Insurance premiums are based on a variety of factors, and it is not uncommon for a person who is involved in a car accident to see their insurance premiums rise, even if they are not at-fault. Is this fair? Absolutely not. However, it will happen each and every time. Understanding how insurance premiums are set will allow you to see why you can expect an increase when you are involved in an accident.
How Insurance Premiums Work
Insurance premiums are determined by the following information:
• Your Age. Young and elderly drivers will pay higher insurance premiums due to their age. Young drivers are seen as inexperienced and a high risk. Elderly drivers are considered to be a risk because their reflexes are slowing while they age. Elderly drivers and teen drivers that are involved in an accident will see the highest rate increases after an accident.
• Your Residence. Homes with garages will have lower rates than street-parked vehicles. Additionally, if your area is considered a high-risk area, your rates will be higher than others in your state.
• Your Employment History. The longer you are on the job, the better your insurance rates. Insurance companies believe that people who frequently switch jobs show a potential for taking risks.
• Your Credit History And Score. Using more than your score, insurance companies also look at your credit card usage. If you charge your card high each month, even if you pay off the entire balance, you are seen as a “risk-taker” and your premiums will increase. Low credit sores also mean that you are a risk to the insurer because they believe you cannot manage your money well and will be more willing to file claims.
• Your Claim History. If you have made any type of claim in the past ten years your rates will be higher. Insurance companies see this as a willingness to use the policy so you are a risk.
• Your Driving Record. Any moving violations will be seen as a risk to the insurer and your rates will increase. Speeding tickets and seat belt violations have a very large impact on your rates.
Of course, each insurance company will also have their own qualifications that must be met for low rates that exceed this list.
In the event that you were involved in a car accident that was not your fault you should contact the other parties insurance company and file a claim. If you do not file a claim with your insurance company this could decrease the likelihood that your premium will increase. The website of Stokes & Kopitsky, P.A. states, “Drivers negligently operate motor vehicles for a variety of reasons. They may be tired, distracted, angry, aggressive, or impaired.
The Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA) sets forth uniform “road rules” providing civil and criminal liability claims against reckless drivers. Victims of automobile accidents have legal recourse to damages resulting from another motorist’s negligence, including severe criminal penalties for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.” If a driver is negligent and causes an accident and injures another motorist they should be held accountable for their actions.
How to Lower Your Rates
There are a few things that you can do that can help you reduce your insurance premiums.
• Take A Class. You can take a driver improvement class at any time and submit the results to your insurance company. Many insurers will reduce your rates when they receive these certificates. These classes can be found online and are very inexpensive.
• Combine Policies. If you have multiple policies, such as home, life and auto insurance, talk to your insurer about combining all of your policies into one company. You will receive discounts for holding more than one policy with your insurer.
Managing your insurance policy will require effort and time. Insurance companies can be difficult to work with, especially when you are trying to cut your premiums.
Valerie Stout Cyrus is a freelance writer who frequently researches car accidents and insurance claims. She has found that Stokes & Kopitsky, P.A. are knowledgeable about Georgia driving laws and will fight diligently with the insurance companies to get their clients the compensation they deserve.
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