Will my insurance premiums increase if I make a claim?
If your car gets damaged for any reason, it can be a stressful experience. Between navigating repairs and the potential of being off the road for a period of time, the last thing you want is to end up paying more for your insurance premiums as well.
But just because you make a claim on your insurance, it doesn’t always mean your car insurance premium will increase. Increases depend on the circumstances under which you’re filing a claim. Read on to see if you’re likely to see a price rise.
Situation 1: You’re In An Accident Where You Are At Fault
Perhaps you’re running late to work and you’re a little too impatient pulling out of a parking space into oncoming traffic. Or perhaps you leave your phone in the cup holder, get distracted by a text message, and hit the car that just stopped at the red light in front of you.
Small mishaps like these are common and might seem insignificant in the grand scheme of things, but they are likely to increase your premium. This is because your car insurance payments are calculated using a number of factors, and your driving history is among these. A claims-free driving history suggests a safe and reliable driver, and these are preferred by insurance companies – they know they aren’t as likely to be asked to pay out on a lot of claims from these good drivers. As soon as you’re not classed as one of these safe drivers anymore, you can expect your premium to increase anywhere between 5% and 20%.
Situation 2: You’re In An Accident Which Wasn’t Your Fault
Now imagine you’re the person sitting at a red light when someone suddenly hits you from behind. Not a big deal, but definitely an annoying way to start the day!
When you’re not at fault, you won’t generally have to pay for any repairs or excess. It is possible however that your premiums could still increase slightly. Unfortunately, insurance companies will typically take all claims into account when considering the cost of your insurance, even ones that are not your fault.
Situation 3: Your Car Is Damaged By Something Else
If your car is damaged in other circumstances, such as a storm, your premium will not be affected if you decide to make a claim. This being said, if your car is kept in a situation that makes such damage more likely, your premium is probably higher already. If you have the option to park your car in a garage overnight rather than on the street, definitely do so and notify your insurer of this for a lower overall cost. If you know a hailstorm is coming and you normally keep your car outside, consider moving it undercover for the duration of the hail to avoid damage.