Does My Insurance Go Up After an Accident?
It happened. You were in a car accident. One question that comes up after nearly every car accident: Does my insurance go up after an accident?
Vehicle Accidents Are Common
According to the National Highway Traffic Administration, over 5.25 million auto accidents happen each year. This equates to one accident every 60 seconds. Worrying if your car insurance goes up after an accident is common too.
Accidents Are Not Fun
Car accidents are no fun. They upend your life and leave you with a lot of problems and questions. We talk to a lot of people soon after they are in a car accident. Many people ask the question: Does my insurance go up after an accident? Our answer: it depends.
Here is the information you need to know about insurance after an accident:
Myth vs. Fact
There is a myth that suggests car insurance rates skyrocket after an accident. Usually, “skyrocket” is an exaggeration. There are several factors that determine if your rate will go up after an accident.
What Makes Car Insurance Go Up?
There are several ways your car insurance can increase after an accident. They include:
- cost and severity of the claim
- who was at fault
- previous driving record
- your insurance provider
Cost And Severity Of Claim
Each claim is different and unique. If you experience a minor fender bender, odds are your insurance rate will not increase. If it is more severe, such as a total loss, your insurance may increase.
Who Was At Fault
Depending on who caused the accident, the responsible driver’s insurance rate may increase. The police and adjuster will examine the incident and determine who was at fault. More than one driver may be at fault and both may be at risk for increased rates.
The previous driving record of the person involved in an accident comes into play. If the driver has a bad driving record, the insurance company may deem them a liability and increase their rates. The rule? High risk = high rates.
Your Insurance Provider
Believe it or not, your insurance provider plays a big role in how much your insurance costs. Additionally, how much those rates go up after an accident can vary from provider to provider.
Chargeable vs Non-Chargeable
Insurance companies use the terms “chargeable” and “non-chargeable” to describe if your rates will go up or not. Insurance companies can add a surcharge after a “chargeable” incident.
Chargeable typically means a crash where you were over 50% at fault. But, it can also include moving violations like a speeding ticket or running a stop sign.
Non-chargeable incidents are generally circumstances beyond your control. Some basic examples of a non-chargeable incident include:
- your legally parked car is damaged
- a collision with an animal or bird
- injury claims using only personal injury protection (PIP) coverage
- the other driver is convicted of a traffic violation associated with the crash, but you were not convicted of a moving violation
What if No One is At Fault?
If no driver is held at fault for an accident, it is possible insurance may still increase. But, some states offer ‘no-fault insurance’ to cover drivers and passengers. No-fault accidents typically won’t raise your insurance rates.
Some insurance policies offer ‘accident forgiveness.’ Therefore, your rates may not go up after a collision. Even if you are at fault, your rates may not go up with accident forgiveness. Ask your insurance carrier if they offer accident forgiveness.
Common Reason Insurance Goes Up After An Accident
Why does insurance go up after an accident? A common reason why insurance goes up after an accident is people buy a different car. Policy changes account for insurance companies adjusting your rates to reflect the change.
Car Accident Law Firm
Were you injured in a car accident and are not sure which way to turn? The attorneys at Kane & Silverman can help you. Call us today at 215-232-1000 to discuss the details of your claim.
Free Car Accident Consultation
One of our experienced attorneys will help you with your insurance claim and the proper steps to get the money you deserve. Contact us to schedule a free injury consultation with an attorney.