It depends. In NY, an accident is generally not considered “chargeable” (meaning the company can tack on a surcharge on to your policy at your next renewal) unless you’re at fault and the total damage (for all parties) exceeds a $2,000 threshold.
There are some exceptions:
- Accidents involving bodily injury are considered chargeable.
- If you have two or more accidents involving any amount of property damage in a 36 month span, a surcharge will be applied.
It’s also worth noting – even though an accident may not be chargeable you may still lose a “claims-free” discount if you had one. If you’re not sure about reporting a claim – give one of our specialists a call. We can walk you through the what-if’s and help you determine if it’s in your interest to file a claim. Sometimes a surcharge spread out over time is still a better option than paying thousands in out-of-pocket repair costs.
What about my policy? Will it be cancelled?
It’s hard to speak for every company since they all have their own unique guidelines. As a general rule – a company does not want to cancel your policy. They don’t want to lose you as a paying customer. Claim frequency is probably the biggest factor they consider when offering a renewal. Occasional claims happen – they understand that. But when someone has frequent claims it may be a sign of a risk the company doesn’t want to insure. How long you’ve been with the company and how many policies you have with them are also factored in. If a claim involves a high-risk activity (racing, DWI, etc.) the chance of a company not-renewing the policy are much greater.
One of the advantages of being with an independent insurance agency like BPA – if your policy ever was cancelled we have the ability to move your business to one of the other companies we work with so you can maintain coverage.