So you explored the many types of auto insurance. But why will auto insurers raise your car insurance rate and insurance score? Below, expert insurance law attorney Michael Ehline explains everything, even the possibility of increased repair costs from problems with supply chains increasing vehicle damage repair costs.
You bought the right insurance with the right deductible, thinking you would protect your car and occupants from harm by yourself or others. Next, you got into an unfortunate accident and worried your insurance rate would go up or your credit score may be affected if you reported your insurance claim, right?
So what happens after you tell your broker about the claim and pay your deductible?
Well, first of all, it doesn’t always matter who is at fault for making your car insurance premiums go up. It’s not always about reckless driving or DUIs. The number of no-fault insurance claims filed on your behalf can directly impact your insurance rates, not just traffic violations. So your rates can still hike if you have too many claims. It could be grounds for cancellation or non-renewal by many California insurance companies.
Of course, at-fault accidents will almost always raise a red flag regarding auto insurance rates. In that case, your rates will generally increase whether in your zip code or not.
Other things like credit history, credit rating, and the number of traffic tickets will mitigate in favor of or against a rate increase in some car accidents. Never assume good driving habits will keep your auto insurance rate low.
Summary: Keep in mind, too many auto insurance claims can increase auto insurance costs with even the most reputable insurance companies, including State Farm and Farmers Insurance. Rate increases can still happen under your insurance policy even if you purchase insurance products that offer accident forgiveness.
Some insurers have slick ad campaigns discussing “accident forgiveness” even if you’re at fault. The idea is that your rates won’t increase for an at-fault accident if you buy or accept the additional service. Make sure and read the fine print. (Go here to see a list of insurers offering accident forgiveness and discounts for safety features.)
But remember, if you want to switch insurers, the forgiven accident remains on your DMV driving record. In other words, the new insurance company will tally that risk into your new policy. This is why you should have a reputable insurance law attorney at Ehline Law Firm review your proposed car insurance policy and coverage limits before signing on the dotted line.
The answer is it could increase your insurance costs. Of course, California law requires you to file a Form SR-1 accident report within ten days of the wreck with the DMV if the damage is above $1000.00 U.S. So, whether or not you’re at fault matters not.
When you file a claim, your insurance representative will typically file the SR-1 on your behalf. Or when you hire a car accident lawyer, the firm usually files one.
Even if you don’t file a claim with your carrier, they constantly look at policyholders’ driving histories during the policy. The problem is that even if you’re not at fault, your present and future insurer assesses all risks, not just at-fault risks.
If you get into many no-fault accidents, you may seem at a high risk as long as those car accident reports remain on your DMV Printout. Get it?
The DMV printout is a time-based record of your driving history. The printout records traffic tickets like following too closely, DUIs, no-fault, and at-fault accidents.
It contains a point-based record of crimes, infractions, and accidents.
Except for severe offenses like Driving While Intoxicated, minor points will stay on your driving record for three or 36 months. This can significantly increase car insurance costs.
Felony, misdemeanor hit-and-runs, with or without property damage, and DUI offenses remain on your DMV license printout for ten years. This conviction can prevent you from getting specific civilian jobs and almost bars you from many government jobs as a security risk.
Unfortunately, even if you’re not at fault, the history of the accident remains for three years, as an at-fault collision would. It seems unfair to increase insurance scores in this case, right? Actuaries will use this information when determining your rates, unfortunately.
Before we digress too much here, is it even in your best interest to file a claim? You got stellar coverage, and now you are worried your rates will go up. First off, as discussed, sometimes you have no choice but to report this to the DMV. The key here is eliminating or reducing the number of claims you file.
Otherwise, you remain at risk for a minor to a substantial increase. A good idea would be to ignore scratches and dings and only file a claim for a catastrophic loss. Even if you remain claim-free for years and never skipped a payment, your insurer can still decline your renewal or refuse to upgrade your coverage after your policy expiration.
Supply chain disruptions (labor shortages can increase labor costs for vehicle repairs), insurance fraud, your driving record, coverage limits, coverage options, credit score, and even your present marital status could play a role in your car insurance rates, so shop around for the best options in insurance for car insurance coverage when looking for the best car insurance companies for you and your loved ones.
In a nutshell, your auto insurance rates can go up regardless of fault. And this is a future cost factor your lawyer should consider when settling your car accident case.
To learn more about auto accidents, contact Ehline Law Firm Personal Injury Attorneys, APLC, at (213) 596-9642. Our best Los Angeles personal injury attorney will review your auto policy at no charge. We help battle any insurance company in Los Angeles, San Diego, San Bernardino, Riverside, and San Francisco car accident victims. Use our website contact form today.
Insurance Information Institute.