How will a crash affect my insurance?

Automobile insurance companies consider many factors about accidents to determine how a claim may or may not affect your policy and rates.

When involved in a car accident, Tennessee residents understandably have many things to be concerned about. Certainly providing medical treatment for anyone who is injured is the first priority. Then drivers must address any damage done to their vehicles or other property.

When a crash happens in Tennessee, the city of Nashville explains that an official accident report may be required. This will be the case if the wreck causes any damage that exceeds $400, causes an injury to at least one person or results in the death of at least one person.

A person must file a report within 20 days of the date of the accident or they may face suspension of their driver's license. Their vehicle registration may also be suspended, even if they are not at fault for the crash.

But, in addition to filing a report, what happens with insurance rates down the road?

All accidents are not created equal

According to NerdWallet, simply being involved in a motor vehicle accident does not guarantee that insurance costs will rise. Every insurance company will have its own way of determining if, when and by how much to increase rates for drivers involved in crashes. That said, there are many things that insurers will review in making these decisions.

Things that insurance companies will review include the following:

  • Whether or not anyone was hurt or killed in the accident.
  • The full cost of any and all damage that resulted from the crash.
  • Whether or not the customer received a ticket for his or her participation in the wreck.

If the customer was ticketed, the reason for the ticket will also be considered as some citations or violations are more severe than others. Driving five miles over the speed limit, for example, would be a lesser violation that driving on the wrong side of the freeway.

Centralized database reporting

WalletHub indicates that there is a database referred to as CLUE that most vehicle insurance companies look to for information on potential customers. The CLUE database houses accident details for drivers for a period of seven years.

In addition to reporting on paid claims by other insurers, the database will also tell a prospective insurer if you ever had a claim denied by another company.

Help after an accident is important

Understanding that a single vehicle crash may be visible to insurers for a long time is just one more reason why Tennessee residents should seek legal help after an accident. Working with an attorney is one way to make sure proper fault is assigned and compensation received.

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