My name is Eric Bowman, and if you have questions about insurance, this is the blog you need to read. I was always confused when I had to purchase insurance. I would either end up paying for insurance I didn't need or I wouldn't buy the right policy. I finally decided that I was going to learn all I could about insurance policies so that I would understand exactly what I was buying. Now, I am completely satisfied with my insurance and the coverage is just what I need. I realized that there are others who are probably just as confused as I was, so I am writing this blog to help others get the best insurance for their needs and budget. I hope that my blog gives you the information you need to make the right choices when purchasing insurance.
If you own a car, then you have automobile insurance on your vehicle. In the United States, insurance is mandated by state law, unless you live in the state New Hampshire. Even if you live in New Hampshire, you have to prove that you can pay for potential damages if you do get into an accident. This likely means that you will still need to get insurance, unless you are independently wealthy. When individuals buy their insurance, they typically try to keep their premiums as low as possible. If you try to do this, then you may think about avoiding the dreaded telephone call to your insurance company if you get into a minor fender bender. However, there are many reasons why you should not do this. Keep reading to find out.
You Premiums May Not Go Up Anyway
Insurance premiums are based on a variety of factors. Age, sex, marital status, and your location are a few factors. Your driving record and your perceived risks as a driver are also taken into account. Speeding tickets, moving violation tickets, and accidents on your driving record all indicate that you are a risky driver who is more likely to get into an accident than an individual with a clean record. If you have a poor driving record, then it is likely that your premiums will raise if you contact your insurance company about the accident.
However, if you have a clean driving record or only have had a single ticket within the last several years, then your auto insurance rates may stay the same. This is especially true if the accident was not your fault or if it falls under the "act of god" category. One example of an "act of god" accident would be if high winds from a nearby tornado suddenly push your car into oncoming traffic. A bolt of lightning that momentarily causes blindness and causes you to veer off the road would fall under this category as well. However, slipping on ice or snow or hydroplaning during a rainstorm are not "act of god" accidents. Typically, if expected weather causes an accident, then care will be questioned. In other words, you will have a duty of care to stay out of bad weather or to drive more cautiously under poor weather conditions.
Other accidents that are typically not your fault and likely not going to raise your insurance are ones that involve animals running into the road or debris falling and causing you to swerve. Even if an accident was your fault, many insurance policies now have accident forgiveness programs where premiums are not raised if you get into a single accident. Also, if an accident was your fault and you do not have accident forgiveness, your insurance rates still may stay the same if the incident is the first that you have contacted your insurance company about.
You May Be Held Liable For Damages
Some people try to hide accidents and pay for expenses out-of-pocket if they get into a minor vehicle collision with another car. Verbal agreements are sometimes made and the police are not called to the scene. If you do this, then you may even drive away without getting the other driver's name and insurance number. If you do this, then you may save yourself a few dollars when it comes to raised insurance premiums.
However, if the other driver decides that they want money for repairs and reports the accident later on, your insurance company may not honor your insurance agreement and you might be on the hook for all the costs. This is often the case since it is illegal in most states to not report an accident if a certain amount of damage is done to one or both vehicles. For example, you must report an accident to the police and the DMV if damages are more than $750.
Insurance companies will also not pay for a claim, because failing to report an accident breaks the contract you signed with the business. If you do not honor the contract, then the insurance company does not have to honor it either.
For more information and options for auto insurance, talk with insurance agencies in your area our check out the sites of local businesses.