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Will My Auto Insurance Rates Go Up in a Single Car Accident?

If you've recently been involved in a single-car accident, you may be mulling whether to inform your insurance company of the incident. After all, you've probably heard that notifying your insurer of your involvement in an accident is a sure way to increase the cost of your auto insurance policy. If your accident had involved another vehicle, you would have had no choice but to inform your insurer of the incident. However, you might be thinking long and hard about whether it's in your best interest to tell your insurer about your recent single-car accident.

Before you choose to withhold this information from your insurer, you need to make a few key determinations. First, you must tell your insurer about any accident that attracted the attention of law enforcement personnel. If you withhold information about such an accident, it's likely that you'll soon find yourself in serious trouble with your insurer. Since the officer who responded to your accident almost certainly filed a police report that outlined the circumstances that surrounded it, the incident is a matter of public record. When your insurance company conducts its annual policy-renewal check on your driver's license, it will "see" certain details of the accident.

Assuming that the police report judges you to be at fault for the single-car crash, your insurer will have every right to take swift action against you. Such action could include raising your policy premiums by 50 percent or more. It might also include dropping you from coverage altogether. After all, your decision to withhold key information about an accident for which you were at fault could be construed as misrepresentation and might serve as sufficient grounds to disqualify you from further coverage. If your insurer drops you, you'll have to find coverage with a different insurer. In the aftermath of your accident, it's likely that you'd have to pay a premium for your new policy.

If the scene of your single-car accident wasn't visited by law enforcement officers, you may be able to avoid telling your insurance company about the accident. If you choose to take this course of action, you'll need to use your own funds to cover the costs associated with repairing or replacing your car. In addition, you'll need to pay for any medical costs associated with your accident out of your own pocket. Unless the accident is quite minor, this may not be a prudent course of action.


This article contains general legal information but does not constitute professional legal advice for your particular situation. The Law Dictionary is not a law firm, and this page does not create an attorney-client or legal adviser relationship. If you have specific questions, please consult a qualified attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.

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