claim which the insurance company will have to pay. High risk drivers typically adhere to at least one of the following conditions:

  • They have DUIs
  • They have multiple speeding tickets
  • They have multiple traffic violations
  • They have a bad driving record
  • They have poor credit
  • They drive expensive cars/sports cars
  • They live a dangerous or risky lifestyle
  • They are drivers younger than 18
  • They are drivers older than 70

Some influences, such as your age, are uncontrollable. However, you can attempt to lower your insurance rates by reducing your risk in other areas. You may build credit by paying off loans and credit cards, trade in expensive cars for cheaper vehicles or file for an SR-22. If your license is suspended due to a DUI, multiple speeding tickets or a similar reason, you may be required to carry an SR-22 to prove that you carry car insurance. This requirement protects other drivers on the road. Be sure not to violate or pause your SR-22 insurance before its end date.

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