WILL A CAR ACCIDENT AFFECT MY INSURANCE RATES?

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn

A car accident can be a jarring experience. Minor or serious, your car may have suffered some damages. And on top of that, you may have been injured and now need to seek compensation. Whether you are seriously injured or not, you may still be wondering, “Will this car accident affect my insurance rates?”

man's back pocket with wallet and money in it

Well, there are a lot of factors that come into play and a lot of new hoops to jump through when determining if and how your insurance will be affected. 

It may be obvious, however, not all accidents are the same. Not all drivers are the same and as a result, not all insurance plans are created the same. Whether you have had a history with accidents in the past or not comes into play as well. 

It may be obvious, however, not all accidents are the same. Not all drivers are the same and as a result, not all insurance plans are created the same. Whether you have had a history with accidents in the past or not comes into play as well. 

Insurance companies take a lot into account every time you make a claim. This can be intimidating and confusing, especially if you were not at fault. 

Not-At-Fault Claims

One of the most important details to consider when making a claim is who was at fault for causing the accident. Most of us understand that if we cause an accident, we will likely have to pay for any damages we caused through our insurance company. 

But on the other hand, if the car accident you were involved in occurred at the fault of another driver, it is commonly believed that you should not get penalized by your insurance company… right?

Well, not necessarily. 

According to the Consumer Federation of America,  “Safe drivers who are in accidents caused by others often see auto insurance rate hikes.” This means that if you were involved in an accident and were not at fault, your insurance company will likely still penalize you. 

In most cases, you will be required to provide proof that you weren’t at fault of the accident. The specific requirements may vary among different insurance companies, however, here are a few examples they may ask for:

  • Detailed Police Report (which would indicate the party at fault)
  • A statement accepting fault from the other driver’s insurance company
  • Legal Documentation as a record of reimbursement and/or written statement from the other driver claiming fault.

But what about accident forgiveness? 

Accident Forgiveness

Again, the guidelines surrounding accident forgiveness really do vary from insurance company to insurance company. We encourage you to reach out to your carrier or get in touch with an attorney with specific questions. 

For example, Geico details their Accident Forgiveness policy as follows: “Accident Forgiveness applies only to your first accident. Your insurance rate won’t go up as a result of your first otherwise surchargeable, at-fault accident. Subsequent occurrences do not qualify for Accident Forgiveness. Accident Forgiveness eligibility is determined by your specific policy type, as well as your state laws and regulations. Terms vary according to state law.” 

If your policy includes Accident Forgiveness, this may not protect you as well as you would have hoped, especially if you have additional accidents on your driving record. Otherwise, many individuals simply may not qualify for Accident Forgiveness. 

A similar story can be told for surcharges and penalties. 

Surcharges and Penalties

The same rule applies, if you are wondering if you’ll receive a penalty or increase in your insurance rate, it would be best to reach out to your individual auto insurance provider. All companies and plans vary, especially when it comes to specifics. 

In general, you could stand to experience surcharges for three to five years after an accident! (Forbes).

As you may have noticed, there are a lot of factors that come into play when you dig into car insurance and accident protection. And the answer to whether your car insurance rates will increase after an accident is not always clear. It can be a tricky subject to navigate, but we are here for you. 

If you’re experiencing difficulty with your insurance provider after an accident, we would love to discuss your options to help you save money everywhere you can and get compensated for any injuries and damages you have.

Reach out to us with any questions. You can reach us directly at 727-888-3925.  

More to explore

Questions? Comments? Drop them below!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This
Scroll to Top