Premiums Increase After At Fault and No Fault Accident

You were sitting at a red light and someone rear-ended you. It wasn’t your fault, so why the heck did your insurance premiums go up? Chances are you’re insurance company is penalizing you for an accident or traffic violation that may have happened months or years ago.

If you have a spotless driving record, it is highly unlikely that your premiums will increase after an accident that wasn’t your fault. However, if you have just one related traffic violation, or fender bender prior to this no-fault accident, then you will probably see an increase in your rates. The length of time varies from company to company. So, if you were an accident that was your fault two or three years before this no-fault accident, the insurance company might consider you “accident-prone” and increase your rates. The length of time between accidents varies from company to company.

Keep in mind that “fault” is determined by the authorities. You may feel that you were not at fault in an accident, or that the other driver was a maniac. But, the authorities make that decision, and the party that is ticketed during the incident is considered to be at fault.

Insurance companies base their premiums on risk-factor. So, even if someone rear-ends you at a stoplight when you were minding your own business, if you’ve had a speeding ticket or other violation prior to this accident, you might be deemed an at-risk driver. Each insurance company has different policies and standards, but they look at your overall propensity towards accidents.

Some companies will forgive past accidents after a certain period of time has passed. This can be as little as two years, or as much as five years, but again, it varies from company to company. If you go without a speeding ticket or other traffic violation for many years, chances are that you premium will decrease.

The number of accidents you are in directly affects your premium. You could be in six no-fault accidents, and your company would still raise your rates. They feel that even though the authorities determined these accidents not to be your fault, that you must have something wrong with your driving to be having so many crashes. Are you cursed, or just accident-prone? Insurance fraud also plays a small factor in this equation. Many people “stage” accidents to reap settlements from insurance companies. A high number of no-fault accidents might raise a red-flag with an insurance company.

If you have any concerns about an increase in premiums, contact your insurance agent to discuss the problem. If you are unsatisfied with the response, you can file a complaint with state agencies to investigate the problem. But remember, if you have had several accidents in the past, this is likely the reason for your increase in rates

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