For years, you have maintained a clean driving record by avoiding distractions and following the rules of the road. Depending on your age and your driving record, you may even be getting a safe-driver discount. Most likely, you are paying less for insurance than a driver who has tickets or has been involved in multiple car crashes. Those people often face high insurance rates following an accident.
But everything can change in a moment. If you were involved in an accident, no matter how minor it is, you could be left wondering the effect of your insurance rates after the dust settles.
Factors Determining High Insurance Rates
The average premium increase after an accident costing more than $2,000, can range between 20 to 40 percent. Insurance companies will calculate the surcharges after a claim has been filed depending on the state you reside in, factors surrounding your accident, and your previous driving history.
Here is some useful information to help you understand how your premium might be affected after filing a claim.
Who is at Fault
Some insurance companies will not penalize you if you are not at-fault for an accident. If a careless driver hits you, your insurance may not raise your rate. California and Oklahoma are the only two states that prohibit insurance companies to increase insurance rates after a no-fault accident.
In no-fault states, your insurance company will have to pay some portion of a claim, no matter who’s at fault. However it is more likely hit with high insurance rates after filing a lawsuit.
Severity of the Accident
If you are involved in a fender bender, your insurer may not increase your premium. Some states prohibit insurers from raising premiums for accidents when the damage is under a certain dollar amount. Read your policy and see how minor accidents can potentially affect you.
The number of accidents you are involved in can make your insurer see you as a high risk driver, even if you were not at fault. An insurer may find you to be a good driver but live in a high-risk area and therefore your rates increase as a result.
If you haven’t had a ticket or incident in 20 years on the road — a minor fender bender may not impact your rate at all. Car insurance companies appreciate consumers who’ve stayed with them. If you’ve been with your insurer for some time with a fairly clean record, you may not see any increase after a minor incident.
When debris falls off a car and hits your car’s hood or windshield, some insurers will consider it to be a flying debris covered under your comprehensive coverage; thus it’s not likely to cause your rates to rise.
However, if you ran over the flying object and you didn’t avoid it in the roadway, then you would file a claim under your collision coverage. This type of claim could possibly raise your rates, if it were found to be a “chargeable accident” according to your state and insurer’s guidelines.
Claims Made Against Uninsured Motorists
If you are involved in an accident with an uninsured driver that results in bodily injury, uninsured motorist will help pay for losses relating to the accident. Claims filed under the uninsured driver usually affects a surcharge on your premium. When your insurance company has to pay you, there’s a likelihood that they will pass some costs down to you by imposing a surcharge.
Your driving record and the number of years you have been a loyal customer to your insurance company can influence your premium costs. Keep driving safely, as it may save you a few hundred dollars in insurance rates after an accident in the event that you have to file a claim.
Consult with an Experienced Lawyer
If you suffered high insurance rates because of a car accident, contact a team of legal professionals that can help fight for your rights.
An injury can leave you with unexpected monetary, physical, and emotional damages.The experienced lawyers at Sweet Law Group have been representing injured victims recover their losses from the at-fault driver for over 40 years.
Our team of professionals understand what it takes to achieve justice and get the maximum compensation that is deserved. Take action now and call our offices for a free, no-obligation consultation at (800) 203-3061.