What effect does an accident/violation have on car insurance?

Some people are great drivers. They are never cited for traffic violations. They have never been involved in an accident. They have never been in an accident. These are the ideal clients for insurance companies. These drivers are the best for insurance companies. They receive praise, discounts, and double-checks of their insurance policies.

What about us? What happens if you are involved in an accident? Do you have to continue paying high car insurance premiums for the rest your life? Your rates won’t immediately rise.

If you submit the application incorrectly, the only way the price could increase is during the policy term. Insurance companies must honor policies for the entire term of the contract, which is usually 6 to 12 months. Your renewal will reflect the new accident or violation, and your premium will likely increase. There are exceptions. Many insurers offer accident forgiveness programs, for instance.

Do you have to pay the full amount for an accident or violation if you don’t have accident forgiveness? Is it possible to pass on the accident to your children or your children’s children? Are you destroying your future? Different insurance companies will deal with moving violations and accidents differently. Insurers will typically charge at-fault moving violations and accidents for at least three years. Most moving violations are dropped after three years. At-fault accidents and moving violations are still considered but their impact is less after three years. After 5 years, at-fault injuries usually have no impact on your car insurance rate.

Some insurance companies will allow you to be at fault for up 5 years. You will not be charged for any non-at-fault incidents, but they can limit your ability to receive certain discounts that are “accident-free”. Companies will typically only take into consideration not-at fault accidents for three years, and not five.

Your rates will likely rise if you are involved in an accident or have been cited for moving violations. However, you won’t have to live with that rate rise forever. If you find the rate rise too much, it might be worth shopping around for car insurance. If you meet certain criteria, there are companies that will forgive an accident. Get recommendations from others and contact an independent agent.

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