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June 19, 2024
Northwest Classic Insurance

How Claims Affect Your Car Insurance

Car insurance protects you financially in case of accidents, theft, or other unexpected events involving your vehicle. However, filing claims can impact your insurance premiums. Here’s an easy-to-understand guide on how claims affect your car insurance and what you can do to manage your premiums.

What is a Car Insurance Claim?

A car insurance claim is when you ask your insurance company to cover costs after an incident, like an accident or theft. The insurer then reviews your claim, decides if it’s covered, and calculates the payment.

Immediate Effects of Filing a Claim

  1. Premium Increases:
    • At-Fault Claims: If you’re responsible for an accident, your premiums will likely go up. The increase depends on how serious the incident was and the cost of the claim.
    • Not-At-Fault Claims: Even if you’re not at fault, your premiums might still increase. Insurers often view any claim as a sign of higher risk.
  2. Loss of No-Claims Discount:
    • Many insurers give discounts to drivers who haven’t filed claims for a while. Filing a claim can reduce or eliminate this discount, leading to higher premiums.

Long-Term Effects on Your Insurance

  1. Perception of Risk:
    • Insurers consider your claims history when assessing risk. Frequent claims can make you look like a high-risk driver, resulting in higher premiums or difficulty getting coverage.
  2. Claim Frequency:
    • Multiple claims in a short time can significantly raise your premiums. Insurers see frequent claims as a sign of risky driving.
  3. Claim Severity:
    • The cost and nature of claims matter. Expensive claims, like major accidents, impact your premiums more than minor ones.

Tips for Managing the Impact of Claims

  1. Think Before Filing:
    • Compare the cost of repairs to the potential premium increase. Paying for minor repairs out of pocket might be cheaper than filing a claim.
  2. Raise Your Deductible:
    • A higher deductible lowers your premium but means paying more out of pocket if you file a claim. This can be a good option if you’re a safe driver.
  3. Maintain a Clean Driving Record:
    • Avoiding accidents and traffic violations shows responsibility and can help keep premiums low.
  4. Shop Around:
    • Different insurers handle claims and premiums differently. Compare quotes to find the best rate, even after filing a claim.
  5. Look for Discounts:
    • Ask about discounts for safe driving, bundling policies, or being a loyal customer to help lower your premium.


Knowing how claims affect your car insurance can help you manage your premiums better. While filing a claim can raise your rates, being strategic about when and how you file can minimize this impact. Keep a good driving record, consider costs before filing minor claims, and explore different insurance options to keep your premiums manageable while maintaining the coverage you need.

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