How to Lower My Auto Insurance Rates After a Crash
George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images
Paying for auto insurance is one of the main expenses of owning a car. Drivers need to carry enough insurance to cover any damage they might endure or cause. The cost of auto insurance can skyrocket after an accident. However, whichever auto insurance company you choose, you can take steps to reduce the premium you pay.
5 Take a Safe Driving Class
Safe driving classes offer up-to-date, research-proven tips and techniques for becoming a safer driver. Taking a class though a private driving school or community organization will qualify you for a discounted rate through certain insurers. Besides the drop in your rates, the knowledge you gain from a safe driving class can help you avoid accidents in the future and start repairing your driving record, lowering your rates even further.
4 Pay Up Front
Auto insurance companies typically quote annual or six-month rates. However, they also allow for monthly or even bi-weekly payments. In exchange for the convenience of smaller, more frequent payments, drivers pay more over the course of a year. Instead, you can pay for six months or one year of coverage up front to reduce the total amount you pay per year for the same level of coverage.
3 Reduce Your Coverage
Auto insurance companies charge the highest rates for full coverage that pays for the full value of your vehicle in any type of accident. Comprehensive coverage insures your vehicle against fire, vandalism and theft, while collision coverage pays for damage to your own vehicle in an accident that you cause. You can raise your deductible or reduce your coverage limits to lower your rates after an accident. You may end up paying a similar price as before the accident for less coverage, but if this is all you can afford it’s better than driving uninsured.
2 Prove No Fault
Each state has its own laws governing fault in an auto accident. Whether your state allows drivers to share fault or mandates that one driver be held responsible for the accident, you can lower your insurance rates by proving that you are not at fault for what happened. To do this contact the claims adjuster that handled your accident. Use photos from the scene of the accident or eyewitness accounts to challenge the police report and show that weather, poor signage or another driver was a cause of the accident.
1 Change Companies
Auto insurance companies use different formulas and pieces of data to calculate rates. Some have good driver discounts that will disappear as soon as you have an accident. Others offer different discounts for things like insuring multiple cars. If you see your rates increase after an accident, explore other companies. You may find one that was more expensive in the past but is now your best bargain given the change in your driving record.