Does a Fender Bender affect car insurance rates? – South African Magazine

Many people would consider car insurance as the necessary evil; no one likes to pay for the expensive premium rates but at the end of the day, you need auto insurance to assure that you won’t have to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on car accidents.

Car accidents are more common than you think. The chances of you getting in a road accident is higher than any other form of transport (unless you do competitive speed boating). With a high number of accidents, car insurance rates are bound to increase.

We know that getting in a car accident will increase your insurance rates, sometimes even if the accident was not your fault. But what about minor car accidents, like a fender bender? Does a fender bender affect car insurance rates? As with all the other questions about auto insurance, this one needs a little explanation too. 

Car Accidents and Insurance Rates

Auto insurance rates are very sensitive to multiple factors. Your driving record, past insurance claims, age, gender, location, the state you live in, etc affect your car insurance rates. This is because insurance companies assess everything that shows how likely you are to get in a car accident. 

So think about it, if you get in a car accident, you become a high-risk individual to the auto insurance company. Not just that, but many car insurance companies do extensive research about the accident to find out different factors such as:

  • Any tickets you received before the accident
  • Your speed before the accident
  • The type of accident (whether it was reckless driving or a genuine mistake)
  • Your past accident record 

All these things show how likely you are to get into another car accident. Statistically, a person who has been in a car accident (and the accident was the person’s fault) is more likely to be in another. 

So to offset the risk of another accident and an insurance claim, insurance companies hike up the price of the policies. The price hike varies based on different factors such as

  • The type and intensity of the accident
  • Insurance claim amount 
  • The State you live in

But what about a minor fender bender? How much can these minor accidents bump up your insurance rates? 

Fender Bender and Car Insurance Rates

Here’s the fact; a fender bender will increase your auto insurance rates. No matter how small the damage is, if the accident was your fault, your auto insurance rates will increase. But “auto insurance” is a very vague term. Let’s look at all the policies affected by these road accidents. 

Liability insurance: Since the auto insurance company will have to pay for the medical treatments and car repairs of the other driver, any accident that you cause will increase the rates of liability policy. This includes fender bender accidents. 

Even if the other party involved in the accident chooses not to claim your liability insurance, if your car insurance company gets to know about the accident, your insurance rates will increase (as the accident is reflected on your driving record)

Collision Damage Waiver: A collision damage waiver can be claimed if your car was damaged in a car accident. This policy can be claimed whether the accident was your fault or not.

So if you get your car damaged due to a fender bender and it was not your fault, you can claim your collision insurance. The problem here is that this is very likely to increase your collision insurance rates. So the better option would be claiming the liability insurance of the at-fault driver.

If you are the at-fault driver and get in a fender bender accident, your collision damage waiver rates will increase. Even if you do not make a claim, if the car insurance company gets to know about the accident, the rates will increase. 

Comprehensive insurance policy rates are very likely to stay unaffected due to any road accidents. There are some instances where your car insurance rates will not increase due to fender benders. Let’s take a look at those instances. 

When Fender Bender Does Not Increase Insurance Rates

Fender Benders do not increase your insurance rates when they are not your fault. For example, if another car rear-ends you and you did not commit any traffic violation, your car insurance rates will stay the same. Or if your car was parked legally and a moving car hit it. 

Different states have different laws as well. For example, if you live in Indiana, you are bound to get an uninsured motorist policy which can be claimed if the driver at fault either has liability coverage but it is lacking or does not have one at all. 

So if you get in a fender bender with an uninsured or underinsured driver, you’ll need to claim your collision insurance or uninsured motorist coverage policy. Even if the fender bender was not your fault, your insurance rates can increase, sometimes by 10-15%.

This can increase the rates of your car insurance policy by a lot, making it even more unaffordable than it already is. So before you go for any auto insurance company, make sure that you research all of the companies well before buying one. 

For example, if you live in Indiana, where you need to get uninsured motorist coverage along with a liability policy, the prices can get very high. So look for a car insurance quote in Indiana and select the best insurance company that fits your needs the best. 

Conclusion

While fender benders are not a threat to your life or do not cause much damage to your car, they are still a threat to your affordable car insurance rates. If the fault was yours, your insurance rates will increase. Fender-bender accidents do not increase insurance rates by much. 

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