How long does an accident stay on your insurance record?

Car accidents can be dangerous, frightening, inconvenient, and expensive. The expenses often linger, even if your property is not badly damaged and you are not badly hurt. This is because you might face rising insurance premiums after an accident, as unfair as that may seem.

You may ask yourself, “How long does an accident stay on your insurance?” This is a complicated question to answer, as there are many factors to consider.

how long does an accident stay on your insurance

How long will my car insurance be affected after an accident?

Following a car accident, your insurance rates may go up or down for three to five years after an accident. Depending on the cause of the accident, it is important to note that traffic violations like speeding, ignoring traffic signals, and improper lane usage can remain on your record for 4 to 5 years.

How long does an at-fault accident stay on an insurance record?

If you are the at-fault driver, you will be charged with points. This may mean your insurance premiums go up. By having an accident, your insurance company takes it as a signal that you may be an unsafe or irresponsible driver.

Why do insurance premiums go up after an automobile accident?

Insurance companies are in the business of making money. While they are often portrayed in commercials and on social media as a caring neighbor, they are just businesses whose goal is to make money.

They collect premiums monthly from their clients, and they are gambling on the fact that they will continue to collect money without having to write any payout checks. You are seen as a riskier client if you have had an accident or a traffic violation. So, to have the privilege of being insured, you have to pay somewhat higher rates.

What are points?

Illinois, as well as the rest of the United States, operates under a point system that is managed by each state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). If a driver is charged with a traffic violation, their driving record is given a corresponding number of points.

If a particular number of points is reached or exceeded, the driver may have their license suspended. They also may face consequences from their insurance company.

How are points calculated if a car accident occurs?

The driver responsible for the crash was typically performing a careless or negligent action. That behavior will determine the points. For instance, if the driver traveled ten miles per hour above the speed limit, they would be charged 5 points.

If they traveled between 11 and 14 points over the speed limit, they would be charged 15 points. 15 to 25 mph above the speed limit would cost them 20 points. If they were driving even faster, at speeds between 26 and 34 mph, the driver would be charged 50 points. Anything 35 mph or greater would equal a 50-point penalty as well.

What charges other than speeding could cost me points?

Most moving violation charges can cost you points if it is considered a reason you caused the accident. Some that can be costly violations are as follows:

  • Failure to slow down to avoid an accident could cost you 10 points.
  • Speeding through a construction zone is a 20-point charge.
  • Aggravated speeding in a construction zone endangers the construction workers, so it carries a stiff penalty of 55 points.
  • Driving faster than the designated maximum speed in a school zone will dock you 20 points.
  • Aggravated speeding in a school zone carries a 55-point penalty.
  • Passing a bus that is stopped for passengers to board or disembark could cost you 25 points if this causes your accident.
  • Reckless driving that causes an accident would increase your point loss to 55 points.

This is far from a comprehensive list. Any traffic infraction can carry a points charge, which could cost you money on insurance or could cause your insurance company to cancel your coverage.

What other factors have an impact on my insurance?

Your insurance premiums are hard to determine without all of the specifics. However, it is safe to assume that age, prior driving record, who was at fault in the accident, and the traffic violations that led to the accident will all be used to determine how you are affected.

In a car accident and worried about insurance? Call us.

If you have had an accident, a Chicago car accident lawyer can clarify any questions you may have about your specific car accident and how your insurance will be affected. At Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates, we offer our clients free consultations. Call us at (800) 985-1819 today to schedule a time to talk to one of our skilled attorneys.