Question: I recently was canceled by my insurance company. After not having an accident, ticket or claim in my 25 years of driving, my luck plummeted. I had three claims in a matter of six months. Now I’m having problems finding affordable insurance. What can I do?
Answer: You can, and should, comparison shop to find affordable car insurance rates with your current claims record.
Years of safe driving can be wiped out by a string of bad luck. You'll not only lose out on discounts for being accident- and ticket-free, you face the possibility of higher car insurance rates for years to come.
Surcharges and loss of discount can drive rates much higher than what you previously paid for your car insurance policy. Combine this with the fact that you made three claims in six months, which pushes your risk factor much higher than what it was when you were claims free for 25 years, and that is why you’re finding it difficult to obtain low-priced car insurance rates.
While you won’t be able to find cheap car insurance rates while you have these three claims on your history, you should be able to find affordable prices by shopping around.
Surcharge schedules and rating systems of car insurance companies vary greatly.
Indeed, the more you pay for car insurance, the more likely it is that you can save money by shopping around. Even a small difference in surcharge amounts, for example, makes a big difference when the underlying rate is so high.
And even with claims or your record, you can get discounts -- for having multiple cars on one policy, for example, or for bundling your home or other policies with the same insurer, or for having certain safety features as part of your vehicle.
You can also see if taking a defensive driving or accident prevention course will lower your rates. Take a look at our car insurance discounts guide for other types of common discounts that you may be eligible for.
And if you can’t find any insurance company that will take you on due to your claims record, contact your state insurance regulator about the state’s assigned-risk program. All states have a way for drivers who are unable to find car insurance in the voluntary market to still obtain car insurance through non-standard means if necessary.