Will My Car Insurance Rate Go Up if I File a Claim?

Chances are good that filing an insurance claim will make your rates go up, especially if you were the at-fault driver. The amount of this increase may depend on the circumstances of the accident and your overall driving history.

The product everyone needs but no one wants to use

Insurance is essential these days, especially if you own a home or an automobile.

At the same time, insurance is one of those rare products that almost nobody wants to use. That’s because filing a claim will almost certainly result in higher premiums.

How much your rates go up can depend on several factors. Here’s what your insurance company will probably consider when making its decision:

  • Your driving history: People with a clean record (no accidents or tickets in the past several years) will have a smaller rate increase than those with a spottier record.
  • The severity of the accident: A driver who causes a minor fender-bender is less likely to experience a considerable rate increase than one who initiates a high-speed multi-car pileup.
  • The amount of blame you share: People who are 100% at fault for causing an accident are more likely to receive a higher rate increase than those who are partly at fault.

Your insurance company can give you specific information about its post-accident rate increase policies.

What about accident forgiveness?

“Accident forgiveness” is a term you may have heard during insurance company commercials. But what does it mean exactly, and is it for you? Here’s what you need to know:

  • Not all insurance companies offer accident forgiveness: Check with your insurer to find out if it’s available.
  • The rules governing accident forgiveness can vary from one company to the next: Some companies only forgive minor accidents. Others may forgive your first accident but not subsequent ones. Some companies may offer this at no extra charge. Others add a fee.
  • Accident forgiveness does nothing about the points on your license: The accident will remain on your record no matter what your insurance company chooses to do.

The best way to avoid rate increases

The best way to deal with insurance rate increases is to prevent them from happening in the first place. Here are some helpful tips:

  • Keep your eyes on the road: This may sound obvious, but many licensed drivers fail to follow this simple safeguard. Save your smartphone for when you’re safely parked or out of your vehicle altogether. Even a moment’s inattention can lead to a serious accident.
  • Use extra care when turning left: Left turns play a role in one out of four auto accidents in the US. Make sure you can see all around you and that no vehicles are in danger of colliding with yours.
  • Remember that drowsy driving is deadly: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that drowsiness played a role in over 72,000 car crashes during 2013 alone.

 Contact us today for a free consultation

Maybe you’ve been injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault. It’s always a good idea to talk to a personal injury lawyer in Pittsburgh. Discussing your situation with a legal expert is a great way to understand your options.

Our skilled attorneys have recovered more than $1 billion for their clients over the years. Find out what we can do for you by getting in touch with us today. Consultations are always free, and we’re available 24/7.