If you have been in an accident, one of your biggest concerns might be how much your car insurance will go up.
A study conducted by insuranceQuotes.com discovered that drivers who file a single claim on their policy will pay an average of 41% more for their auto insurance coverage.
The study was done to get the answer drivers often ask, “Will my auto insurance premiums increase after an accident?”
While auto insurers rarely respond to those questions with concrete answers because many factors are considered when determining if a rate increase is warranted.
They look at the driving history of the insured, who was at-fault for the crash, contributing factors to the crash, and the crash severity.
The Study Details
For the study, the researchers wanted to determine how insurance premiums changed for a 45-year-old woman who is married, employed, and has a high credit score. The driver never saw insurance coverage lapse or filed any previous claims. Despite being a good customer, her rates were increased.
Researchers considered three different claim scenarios and how her rates would be affected.
The first scenario involved a bodily injury and property damage claim. The second scenario involved a comprehensive claim. And the third scenario involved a claim that involves car damage that isn’t caused by an accident, such as theft, flood, or hail damage.
The study determined that drivers who file a claim of $2,000 or more can expect a 41% increase of premiums. The average person whose premium is $815 per year, you can expect an increase of about $335 a year.
If someone files two claims in the same year, the rate increase averages out to about 93% over the original premium. Filing a claim on your insurance policy can affect your rates for years.
If you get a premium increase for filing a claim, your finances can be affected long-term by the increased premiums and how those additional funds are coming out of your monthly budget.
What If It Wasn’t My Fault?
Research determined if you are involved in a crash, but it wasn’t your fault, your premiums shouldn’t increase. The premium increases vary from one state to another.
In Maryland, a driver might see a 22% increase after a crash while a Massachusetts driver might see a 76% premium hike.
Those states that have stricter regulations regarding auto insurance coverage see higher rate spikes after an accident claim, according to the study.
As an example, in California a law mandates that auto insurance premiums be based on three things – the driver’s safety record, miles driven annually, and the years of driving experience. When a driver has an accident, one of those factors is completely knocked out.
In Maryland, insurers can consider many factors, including gender, age, occupation, and credit score.
So, if you have an accident where you are at-fault, you can expect an increase in premiums. You should be aware though, that the amount of the increase can vary significantly.
If you have been involved in an auto accident, you should consult with a personal injury attorney. Complete the Free Case Evaluation Form so a lawyer in your area can review the details of your crash.