How many times have you said to yourself you should learn
from your mistakes? Learning from previous car insurance claims is no
different. Insurance claims come in all varieties: from damages you don’t
really have any control over to those you cause and/or could have prevented. For
example, you can’t control a rock flying up from a passing vehicle and hitting
your windshield, but certainly you can decide where to park your car or whether
to get behind the wheel after a few adult beverages. But one accident should be
enough to teach you not to make the mistake again and to drive safely.
There are two main things to consider about previous claims
affecting your insurance. The first is how previous claims affect your car
insurance premium, and second is having an uncovered claim because you hadn’t
purchased the endorsement you needed.
Do Small Claims
Impact Car Insurance Premiums?
You probably don’t realize that filing frequent minor
physical damage claims can cause your car premium to go up. You think, “Well,
they’re minor. It doesn’t cost the insurance company much after my deductible.”
For example, you back into a tree in your driveway and do minor damage to your
car and no one is injured. So why not let the insurance company pay for the
What you should know is that every claim you submit is
recorded in your loss history. Every insurance company looks at your loss
history and the frequency and severity of your claims in determining your
premium. The cost to repair minor car damage may not be worth having the claim
on your loss history. Think twice before submitting minor claims if the repair
is not much higher than your deducible.
How One At-Fault
Claim Affects Car Insurance Premiums
If you were negligent and caused an accident that damaged
someone’s property or injured someone, your premium will increase. In fact, you
might receive a surcharge which might be as high as 20% to 40% on your car
insurance renewal. An exception might be if the accident was your first. Some
carriers give a “first time accident pass.”
How Does a DUI or DWI
Conviction Affect Car Insurance?
Obviously, either DUI (driving under the influence) or DWI
(driving while intoxicated) will significantly affect your premiums and may
result in insurance being cancelled. These violations may never be removed from
your driving record as far as an insurance carrier is concerned, and your state
Bureau of Motor Vehicles may require special filings for you to retain a valid
Claims Can Make You Uninsurable
Just think of it this way. If you’ve filed numerous claims,
had at-fault accidents that injured people, and you have a DUI or DWI
conviction, you are not a good risk. A DUI or DWI may affect your insurance
needs by making you uninsurable.
Learn from Uncovered
Many of us have had the rock hitting the windshield
experience, but did you have the coverage to pay for the windshield’s
replacement? This would be a lesson learned from a previous uncovered claim.
You can purchase windshield damage coverage for your car as part of your physical
damage coverage. (Your state may even mandate full glass coverage.) There are numerous
endorsements that can be added to your car insurance policy to protect you from
an uncovered loss. Ask your independent insurance agent about the endorsements
that would best meet your needs.
Agent Can Help
As your independent insurance agent, we are here to help you
when you have a claim. We are here to help you make the best decisions and to
work with you to get you’re claim settled as quickly as possible!