5 Ways to Manage Insurance Costs After You've Been Involved in an Auto Accident

An auto accident can change your life in many ways, especially when it comes to keeping your insurance policy affordable. So long as you're generally a good driver, though, you can mitigate some of the increases normally associated with a collision.

1. Don't Try to Hide the Accident From Your Insurer

Sometimes when an accident involves minimal damage to the vehicle(s) involved and no bodily injury has occurred, folks try to avoid the potential increase to their insurance by not reporting the accident to their insurance company, but this is a very risky gamble. If there are any future consequences to the accident, such as another party discovering or deciding they were actually harmed in some way by the incident, you're going to be left up the creek.

Your insurance company finding out about an unreported accident after the fact can affect coverage, costs, and even your legal standing in a case because the insurance company did not have the opportunity to investigate the matter while evidence was still available. Although in the heat of the moment not reporting a minor accident may seem like an option, ultimately, it's really unwise.

2. Renegotiate Your Insurance Policy

If, following an accident, you find your insurance is set at a very unreasonable rate, you may want to think about shopping around for a new provider or at least informing your current provider that you need to renegotiate your terms. There are different aspects of your policy you could alter, such as the coverage you pay for property damage and bodily harm.

By closely examining the coverage you need versus the coverage you previously signed up for, you should be able to find a more affordable middle ground, while still maintaining all the coverage required by law. At a future date when perhaps you're in a better position to obtain lower rates, you could go back to increased coverage, if applicable.

3. Lower Your Premium By Raising Your Deductible

The deductible on your insurance is the amount of money you'll have to pay following another accident, should one occur. Depending on which state you live in, your premium can really skyrocket once you've been involved in a collision, even if it wasn't your fault; thus, it may be in your best interest to try and lower that amount by raising your deductible.

This point is dependent on a few variables and there's no one-size-fits-all formula for it, so weigh all of your options carefully before you decide what to do.

4. Sign Up for a Specialized Driving Course

While you may not want to sit in a driver-ed course with teenagers, you may not mind going to a driving school for specialized purposes. For example, defensive driving can not only lower your auto insurance costs, but it also helps you be prepared for nearly any circumstance you may encounter on the road. There are different types of schools and most will offer you the opportunity to drive under extreme conditions where you'll be taught how to handle the wheel and the nervousness that comes with all the excitement.

A driver refresher course may help to lower your costs and keep you safer if you were officially trained for driving more that a few decades ago, and if you have a teenager in the family, being aware of distracted driving and how to prevent it should be a top priority in your household.

Ask an insurer in advance if you will benefit from taking such a course and find out if they'd recommend a specific school and lesson. Once you've completed the course, the certificate you earn could help to lower your rates for a long time into the future.

5. Consider Temporary Insurance

You should be eligible for temporary auto insurance, which can hold you over for up to a month. Most people use this short-term option when borrowing a car or adding someone else to their insurance for a brief time. If you're overwhelmed by trying to re-establish yourself as an insured driver following an accident, temporary insurance will keep you covered and legal on the road without having to commit to a long-term contract.

While you're covered, shop around for the most suitable annual plan you're qualified for without feeling the pressure of having to sign up for something quickly.

Being involved in an auto accident doesn't mean you're blacklisted by insurance companies forever. It simply means you're going to have to demonstrate that you are, in fact, a smart and safe driver after all. In the meantime, work closely with an agent from a company like Able Insurance Agency to manage the current cost of keeping up your coverage.