What to expect from auto insurance companies in an ackward situation?
September 18, 2006 7:50 AM   Subscribe

My current auto insurance policy expires in 11 days. At the beginning of the month, I bought a policy from another company to start on the same day my current policy ended. Today, I was in a car accident. How would the fact that I'm not renewing my current policy affect me?

For the last 18 months, I've been covered through Progressive Direct. Faced with a tightening financial situation, I shopped around and found a policy from a different company for roughly $40 less a month. I bought & prepaid this policy. However, I didn't tell Progressive yet that I wasn't renewing my policy with them.

Earlier today, I was involved in a minor accident where the front of my car sustained some damage. I scheduled to bring my car to the local Progressive-affiliated shop tomorrow. However, I've never gone through this situation before and unsure what to expect, or if the fact that I'm switching insurance companies in a week is going to hurt me.
posted by Darke to Travel & Transportation (10 answers total)
Why would it hurt you? You have an agreement with Progressive that they will insure up to your end date. The adjuster isn't going to care. I have friends that have made claims with Progressive and they simply looked at their car and cut them a check right there. Don't worry about it.
posted by Eekacat at 8:00 AM on September 18, 2006

I wonder how it affects his new policy considering the quote he was given was based on his past claim history? Will his new insurance company honor the current rate or will they raise it when this claim hits the wires?

It's been my experience that any claim on an auto policy raises rates for at least 3 years. I never claim anything I can fix myself for under $1000, you end up paying double that amount over the long term with increased premiums.
posted by any major dude at 8:16 AM on September 18, 2006

Check before you make the switch - you may be better off staying with progressive if you have a long history with only one claim - call both companies and explain the situation and get quotes - see what your options are.

Also consider re-shopping now that your situation has changed - different rates may well apply and the deal may not be as good.
posted by srboisvert at 8:45 AM on September 18, 2006

You've bought and paid for the new policy already, and you're still insured with your old one. File a claim with your old insurer and hope the new one doesn't raise your rates too much.
posted by Mr. Gunn at 8:48 AM on September 18, 2006

As I see it, you have a valid claim against Progressive and you have a signed and paid for rate with NewInsuranceCo. I do not think they can or will raise your rates now.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 10:10 AM on September 18, 2006

Response by poster: JohnnyGunn, you are correct. I was just wondering if there was going to be any trouble on my claim since I'm switching. The accident occurred during a period where I am covered by Progressive, however, I was unsure if there would be trouble if say... the repairs or estimate aren't processed until after my policy period ends.
posted by Darke at 10:35 AM on September 18, 2006

Sorry to hear about the accident. If I remember from when I used to be an insurance agent...you will file the claim against Progressive since they are who you are (still) currently insured with. The bad news is that while you have pre-paid with your new insurer you insurance rates will almost certainly go up at your renewal. (Nasty thing insurance companies do.)

Some insurance companies have a "first accident free" thingy these days. You may want to check and see if this is something they offer. Most likely you still pay for that in your premium. You can check it out covertly on their website.
posted by PsychoKitty at 11:11 AM on September 18, 2006

It's been my experience that any claim on an auto policy raises rates for at least 3 years.

Not in my case. I use Progressive and suffered about $1350 ($850 + $500 deductible) of damage from someone running into my bumper and tearing it off. Progressive's cut was under $1000, and so they did not raise my rates (even marking it so in the renewal form).
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:14 PM on September 18, 2006

Make very sure that Progressive isn't set to auto-renew your policy, as well, since you haven't yet told them.
posted by antifuse at 2:57 AM on September 19, 2006

Even if you've bought and paid for your policy, when it actually becomes active, they run your MVR (Motor Vehicle Report) to see what's actually on it. This accident will show up and will raise your rates. It happened to me while switching from Progressive to AIG. I signed up for $89 a month, which was the reason I switched from progressive, and then AIG ran my MVR, found an accident that hadn't dropped off yet (2 years) and jacked my rates to $129 a month, more than I was paying before. I called to complain and the rude lady pointed me to the exact place in my policy where it says they could do that. YMMV of course, just read the fine print.
posted by deejayqueue at 7:52 AM on September 19, 2006

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