How Much Does Car Insurance Go up After an Accident?
After a car collision, one of the main worries is whether your car insurance will go up and by how much. The answer depends on whether you caused the accident and (sometimes) how much blame you have for the wreck.
If you’ve been involved in a car wreck, even one that you don’t think is all that serious, hiring an experienced Waterford car accident attorney, can help protect your rights and reduce the chances that your car insurance will go up.
Why Would Your Car Insurance Go up After a Car Wreck?
Each insurance company has its own guidelines and underwriting policies that determine when rates go up for each driver. Because the federal government does not regulate car insurance, each state will control rates differently. This means that many factors can go into whether your rates will go up after a collision.
Even if you aren’t to blame for the car wreck, you may still end up paying more per month for insurance—you might lose your free credit or your eligibility for a safe driving discount.
For example, if you receive a discount on your premium for being accident-free, you may lose that benefit if you’re involved in a wreck, even if you weren’t the driver who caused it.
In some cases, such as if you have already had several collision claims, your insurance company may cancel your premium. If you shop around for a new insurance carrier, you may end up paying even higher rates because of your driving record and the cancellation by your original insurance company.
You may also have to take out additional policy protection because the insurance company may deem you a high-risk driver.
Car insurance carriers base their rates on statistics; the chances of a wreck increase after each previous one. The rates go up because the insurance company is more likely to have to pay a claim.
Even if you didn’t cause the accident but filed a claim for the damage, you could still see your rates increase.
How Much Will Your Car Insurance Increase After a Wreck?
Car insurance rates usually go up after an at-fault accident because the insurance company will view you as a less-safe driver—one more likely to get into a wreck and cost the company money.
The exact amount your premium could increase depends on:
- Your insurance company
- Your driving record before the crash
- Your claim history
- Where you live
- Your age and gender
Younger (under 25) male drivers tend to have higher insurance rates than other demographics, as they’re a riskier group, so they may see a higher percentage increase in their rates after a wreck.
The average increase of full coverage premiums is about $750 after an accident, according to Bankrate and Quadrant Information Service.
How Can a Car Accident Lawyer Help Avoid an Increase in Your Insurance Premiums?
If your case goes to trial or even mediation, the responsibility for the wreck will go to the at-fault party. If another party caused the car accident, then their insurance company will pay for your medical bills and replace or repair your vehicle after the wreck.
If your insurance company doesn’t have to pay anything to make you financially whole after the collision, your rates may not increase.
Furthermore, consider this scenario: The other party caused the wreck, but the circumstances of the collision are a little gray. You are fairly certain you didn’t cause the wreck, and you assume that you can just file a claim with their insurance company.
However, the other driver hires a car accident attorney, who presents an argument that makes it look like you share primary responsibility for the collision.
The other party’s car accident lawyer files a suit for damages against you, which means they are asking your insurance company to pay for the medical care after car accident and property damage for the other driver.
If you don’t have representation by your own car accident lawyer, then you may end up being found legally responsible for the car crash. Your insurance rates will go up because your insurance company will have to pay the settlement.
So even if you think you’re in the right, you never know what the other party could do—especially if there are extenuating circumstances that might make it look like you caused the wreck, such as if you slammed on your brakes to avoid hitting an animal that ran into the road.
Having legal representation after a collision protects your rights.
Connecticut Car Insurance Company Statutes
If a judge or jury determines that you did not cause the accident, then the insurance company cannot assess a surcharge for the accident or any violations as per Connecticut statute Sec. 38a-686.
This law applies to the making and using of rates by insurance carriers regarding personal risk insurance. It sets limits on the use of a customer’s credit history, as well as limiting the rate increases on personal and motor vehicle insurance.
The law notes that risks are to be grouped by classification for the establishment of minimum premiums and rates and that no surcharge on a motor vehicle insurance premium is to be assessed on an operator involved in an accident they did not cause.
If you worry that your insurance company may have violated this statute, a Connecticut car accident attorney may help you explore your legal options, including filing a complaint with the state. At this point, however, most people just shop for a better, less-expensive policy.
Do You Need a Connecticut Car Accident Lawyer?
After a car collision if you don’t know your next step, a car accident attorney near you can help. One of the key steps you should take after a car accident is to consult with a car accident attorney in Connecticut. They will defend you in a contentious car accident litigation case, or as your personal injury lawyer, seek compensatory damages against the party that caused your accident.
Don’t try to navigate this process alone—protect yourself with qualified legal representation.