This is a legitimate question, and here’s the skinny on how insurance companies respond to these situations so that you can keep your price as low as possible. Trumbull insurance companies discuss these two situations separately because you need to react differently.
You Get a Ticket
More than likely, your insurance company will not find out. The reason is that most companies do not check your driving record at renewal – it is too costly. As long as you did not get in an accident when you received the ticket, your rate should not increase because of this incident. Remember, insurance companies do not want to change your price at renewal.
Insurance companies don’t want you to shop; especially if you have not had an accident. As long as you have not had an accident, you haven’t cost them any money. They just want you to keep paying the renewal premium. In the future, as information becomes readily available, databases will be created that make it cheaper for companies to access your driving history at renewal. So, if your price does go up at renewal – SHOP! At that point, every company will have the same information, so there is no point sticking with your current company if there is a lower price available.
You Get in an Accident that Is Your Fault
In this case, your insurance company knows about the accident because they have paid for the damages. They will raise your price at renewal. The trick here is to switch insurance companies after you have reported the loss and the settlement process have started. Depending on how quickly your current company reports their loss information to CLUE (Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange), you will have a 30-45-day window to shop your insurance. If you can find a new company before the details of the accident show-up on the CLUE database, then the new company will not know you had an accident. Therefore, they will not give you a higher price based on this incident.
Dealing with a Reputable Company
One concern you may have in switching companies before your claim is completely settled is that your present company might treat you poorly if you cancel your policy. Don’t worry; this should not be a problem if you are dealing with a reputable auto insurance company. Here’s why. When the accident is reported, the claims adjuster will verify that your coverage is active. As long as coverage was active on the date of the accident, the settlement will proceed.
Canceling the Policy
Technically, your coverage could cancel the next day, and the company would legally have to settle all claims. Let’s say, Trumbull insurance company AARP would not recommend canceling the policy on the next day unless you have already secured coverage with another company. If a company were to treat your claim settlement differently, you can always file a complaint with the State Department of Insurance.
In summary, if you have recently received a ticket or violation, stay with your current company unless they raise your price. If you have an accident, report the claim and then start shopping. Switch companies within 30-45 days if you find a better price.