After an at fault accident, you can expect a rate increase. How much that rate will increase is based off of a number of items, but you can take a pretty good guess as to what it will be before deciding to turn in a claim or not.
The average across the United States for rate increases after an accident is 26%-32%. However, in California, that increase can be substantially higher. It’s worth the effort to be sure the claim is worth turning into your insurance. You can check your local state average at this link.
What Is an Insurance Surcharge Schedule?
Every insurance company has a “surcharge schedule” that will tell you what your rates will increase. This schedule will work off the number of points you’ve acquired on your driving record and a predetermined rate or percentage increase you’ll have. The difference between insurance carriers can be huge. You might see one insurance company increasing by 15% and another by 70% for the same accident.
The best time to understand the insurance surcharge schedule is before you buy your insurance. The majority of us only buy insurance based off of today’s rates, but the potential of future increases is critical. Your agent should be able to get you that information in advance to making a decision. Once, you’ve been in an accident, call your agent and get the schedule to discuss the need to turn in a claim.
One Time Accident Forgiveness
Some insurance companies will offer a one time, “Accident Forgiveness Clause”. This is very important to know even before an accident. It will usually cost more, but it could save you thousands after an accident. You can read your policy or discuss this with your agent, before filing a claim. It may be something you still want to save, for a more significant claim.
If you’ve been in an accident and either need advice on wether you should turn in a claim or you need repair work done, stop by any Collision Pros location in Auburn, Chico, Red Bluff, Paradise, Woodland or Loomis, California. We will happy to help you figure out your best course of action.