Usually, if you cause a car accident, you can expect your insurance rates to increase substantially. Some insurance companies will raise your rates as much as 50% or more if an injury occurs as a result unless you have an accident forgiveness clause. However, if you're asking, "does a single car accident raise your insurance," and you were not at fault, you're likely in luck, and it won't cause a rate increase.
Still, how your car insurance deals with accidents may vary, and there are state laws that may impact how the accident is handled. Carrying liability insurance is a legal requirement in all states except New Hampshire. It's meant to cover any property damage and medical expenses another party incurs should an accident be your fault.
A claim against your liability insurance often triggers a surcharge that will be applied to your next policy renewal. This is where you'll see the rate increase. While you can switch insurance companies, the new company will be privy to your claim history and driving record and will most likely charge you accordingly. That's why determining fault is crucial in a car accident. If you've been involved in a car accident and the fault is in dispute, or you've been seriously hurt, Morgan and Morgan Law Firm may be able to help.
Yes, a Single Crash That Was Your Fault Can Cause Your Insurance to Go Up
It may not seem fair, but even one car accident that’s your fault can cause your rates to go up. How much it will increase depends on which insurer provides your coverage. State Farm has the lowest increase, while Nationwide, Progressive, Geico, and Allstate are the most unforgiving. Insurance rates increase slightly more for injuries than collisions that only result in property damage.
After an at-fault collision, shopping around may be wise, as the increase will depend on which state you reside in and the laws regulating insurance. California drivers will have the highest increases in the nation.
The Severity of the Accident, Along With State Laws, Will Dictate the Increase
It makes sense that the severity of damage will impact your rates because the insurance company will be out more money for catastrophic injuries. Likewise, a minor accident may not cause any significant raise in your rates. Some states regulate the dollar threshold that must be met before an insurance company can increase your premium payment. For example, in New York and Massachusetts, insurance companies are prohibited from raising rates for accidents where there is only property damage under a certain dollar threshold.