What does at-fault mean, and how long does an at-fault accident stay on the insurance record? Coluccio Law professionals handle many queries surrounding these cases, including questions about how to lodge an at-fault collision claim.
A person’s past driving record is a major factor, but several other considerations may affect the insurance records for an at-fault driver, including:
- Years of driving experience
What is an at-fault accident likely to look like for someone who wants to stay in their insurance provider’s good books? Read on for more information.
Types of At-Fault Accidents
There are typically four types of at-fault accidents. In many cases, the insurance rates will increase after an at-fault accident, but the effect depends entirely on the severity of the accident and the insurer’s policies on:
- Rear-Ending Another Car: When a car driver rear-ends another vehicle, it is almost always seen as their fault, so:
- Leave enough space between your car and those ahead
- Drive defensively
- Be aware of sudden braking
- Slow down in bad weather
- Driving Under the Influence: Drivers under the influence of drugs or alcohol are at-fault in the case of an accident. This situation is likely to see an increase in insurance rates and may also lead to a criminal conviction or jail time.
- Disregarding Traffic Signals: Pay attention to red lights and stop signs. This is a common mistake for at-fault accidents.
- Using a Cell Phone While Driving: Using smartphones or other devices while driving diverts the driver’s attention and is the leading reason for these types of accidents. Stay alert; insurance rates are sure to go up if these distractions lead to an at-fault collision.
How Does At-Fault Accident Insurance Work?
Insurance rates usually increase after an at-fault accident, but the amount will depend on several factors, including:
- The severity of the accident is a primary consideration. A minor accident is not likely to affect rates by much, but major accidents could mean huge increases year-on-year.
- Driving records need to be clean at the time of an at-fault accident for any chance of keeping rates steady. A history of accidents or moving violations will push rates up immediately after a collision where the driver is liable or “at fault.”
- What type of vehicle do you drive? Surprising, the type of vehicle you drive will be a determining factor in how much the rates will increase after an at-fault accident. A safe, well-maintained vehicle will have little to worry about compared to a flashy sports car.
So, how long does an at-fault accident stay on the insurance record? The final consideration is the insurance company itself. Not all companies handle at-fault accidents the same way, so be sure to ask about the fine print or consult with a legal representative, like Coluccio Law.
Things to Do If You Are in an At-Fault Accident
Has the car insurance shot up after a recent accident? There are a few ways to lower it again, depending on the case.
Why not weigh the terms of a new policy or service provider? Compare rates from multiple insurers and look for a better deal.
Sometimes, discussing the possibilities with a current provider will have pleasing outcomes. If the driver has been with the same company for a long time and maintains a good driving record, they may be willing to compromise.
Adjust the Coverage
Another option is to raise the deductible amount (or lower the policy’s coverage limits). The effect will be to lower the monthly premium, but it also means paying more out-of-pocket if there is an accident in the future.
Explore Discount Options
Are there available discounts from the insurance company? Discounts often apply to students, veterans, anti-theft devices, and other reasonable circumstances.
Helpful Reading: Who Pays for Car Damage in a No-Fault State
How Long Does At-Fault Accident Stay On Insurance Record
The average driving record will show an at-fault accident for three to five years, but the type of accident makes a difference. For example, a parking lot incident may only remain visible for a year. A drunk-driving collision would probably be there for ten years or more.
Drive Safely with Coluccio Law
An at-fault accident certainly affects car insurance rates, no matter the company that happens to hold the policy. However, rates are highly dependent on the severity of the accident, the at-fault person’s driving record, and the type of vehicle.
How long does an at-fault accident stay on insurance record with a competent personal injury attorney at hand? Find out by connecting with Coluccio Law online or call us to schedule a consultation today.
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