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Does Car Insurance Go Up If You’re Not At Fault For An Accident?

By  Dan McCrary | April 5, 2024

Will my car insurance go up if I’m not at fault for an accident? Yes, it’s a possibility. How much it will go up depends on many factors, such as the model of your car, the accident that happened, its overall damage cost, etc.

Insurance companies do this to save money and minimize risk. Regardless of fault, what matters to them is how likely you are to end up in another accident. The worse your driving history, the higher the chances of accidents; thus, the price will increase.

Below, we’ll explain the factors that affect insurance prices and how much, on average, the price can go up. We’ll also answer how you can prevent insurance prices from going up. So, let’s get started!

Does Insurance Go Up If It’s Not Your Fault?

Yes, insurance goes up even if it’s not your fault in many cases. It’s a higher possibility, especially in cases where the accident was serious and you also have a bad driving history, such as many other minor accidents, traffic violations, etc.

The scenario mentioned above can label an individual as a “risky” driver who is more likely to cause another accident in the future. The insurer’s increased risk perception often results in higher premiums.

How Much Does Insurance Go Up After An Accident?

How much insurance premiums go up after an accident depends on the accident, the driver’s overall driving history, and the insurance company. Some companies have higher premiums after an at-fault accident than others.

For instance, some insurers may raise premiums by up to 20% or even 40%, depending on their risk analysis. The greater the perceived risk associated with insuring a driver, the more the insurance company will charge.

However, it’s important to remember the insurance premium won’t be high for the rest of your life. If you maintain a claim-free record and avoid traffic violations for a few years following the accident, your insurance premium will return to normal.

5 Factors That Affect The Insurance Premium

Let’s find out how the insurance company does the “risk analysis,” what factors it considers, and how they affect the insurance premium.

1. The Vehicle

Your vehicle’s model number and age are important factors for risk analysis. If you own a luxury vehicle with the latest technology, the insurance company would have to pay more to compensate for damages in case of an accident.

Due to the higher compensation required, insurance companies usually charge more to insure such vehicles. At the same time, a not-so-expensive model car without the latest technology can be insured for a lesser amount.

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2. Driving History

A driver’s driving history plays a significant role in determining the insurance premium. Individuals with a clean record, with few to almost no accidents or traffic violations, are considered “safe” drivers by insurance companies.

Such a record assures insurers that the driver hasn’t been involved in any legal issues and drives safely. This assurance is crucial for insurance companies since they are the ones who will be paying for damages in case of an accident.

3. Location & Age

The location and the driver’s age are also important factors. Due to their age and lack of experience, teenagers and older drivers (aged 70 or more) are considered more likely to encounter accidents because of slower reaction times.

Besides age, where you live and drive matter a lot. Living in a city means countless vehicles on the road, increasing the chances of accidents compared to a small town. Both of these points often lead to higher insurance premiums.

4. Marital Status

As stated, car insurance premiums are based on how “risky” a driver is to insure. If the driver is prone to accidents, traffic violations, or speeding, it indicates that they may not be responsible enough, resulting in higher premiums.

Insurance companies often consider the driver’s marital status to determine their responsibility. It’s believed that married drivers tend to drive more carefully than young drivers. However, it’s worth noting that this factor isn’t considered in two states: Massachusetts and Michigan.

5. Credit Score & Coverage

Your credit score holds weight in many states when determining your insurance premium. A good credit score often results in lower premiums, while a poor one might result in higher costs.

Moreover, the coverage you select directly affects your insurance premiums. If you choose more extensive insurance coverage, you’ll have to pay higher premiums, offering greater protection in an accident.

Can I Prevent My Insurance Rates From Going Up After An Accident?

Technically, there’s no way to prevent insurance rates from increasing after an accident if that’s your fault. Almost every insurance company increases the cost, so they might ask for similar premiums even if you consider another insurance provider.

However, many insurance policies offer “accident forgiveness” to drivers with a good record. The main benefit of an accident forgiveness policy is that it ensures that the driver’s insurance cost won’t increase due to the accident for the first time.

Final Words

In short, yes, car insurance goes up whether you’re at fault or not. This is because almost all insurance companies decide premiums based on factors such as driving history, location, age, and more, not solely on fault.

A driver considered risky to insure will have a higher insurance premium after an accident. However, if your policy includes “accident forgiveness,” you may be spared from an increase for the first accident.

If you encounter car insurance issues, consider contacting the experienced lawyers at McCrary Law Firm. Our lawyers can guide the process and help you claim compensation for the car accident if it’s not your fault.

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    McCrary Accident Injury Law Firm specializes in personal injury litigation. Its founder, Dan McCrary, Esq., spent 14 years working for the insurance companies before switching sides to represent personal injury victims in Rocklin as an attorney.

    Dan McCrary’s years of experience on the defense side taught him exactly how to obtain maximum recovery for his injured clients. If you have been injured in an accident you should contact the Accident & Injury Lawyers, Personal injury Attorney, Car accident lawyers at McCrary Accident Injury Law Firm in Rocklin, folsom, Sacramento to get the money you deserve, and overcome the tactics routinely employed by the insurance companies.