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If my car is hit, does my insurance go up?

The lowdown...
  • Your car insurance can go up due to a variety of reasons, one of which is when you file a claim
  • When your car is hit you often have a choice in filing through your insurance provider or the provider for the at-fault party
  • If you choose to file through your insurance provider, your policy may experience an increase in premium costs
  • However, filing a claim through a different provider often has no effect on your insurance policy
  • Before filing a claim, it’s important to consider the potential repercussions and make the best choice for your needs

When your car is hit, your first step is often getting your car restored to its condition before the loss occurred. However, this often means filing a claim to get the car repaired or replaced; filing a claim can mean changes to your policy coverage or your premium costs.

Before filing your claim, make sure to consider your options and choose the best solution to meet your needs.

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Your car was hit, now what should you do?

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Determining your first steps when your car is hit can often be a gut reaction; your car is hit and damaged, so you decide to file a claim for the loss.

Before you file a claim make sure to assess your situation, the amount of damage that has occurred, and the options available to you; if your car is damaged in a hit-and-run incident or by a driver without insurance, then your options may be limited.

In an ideal situation, you will know the insurance information and basic details for the at-fault driver and their vehicle. Normally you will want to provide their provider with the following information:

  • the driver’s name
  • their contact information
  • the type of vehicle they were driving
  • their insurance policy details

However, there are times you may have to file a claim through your policy; this situation often occurs when the other driver does not carry insurance, or they engage in a hit-and-run.

Your insurance policy may protect you from these types of losses, but this still qualifies as filing a claim through your policy.

In any situation, you should always contact your local law enforcement to notify them of the loss and ask about local policy. Some areas may require an officer to visit the scene and file a report, while others may allow you to come into the station to file a report.

Some claims may need a police report to be properly investigated, so it’s important to speak to law enforcement as soon as possible.

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Does filing a claim cause your premiums to increase?

Filing a claim can be a stressful process, especially if you’re worried about your premium costs going up.

Almost every state requires drivers to maintain active car insurance, which means these premium costs are something you may be stuck with; insurance providers normally have standard increases they charge based on the claim and your history.

When a premium increase is added to your policy, it often remains in place for three years after the claim has been filed.

However, your provider may also pursue other options depending on your claim history, which can include removing coverage options or canceling your policy.

Additionally, claims should often be reported to a provider even if you plan to cover the loss or any repairs on your own. If you are in your car when it’s hit, you may feel fine at the time; injuries from car accidents may take days or weeks to appear.

Even if you are not pursuing a claim at the time, notifying the responsible party’s insurance provider of the loss can allow you to pursue a claim at a later time, if necessary.

You may want to inform your provider of the incident as well, even if you choose not to file a claim through them at the time. If a loss has not been reported within a certain length of time, some providers may not provide coverage for the incident.

Speak to your insurance carrier or agent about your options, including how you can report the loss without filing a claim. This conversation may allow you to notify them of the loss without experiencing the adverse effects of filing a claim.

Conclusion

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When your car has been hit, your insurance does not immediately increase. However, what you choose to do or how you go about repairing or replacing your car can cause your premiums to go up.

This risk of increased premiums means it’s essential that you consider your options before taking any action; this consideration may include speaking to your insurance agent or provider to get a better understanding of their policies in this instance.

If you choose to file a claim through your provider, be prepared to see an increase in your premium amount; this increase can occur immediately or during your renewal period.

Many insurance carriers have a standard amount or percentage they increase policy costs after a claim, though your claim history can be a factor as well.

However, you may choose to pursue the claim through the at-fault party’s insurance provider. If you go this route, your insurance policy is normally not affected by this claim, since your policy coverage is not being utilized to cover the claim and restore your vehicle to its pre-loss condition.

Compare car insurance quotes and make sure you’re not overpaying for coverage.

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