You know that collision claims raise your auto insurance rates, but what about comprehensive?
Comprehensive claims protect your vehicle in the event of damage in a non-collision incident. For example, you hit an animal on your way to work, or your car is stolen. Other times you might file a comprehensive claim include when weather causes vehicle damage. While it is not directly related to collisions, insurance companies see claims as claims – and nothing more.
Therefore, the more claims you file, regardless if it is a comprehensive or collision, the more likely you will see a price increase for your annual premium. Luckily, multiple comprehensive claims do not impact your annual premium as badly as collision, and in most cases, you pay under $100 in those increases per bi-annual payment.
What to do if You Have Multiple Comprehensive Insurance Claims
Unfortunately, sometimes you have bad luck, and you may file more than one comprehensive insurance claim. One year your car might be damaged in a windstorm, and then the next you find yourself the victim of shopping cart vandalism. You have auto insurance for a reason, and you pay annually so that you can unlock access to funds for repairs.
However, the more times you utilize that coverage, the more you pay in the long run. Therefore, you should consider the consequences for each comprehensive claim you file, and then consider solutions to avoid any unexpected increases in your premiums.
1. Try to Limit How Many Claims You File Each Year
You have coverage, and while it might sound upsetting to hear, you do want to limit how much you use that coverage. That doesn’t mean you should pay out of pocket every time you have a scratch, but it does mean you need to stay a cautious driver. The more claims you file, comprehensive or not, the more likely an insurer is to raise rates or cancel your policy entirely.
- Estimates – Get an estimate of the damage from a local body shop.
- Consider Your Deductible – Is the amount to fix it below your deductible payout anyway? If so, you would have to pay the deductible initially, so you might as well pay out of pocket and avoid filing the claim.
2. Do Not Pay for More Coverage than Necessary
You never want to be underinsured, as that could put you in a dire financial situation if you were in an accident and did not have the coverage to pay for the costs. However, you also do not want to pay for more coverage than necessary.
Think of your vehicle’s value first. If you have a car that is worth under $5,000, you do not need to worry about high coverage – and you may end up paying more in premiums over the year than your car is worth.
3. Lower Your Deductible with in-Car Monitoring Instead
Another good way to lower your deductible and premiums is through in-vehicle tracking. More insurance companies now offer this service as a way to see how their motorists drive and reward them with lowered premiums over time.
You often receive a discount on your premium just for installing the device, and after a few weeks, your driving habits are analyzed, and discounts applied.
Some factors your insurance company takes into account with these monitoring devices include:
- How quickly you come to a stop;
- Times of the day you drive the most;
- How many miles per day you often drive;
- The average speed of your vehicle during travel;
- How often you accelerate quickly;
- If you make frequent sudden stops.
You Have Insurance – Do Not be Afraid to Use It
While you may have a premium hike after a claim, it is unlikely that a single comprehensive claim would increase your premium. If, however, you have more than one, then you may see a sudden increase in those premiums over time.
While an increased premium means more money out of your pocket over the year, you do pay into your automobile insurance too. So, never be afraid to file a claim because you think your policy will suddenly cost more next month. After all, the entire purpose of insurance is to have the reassurance you have somewhere to turn when you need to repair your vehicle.