Exactly How Long Do Accidents Affect Insurance Rates
If you have been involved in an accident or are worried about the potential consequences of one
, it is important to know how long do accidents affect insurance rates. While many assume that any accident will affect their premiums, this is not always the case.
When the accident is your fault then you will usually face a surcharge of up to 25 per cent depending on your insurer. The increased rate will last between three to five years or more if the driver was affected by alcohol or a death was caused.
The good news is this will not affect your rates indefinitely. Some places hold your details but this may not necessarily affect your rate after the three to five period is finished. Some insurers have a let off for the first accident but this depends on the company. Other factors can affect your rate, such as if you are single or married or your credit rating.
When the accident is not your fault it is possible the insurer will not raise your rate. Not all companies will do this however so it is best to check your cover first before signing up to an agreed policy. If an accident is caused by a collision with an emergency vehicle it is less likely that you will be charged, as emergency vehicles can ignore road traffic signals.
The best thing to do if you are unsure is to ask questions. While it is important to get the best possible price it is vital you get the best possible cover for your personal needs. For example, you will want to know if you are covered in the event of getting hit by an uninsured driver.
One way of minimising any damage to your rates is to agree to an excess, covering repairs to a certain amount. This means you will have to pay for the repairs yourself but in the long term it should ensure your premiums are not affected too significantly. It cannot be emphasised enough that you should ask your insurer about this before signing any agreement with them.
Finally, knowing how long do accidents affect insurance rates does not mean you cannot benefit from shopping around and comparing prices. Some will have more favourable conditions than others, so it is worth always keeping an eye on what is available and choosing a policy that is better suited to your personal needs.