You know how car insurance is important. That’s why after you bought your vehicle, this was your priority – to prepare all the necessary documents to obtain car insurance for your vehicle. This was what your family and friends recommended you to do, and since you’ve seen how insurance companies have been able to help them in the past, you followed their pieces of advice. You understand that no matter how careful you are as a driver, accidents will happen when you’re on the road. Having insurance to pay the bills when you’re involved in an auto accident would be of great help, especially if you don’t have sufficient funds for emergencies. Since you’re keen on how much and where your money is going, have you taken the time to determine what will happen to your insurance rates if you’re involved in an auto accident that’s not your fault? Do your insurance rates go up or go down? Knowing the answers to these questions are crucial for you to know what to expect and what to do (and what not to do) when you’re involved in situations like these.
What Will Happen To Your Insurance Rates After An Auto Accident That’s Not Your Fault?
This sounds like a simple question with a simple answer, but honestly, it doesn’t work that way. This question cannot be answered by a mere yes or no because there are a lot of things involved in the process. To create a clearer picture of whether your insurance rates go up after an auto accident that’s not your fault, consider these points below:
- The answer to the question is this: your car insurance rates might or might not go up after a not-at-fault accident. Everything is usually determined by the state laws and the insurance company.
- An insurance company in one state might increase a policy holder’s insurance rates after three consecutive not-at-fault auto accidents while some insurance companies will only do so after the fifth accident. So don’t compare your situation to others. Again, your state laws and the insurance company are two of the biggest factors on why your insurance rates will be different after a not-at-fault accident.
- Some insurance companies can also choose to increase your premiums and even not to renew your policy when you’re involved in multiple auto accidents, even if you’re not at fault for any of them.
- Most of the states have insurance regulations that prohibits auto insurance companies from increasing your surcharges (raising payment for your base rate) if you’re not a fault in any auto accidents or if it’s a comprehensive claim. These types of claims will usually mean that you’re not at fault in any auto accidents and thus, will not affect your insurance rates in any way.
- For example, if debris falls off another car and hits your windshield doing damage, some insurance companies would consider this as a flying missile and will cover the occurrence under your comprehensive coverage. This will not cause your insurance rates to rise.
- If the debris fell off and you didn’t do anything to avoid it on the road and ran over it, this situation would typically go under your collision coverage. If it was found that what happened was a “chargeable accident” according to your state and your insurance company’s guidelines, there’s a huge possibility that your insurance claims will increase.
- You should also pay attention the number of accidents you’re involved in, even if it’s not your fault. If you’re involved with too many auto accidents (even when you’re not at fault), the insurance company might see you as a higher risk.
- This means that yes, you might be a good driver but since the insurance company sees how frequent you’re involved in car accidents even if you’re not at fault, your rates might increase over time.
- This example is also true when it comes to the area you’re living. The insurance company might find you are a good driver but if you’re living in a high-risk area, expect that your insurance rates will increase too.
- Since your insurance rates will depend on your state laws and insurance companies, make sure that you take the time to talk to them. You should call your insurance company to find out which type of claim might affect the renewal of your policy or your rates in the long run. To get information on which specific insurance laws apply to you and to your insurance company, you should also talk with your state’s insurance regulator.
- Working with an attorney specializing in car accident and insurance claims can also be very helpful for you. They will help you come up with wise decisions, especially those which involve your money.
- If you find yourself paying for an insurance amount drastically higher than your usual rates because of a one-time, not at-fault accident, shop around. You have the liberty to compare car insurances and find an insurance company that doesn’t charge an accident the same way as others. Finding the right insurance company for your needs will save you money.
The price of auto insurance doesn’t come cheap. You have to pay a lot of money to guarantee that your vehicle is protected and insured at all costs. And since you’ve been working hard to pay for your auto insurance, it’s just right that you also know what contributes to your insurance rates and what will happen to these rates whenever you’re involved with an auto accident that’s not your fault. Once you have a background on these things, it’ll be easier for you to understand the processes required for each situation and prepare your finances accordingly.
About the Author: Vicki Haskett
Vicki is a law writing enthusiast who’s had over 25 years of experience in her field. She enjoys sharing her experiences with those who want to learn more about the legal world. In her spare time she spends quality time with her family and friends.