Will My Car Insurance Premiums Increase After an Accident?
No matter where you live, it seems like the roads are getting busier and busier these days. Unfortunately, with more people and more drivers comes an increased chance of getting into a car accident. And no matter how carefully you drive, you may not be able to avoid getting in an accident if the weather is terrible or if others are driving aggressively.
Whether an accident is big or small, people always worry their premiums will go up after getting in an accident. At Archway Insurance, we offer car insurance for Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. We want our clients to have peace of mind, no matter what happens to them.
We’ll explain the following factors that can affect whether or not your premiums may increase after an accident:
- Who is at fault for the accident
- How much your accident claim amounted to
- What your past driving record is like
- If you qualify for and have purchased accident forgiveness coverage
Who is at fault for the accident?
When someone is “at fault” for an accident, they are the driver who is considered to have caused the accident (for example, by following too closely or running a stop sign). There are 3 possible “at fault” situations for an accident:
- You are considered at fault
- You are not considered at fault
- Both you and the other driver are considered at fault
If you are considered “not at fault” for an accident, you are not likely to see your car insurance rates go up. If you are considered “at fault,” then your premiums may not increase if you have claims protection coverage on your policy. However, big or small, if you are at fault with no claims protection coverage, then it’s likely that your car insurance premiums will increase.
How much is your claim amount?
If damage is minimal, you may opt to pay for expenses out of pocket, not using your insurance, in order to avoid potential costs associated with an at fault claim or to save your claims forgiveness in case of a more serious accident down the road. Your Archway Insurance broker can guide you through the options to ensure you make an informed decision on whether or not to proceed with making a claim.
There are two main areas that a claim for a car accident usually pertains to:
1. Property damage
This type of claim is for damage to your car, someone else’s car, or a structure such as a house or other building.
Bodily injury refers to any medical claims arising from the accident that are not covered by provincial health insurance. These types of claims can be costly, depending on the type of treatment that is required.
The higher your claim is, the more likely you will want to use insurance to cover these and other costs associated with getting injuries treated and your vehicle back on the road.
What’s your past driving record?
Your driving record — which you can obtain through Service Nova Scotia — contains information about:
- The type of driver’s licence you have
- What kind of tickets you’ve received in the past
- Information on any accidents you’ve been in or any convictions relating to an accident
Hopefully, you have a “clean” driving record. That means you’ve never had an at-fault accident, or you haven’t had one for a long time. If this is the case, your Nova Scotia or New Brunswick car insurance premiums are less likely to go up after an accident.
A “clean” driving record may also qualify you for accident forgiveness coverage, which automatically protects you against rate increases for your first at-fault accident. If you aren’t sure if you have accident forgiveness coverage, we can help you find out.
What should I do if I have concerns about my premiums increasing after an accident?
The first thing you should do if you have questions or concerns about car insurance in New Brunswick or Nova Scotia — or elsewhere in the Maritimes — is to give Archway Insurance a call. We can walk you through some of the most common types of auto insurance coverage, such as:
1. Comprehensive coverage
This protects you for damages that occur during something other than a collision. For example: if a rock flies up from the highway or you hit an animal running across the road, comprehensive coverage will protect you.
2. Collision insurance
With collision coverage, you will be reimbursed for any damages to your car during a collision with another vehicle object.
3. Third-Party liability
This is one of the most important types of insurance coverage. It protects you if you’re found at fault for a collision that either injures or kills someone or damages their property.
4. Accident benefits
Accident benefits help with income replacement, payment for medical treatments, and even funeral expenses.
5. Uninsured motorist coverage
If you’re in an accident with an uninsured motorist, your insurance policy will cover all the costs of the accident. Your company will then deal directly with the uninsured motorist on your behalf.
When you come to Archway Insurance to get car insurance for New Brunswick or Nova Scotia, we can give you:
- Customized car insurance coverage that will suit both your needs and your budget.
- High-quality customer care and service so that you have peace of mind
- A choice of insurance companies to select from
Several factors can influence whether your car insurance premiums will go up after an accident or not. The 3 most important ones are:
- Who is at fault for the accident
- If you purchased claims forgiveness coverage
- What your driving record is like