When your insurance company claims your car is a total loss after an accident, it not only means you’ll need a new car, but it can also affect how far you pay for your insurance. The applicability of the increase depends on factors such as your previous complaint history and whether you have been found to be at fault. Each insurance company uses its own criteria to determine rate increases, and these criteria can vary greatly between companies.
In general, your insurance company will determine your car as a total loss if the costs associated with repairing the car are greater when replacing it. You will be compensated based on what the company identifies as the actual cash value of the vehicle, which is its current market value at the time of the accident minus depreciation. Each insurance company has its own method of determining value.
Did you make a mistake?
An important factor in determining whether your premiums have risen is whether you were found to have been at fault in the accident. If you’re not at fault, your state’s law could prevent your insurer from raising the fee or limiting the increase. As a general rule, you can expect an accident caused by an error to affect your premium more than an accident where you were hit while sitting at a stop sign.
Severity and frequency
The total loss almost always means that the damage to your car is huge and your insurance company needs to pay you thousands of dollars. Some auto insurance companies consider the extent of the damage when determining whether to increase your rate, so the total loss can increase your chances of increasing. If this isn’t your first accident, the company may start treating you as a poor risk person and consider canceling your insurance if your state law allows it. The cancellation may mean you need to get high-risk, much more expensive insurance.
Many auto insurance companies will forgive an accident due to the first error regardless of the amount that has been paid. Forgiveness means that the company will not charge a surcharge after an initial accident provided that you have been covered with the company for a necessary period of time. You may be charged for any subsequent accidents and the company will still consider the severity of the forgave accident when assessing you as a risk, meaning it is more likely to cancel your contract if you continue to have an accident.