Car accidents are inconvenient in the best of times and life changing in the worst. If you are involved in an accident, there are many factors to take into consideration—such as if your premiums will go up.
One thing you can breathe easy on is that, most of the time, a single accident that is not your fault should not have a significant impact on your premiums. Auto insurance providers primarily base your rates off of how likely you are to file a claim. If an accident is declared as someone else’s fault, this does not reflect on your ability to drive, thus it may not affect how much you pay for auto insurance.
For example, if someone side swipes your parked car, you should not have to pay more in auto insurance.
How is Fault Decided?
They way fault is decided varies state by state. Most at fault states such as Texas operate based on a percentage. For example, you may be declared only 20% at fault for an accident while the other driver bears the remaining 80% of fault. The less fault you face, the less you will generally see affecting your auto insurance rates.
If you are declared more at fault or totally at fault, however, you could see a raise in your premiums. A single at fault car accident can raise your rates by 30% or more depending on the incident and your location. Rates tend to raise more in accidents involving bodily injury or significant property damage. Accidents involving DUIs can even raise your rates by 80% or more, or could even lead to a cancelled auto insurance policy.
The percentage and how it is calculated varies depending on your state—generally referring to negligence of the driver. If a driver is considered negligent in an accident, fault will likely fall to them. Negligence may include failing to pay attention, failing to adhere to traffic laws, speeding, driving while intoxicated and more.
If a police report is filed as a result of the accident, it can help the insurance providers involved determine fault. Make sure to be honest and detailed when you recount the accident both to police and to your insurance provider, as inconsistencies can raise flags with your insurer.
If your rates do go up because of an accident, be sure to speak with your insurance agent about saving money in other areas.
Also Read: What are the Consequences of Driving Without Insurance?
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