An accident occurs. You get a call from your auto insurance provider. They tell you the vehicle has significant damage. They total it. When this happens, you may wonder what your options are. Chances are good you do not have a lot of options. It may be time to buy a new car. However, the cost of auto insurance for the new car may not be the same you are paying now. You may see it rise even if you buy the same car again. Why is this the case?
What Caused the Car Accident?
When a significant event like this occurs, the auto insurance company wants to determine why it happened. You have car insurance to cover instances when you have no control. When something unexpected occurs, your company is there to help you.
However, if you caused the incident, your insurance company may now view you as a higher risk driver. That's because you were at-fault for the wreck. That can mean you must pay more for the car insurance you need because you have a higher risk of filing claims.
Consider a Few Examples
You are in a car accident on the way to work. The roads are icy. You could not stop and slid right into a guardrail. The damage to your car was significant. The company totaled the car. In this case, you likely could not prevent the incident from occurring. The insurance company is not likely to raise your rates for this reason alone. The accident was not your fault.
There are still reasons why they may increase rates, though.
Perhaps you were driving at an increased rate of speed. Perhaps you had a drink or two before you hit the road. You were arguing with someone in the car. You swerved and hit a deer. The damage was significant. In this case, you have more of the blame. Your insurer may still cover the loss. However, you may have to pay more as a result.
Increases in Costs After Accidents
In a large event like this, it is possible that your auto insurance company will raise your rates. Some companies have accident forgiveness to reduce those extra costs over time, however. Others do not raise rates the first time you are in such an incident. Still, some insurers raise rates after no-fault accidents if you have had multiple wrecks in the past. The agency might have the ability to do so if you are now a higher risk than you were previously.
Do not hide an event like this from your agent. Call your car insurance provider to let them help you cover the loss. You may pay a bit more in the long term, but good driving habits may help minimize that.