How Much Will My Insurance Go Up After an Accident in Ireland?
Do you have any plans to lodge a claim with your car insurance provider? Regardless of whether you’re filing after an accident which was not your fault, claims usually attract increased premium rates. However, there are a few important considerations when filing a claim.
In case of an accident, your car insurance company is likely to raise your premium rates during renewal time, or you can expect to pay more if you buy a new insurance policy. Car accidents may vary, and the following accidents (non-chargeable) will not increase your rates.
A non-chargeable accident is one that does not lead to an increase in the insurance rate. It simply means an accident where you were not at fault for more than 50%, and where there was no damage to property or other vehicles, and there was no bodily harm or death caused.
Typical Examples of Non-Chargeable Accidents
Not all car accidents will cause your insurance premium rates to go up. You will not be charged for the following accidents:
- Your car was legally parked whilst sustaining damage from a known third party.
- Another car strikes your vehicle in the rear.
- You were struck by another car in a hit-and-run accident which was not your fault and reported the damage to the authorities within 24 hours.
- A collision with an animal caused the accident.
- Falling objects or missiles caused the damage.
- The accident occurred when you were answering to an emergency, and you are a recognized volunteer or member of a law enforcement agency first aid squad or the fire department.
- The person who caused the damage reimbursed you.
- A court of law gives a decision that the accident was not your fault.
Insurance Rates After a Car Accident
The average cost of individual claims reduced by 2.5 percent over the last decade in Ireland, but the average cost of motor insurance has risen by more than 42 percent over the same period. According to the figures, the number of injury claims reduced by 20%, while damage claims reduced by 43%. That follows a significant no claims bonus of around 60%, which means a driver who has never made any claim is left with only 40% premium to pay.
Surcharge and How it Affects Car Insurance Rates
A surcharge is the actual increase in insurance that you can receive after a chargeable accident. An insurance provider cannot surcharge you during the policy period, but rather you’ll find out during renewal time whether you’re getting a surcharge.
In addition to car accidents, other problems such as road traffic breaches can also result in surcharges.
The insurance company you pick determines the length of a surcharge for an accident, but it typically lasts between three to five years. Again, depending on the insurer, a surcharge can be applied to your motor insurance policy, but the additional cost decreases annually when you drive without a road traffic accident. Insurance rates charged vary from one insurer to another, with some insurance companies charging more than others. To curb the rise of fraudulent insurance brokers in Ireland, Gardai launched investigations in November 2019. They urged customers to be vigilant of insurance details when signing up for insurance.
What Can You Do to Lower Your Insurance Premium Rates?
It is impossible to change an accident after it has already happened, but there are things you can do to lower your premium.
Consider Increasing Your Deductible
Insurance premiums and deductibles go hand in hand. Selecting a lower deductible translates to a higher premium, but the premium becomes relatively lower when you select a higher deductible. In case your premiums rise after an at-fault accident, you can increase your deductible to lower your annual premium.
Refrain from Filing Claims for Small Issues
Premiums are accessed according to the financial risk you pose. In this case, more claims translate to more pay-outs from the insurance company. If you or your driver is involved in an accident, assess the damages properly, and avoid filing claims for small things. Some companies go further to offer premium discounts for claim-free motorists.
Gary Matthews Solicitors
Medical negligence solicitors, Dublin