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How long do accidents impact car insurance?

On Behalf of | May 31, 2023 | Blog, Car Accidents |

Car accidents are one of the most damaging and frightening occurrences that most people in Oklahoma face in their lifetimes. Along with the damage to health and property, most car accidents also come with a hefty increased premium. Depending on the type of accident, a higher premium may be in effect for years. But an accident is not a permanent stain on a person’s financial and driving record.

How car insurance increases work

Car insurance is a business model that involves people paying premiums in case something goes wrong and they are in an accident. Insurers set premiums, deductibles, and other charges based on the likelihood of something going wrong with someone’s driving. There are complicated tables and statistical formulas that car insurance companies use to help determine how much different car/motor vehicle accidents would contribute to higher charges and therefore translate into higher premiums. Factors such as damage, speed, and the weather conditions of the accident can all influence how long premiums are raised and by how much.

What to do

The best step to take in the case of car insurance rates is to drive as carefully as possible following the accident. Premium increases are rarely permanent and always go down if the insurance company decides a driver is still a low risk. Changes may be seen within a year or two of the accident. Premium increases are sometimes regulated by state law and an outrageous increase may be illegal.

In addition, a sizable rate increase may finally push a person to shop around for their car insurance. Shopping around is the best way for most people to reduce their monthly premiums. Other companies may tack on a smaller surcharge for having an accident on a person’s record. Regardless of the rate increase, drivers must be cautious after their accidents and closely review the law and the specifics of their car insurance policies.