Filing claims with your auto insurance company is sometimes necessary. Your car may have experienced damage due to storms, or you might have been involved in a couple of fender benders. Whether such incidents occur on the same day or two years apart, claims made within a three-year period are seen as multiple claims on your insurance claim history. Even if you’re not at fault for any of these incidents, your insurance company may deem you a high risk, which could cause your premiums to go up, and you may even have your policy canceled if you file too many claims within a relatively short time. Here’s a brief look at what goes into determining how many car insurance claims may be considered too many.
The Severity of the Claims
For many insurance providers, the seriousness of the claims is more important than other factors. If the claims involve significant property damage and/or high medical costs, they’ll likely have a greater impact on the cost of your insurance and your future insurability. If you cost your insurance company too much money, they may determine it’s not in their best interests to continue to insure you.
Some of the most serious claims include:
- Total vehicle replacement
- Medical costs for multiple people
- Several occurrences of property damage
At-Fault vs. No-Fault Claims
In addition to the frequency and severity of claims, the types of claims you file are also an important consideration. A significant factor is who was at fault for the accidents that led you to file claims. Some accidents are unavoidable, such as road debris hitting your car or hail damaging your windshield, while others are preventable, such as rear-ending the car in front of you.
Before you decide to file, consider the differences between at-fault and no-fault claims:
- At-fault claims – These are the claims you should be most concerned about. If you have multiple accidents that are your fault and you file claims for them, your insurance provider may raise your premiums, decline to renew your policy, or even cancel your coverage. To reduce your chances of causing an accident that requires filing a claim, pay close attention to your surroundings when you’re driving, don’t drive in bad weather, and keep your car in good operating condition.
- No-fault claims – In most states, if the other driver is at fault and you file a claim against his or her policy, your insurance company won’t see it, so it won’t be recorded in your claims history.
In general, filing more than one comprehensive claim shouldn’t affect your rates or insurability unless you file three or more claims within a three-year period. This is dependent on how your provider handles comprehensive claims. Read your policy to find out how your carrier addresses these types of claims, and call your agent if you aren’t clear about any specifics with regard to your coverage.
When they need affordable, reliable car insurance, San Diego drivers turn to Altra Insurance Services. For high-quality coverage and outstanding service, reach out to one of our friendly representatives today at (800) 719-9972 to learn how you can save money on your car insurance.