If you own a vehicle in South Carolina, then you also must have auto insurance in order to drive that vehicle legally. While auto insurance is extremely important, and helps to protect you and others from huge medical bills and costs of repairs when you are involved in a crash, rates for auto insurance can be pricy. What’s more, your auto insurance rates may increase with time, resulting in you pay hundreds of dollars a year in order to keep yourself protected.
If your auto insurance rates have recently increased, or if you are worried about them increasing in the future, consider the following about what you need to know about what makes auto insurance rates go up–
More Accidents Across the Nation
One thing that may increase auto accident rates is an increase in the number of accidents – and therefore the number of insurance claims – across the nation. According to an article in CBS MoneyWatch, both Allstate and Geico announced in 2016 that the companies needed to increase car insurance rates in response to the growth in the average claim amount. More accidents – which leads to higher insurance rates – are influenced by a number of factors, including lower gas prices (more people drive, and drive more frequently, leading to more cars on the road and a greater risk of crash when gas prices are low), and more driver distractions thanks to increases in technology use and accessibility.
Your Driving Record
While you may not have any influence over the actions of other drivers and the number of insurance claims that are filed across the nation, you do have an ability to control your own driving record. If your driving record reflects a number of traffic infractions or car accidents, it is likely that your premiums will be much higher than average.
Your Age and Gender
Insurance premiums tend to discriminate against those of a younger age and of the male gender, based on the fact that younger, male drivers have a higher risk of being in a vehicle accident than do women and older drivers.
Vehicle Make and Model
Those with more expensive vehicles, as well as those who own sports vehicles or those that are designed for speed, may have to pay a higher rate for car insurance than do those in less expensive, more economical vehicles. The amount that you use your vehicle may also affect your insurance rate – a greater amount of miles driver per year means a greater risk of being involved in an accident.
Being in an Accident
If you are involved in an accident and you are found to be at fault for the crash, meaning that your insurance coverage is responsible for paying damages to the other driver from your policy’s bodily injury liability or property damage liability coverage, your rates will almost surely go up. This is one of the reasons that if you are involved in a car accident and fault is undetermined or incorrectly placed on your shoulders, you should hire a South Carolina car accident attorney to represent you and reduce the risk of your premiums increasing.
Change of Address
It sounds silly, but if you move to a new neighborhood with a new zip code, your insurance rates may go up even if nothing else about your life changes. This is because some areas have a greater risk of accident or theft than do others, and insurance companies want to make sure that your premiums reflect that increased risk.
What to Do if Your Rates Go Up
If you are in the process of purchasing car insurance, or if your car insurance company has recently announced that your rates will be going up in the near future, it is within your best interest to shop around. By comparing different policies, rates, and protection, you improve your chances of getting a policy that offers you the most at the most affordable cost.
Contact a Car Accident Attorney If You’re in a Wreck
Remember, if you are involved in a car accident in South Carolina and are found to be at fault, it is very likely that your car insurance rates will increase. In addition to facing increased rates, you will also likely be denied compensation for your injuries and property damage due to your degree of fault in the crash.
To aid you in disproving allegations of fault and getting the compensation amount that you need and deserve, please contact our experienced South Carolina auto accident attorneys at the Joye Law Firm. You can reach us online or by phone for your free consultation today.