How accidents can affect your rate

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Every driver — even really good ones — can have a bad day on the road. Whether you miss that speed bump or collide with another car, by definition, accidents are never intentional. But unintentional doesn’t mean “not responsible.” And in some circumstances, a collision can result in higher insurance premiums.

Someone is to blame
When you’re at fault
How your insurance company can help

Someone is to blame
In the eyes of insurance companies, there is always someone at fault in a car accident — even if there was nothing you could have done to prevent it and the police haven’t charged you with an offence.

In any event, being responsible for an accident could be grounds for an increase in your auto insurance premiums.

When you’re at fault
If you have an at-fault accident on your record, it stays with you for 6 to 10 years. Since your insurance premiums may be affected, you could be paying for that accident for years until it is off your record and your rate decreases.

Accident forgiveness (not forget-ness) may apply
Most insurance companies offer a service known as accident forgiveness.

How your insurance company can help
Even if an accident is the cause of an increase in your insurance premiums, your insurance company will work with you to help keep your premiums manageable. Ask about discounts you may be eligible for and smart tips on reducing your premium.