Getting involved in a car accident is never an enjoyable experience. And dealing with the aftermath of the crash can be even worse. You would have to heal from the injuries you’ve suffered, stop working, and deal with the damages your properties caused by the accident. You may even have to go through physical and psychological therapy. To make things worse, filing for a claim is not as easy as it seems. And when all of these things are done, you could even face problems with your insurance rates. You’d end up asking yourself, “Do insurance rates go up after an auto accident that wasn’t my fault?”
Does My Insurance Policy Go Up After A Vehicle Accident?
The reason that you purchased car insurance is to help protect yourself from financial risk during an accident. Insurance companies protect themselves as well. If you’d be involved in a car accident, even if you’re not at fault, they’ll view you as high risk. To counterbalance this, they could impose a surcharge on your insurance rate. So, the answer to the question if your insurance policy will go after an auto accident even if you’re not at fault, is yes.
How Much Does Your Car Insurance Rate Go Up After An Accident?
The increase in insurance rates varies from every state. Insurers used to follow the Insurance Services Office’s (ISO) standard when increasing the rates. In the past, it was around 20 to 40 percent. However, nowadays, the percentage of how much rates rise after an accident is between 11 percent and 92 percent.
There’s no exact science to how much your insurance rate will go up; it all depends on circumstances.
Some factors that may affect the increase in your insurance rates:
If you make a claim and have an upcoming birthday just before renewal time, it may bump your insurance rate.
- New vehicle
If you’ve recently purchased an expensive vehicle just before your renewal time, you’ll see an increase in your insurance rate.
- Risk level
If you’re determined to be a high-risk level type of client after the accident, even if it’s not your fault, you’ll be seeing an increase in your rates.
Some states increase their insurance rates on the higher end; states such as California (92 percent) and Delaware (78 percent). And there are also states that are on the lower end, states such as Alaska (11 percent) and Mississippi (14 percent).
The Good News When It’s A Not Your Fault Claim
If the accident is not your fault, in most states, the claim is filed against the insurance company of person who’s at fault. When you register against the person who’s at fault, your rates won’t go up that much. And if you want to file a claim on your insurance company, you don’t need to worry because most insurance companies don’t add enormous surcharges when the accident is not your fault. However, if you file for three or more claims within the span of three-years, you’ll most likely see a higher increase.
The Bad News When It’s A Not Your Fault Claim
There are times that the person at fault is uncooperative or would flee the scene of the accident. In these cases, it would be difficult for you to file hit-and-run insurance claim. In this type of situation, filing for a not-at-fault claim would carry surcharges. However, it would still be smaller than an at-fault claim.
What Can You Do About The Increase in Your Policy?
If your insurance company adds surcharges when you’ve filed for a not-at-fault claim, then it’s probably best that start looking for a new insurance provider. You can avoid this from happening again by asking your prospective insurance company if they have surcharges when someone is filing for not-at-fault accident claim. This will help narrow down your choices. If all of your potential insurance companies have surcharges, choose the one with the highest claim to give.
How Can I Decrease My Insurance Rates After An Accident?
If you want to stay with your current insurance carrier, but would like to see a decrease in your insurance rate, you can implement some ways to offset that.
Ways to decrease your insurance rates:
- Increase in your deductible
You should choose a deductible that would make sense for you. It would also be advisable if you set aside some money for your deductible just in case you’d need to file a claim.
- Improve your credit score
You should ensure that your credit score is doing well. Most insurance companies jack up your rates if you have a lower credit score. To them, you’ll be considered as a higher risk.
- Avoid filing too many claims
Each time you file a claim, your risk of getting a higher insurance rate goes up. So, you should make sure that you don’t file claims for things that you can take out of your wallet.
The most important thing when dealing with your insurance policy is to know all the details about it. When you’re applying for one, you should ask questions as much as you can. Try to understand what situations can lead to an increase. And if it’s too hard for you to handle, you can always look for another provider. Lastly, to avoid this situation, always be safety conscious while on the road.
Dianna Charles is a promising young law enthusiast that hopes to bring her youthful spirit in her field. She tries to add a refreshing modern take to topics on the legal world that people can learn from. Dianna enjoys her free time with friends and family, and loves to cook for them.