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How Previous Claims Affect Your Car Insurance Needs

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, “W ell, 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 repair?


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 driver’s license.


Multiple Previous 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 Claims

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.


Your Independent Agent Can Help

As your independent insurance agent, we are here to help you when you have a claim. W e are here to help you make the best decisions and to work with you to get your claim settled as quickly as possible.

Posted 12:31 PM

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