Talking About Auto Insurance Options

Can A Minor Fender-Bender Leave A Major Impact On Your Insurance Premiums?

by Megan Ortiz

Imagine pulling out of a parking space at your local market, only to come bumper-to-bumper with another vehicle. You might expect a minor accident like this to have a major impact on your insurance costs, but that's not always the case. The following talks about several factors that determine how much of an impact your minor accident may have on your premiums.

It Depends on the Damage and Who's At Fault

In some cases, a minor love tap may leave behind zero damage and allow both drivers to go on their way without getting their insurance providers involved. If you're not that lucky, then it'll be up to your claims adjuster to determine the severity of the damage and how much it'll cost to repair. After all, what looks like a minor bumper scratch could actually be hiding hundreds or even thousands of dollars in damage. The more expensive the damage, the more likely you'll find yourself paying more for your auto insurance.

Your premiums could also skyrocket if you're found at fault for the collision. Usually the police report or the insurance company's own investigation may determine whether you'll be found at fault and how much fault you'll bear. Even if you're only found 25 percent at fault for a minor accident, you still may see your premiums increase once the next renewal period comes around.

If you're not found at fault, then there's a good chance you won't see your premiums increase at all. This may also apply if you're involved in a hit-and-run accident where the person who hit your vehicle took off. The exception is if you live in a state with no-fault insurance, since the insurance provider will have to handle your claim regardless of who bears the most responsibility for the collision.  

Your Driving Record Could Come Into Play

If you had a pristine driving record before your minor accident, then it's likely you'll see your monthly premiums increase due to the recent mark on your record. However, you may be able to take advantage of your insurance provider's accident forgiveness program, if they happen to offer one. This program allows the insurance provider to essentially overlook your first accident so you can keep your monthly premiums low as long as you maintain your current insurance policy.

If you have a spotty driving record, on the other hand, you may see a sharp increase in your premiums regardless of how minor the accident was. If your new premiums prove to be too much, you may be forced to downgrade certain aspects of your insurance policy or change providers altogether.

Contact a company like Oliveira Gilbert C Insurance Agency Inc to learn more.