According to a recent study, accidents increase auto insurance rates, sometimes as much as 40%, when the driver is found at fault for causing personal injury or property damage.
The study, initiated by insuranceQuotes.com, a division of Bankrate, indicates that causing a $2,000 or greater claim for property damage will trigger a 41% increase in a driver’s premiums, while the same claim for bodily injury will raise a driver’s rates by 45% on average across the nation. This is because the customer is now viewed as a greater risk to insure. Typically, rates do not increase if a driver is determined to not be at fault for the accident.
For research purposes, the study based all of its quotes on rates for a 45-year-old married woman with a college degree, a job, and no previous claims. Furthermore, the study assumes she drives a 2012 sedan and carries a policy that includes $100,000 for injury to one person and $300,000 for all injuries, including a $500 deductible for collision and comprehensive coverage. Rates from six large insurance companies were included in the study.
Additionally, researchers ascertained that the effect of an at-fault claim on insurance rates varies drastically from state to state. For instance, in California, a bodily injury claim could cause an 86% increase in premiums. The same claim might cause an insurance customer to pay 83% more in Massachusetts and 69% more in New Jersey. In stark contrast, customers in Montana and Oklahoma might pay 27% more, while drivers in Michigan would see their rates jump only 25%, and those in Maryland would see a 22% increase.
Typically, the increased rates will be effective for 3 to 5 years, but will begin to subside after that if there are no additional claims.
Claims for theft, storm damage and the like, fall under the comprehensive portion of an auto insurance policy, therefore, having no impact on your insurance company’s assessment of your driving skills or your premium rates.
The study determined the average auto insurance premium in 2012 was $815, based on information from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.
If an accident claim leaves you with higher premiums, you might be well-served by comparing rates of other companies. You may be able to save a few dollars until the accident comes off your record.
Contact Our Denver Auto Accident Lawyers
When an auto accident has injured you or someone you love, it is often necessary to seek legal assistance – especially when dealing with insurance companies. Don’t let the insurance companies push you around and pressure you into signing a low-ball settlement offer. First, speak to one of our experienced Denver auto accident lawyers. Contact Denver attorney Robert Paysinger today to discuss your case. Our law firm offers FREE case consultations and can be reached at 303.279.0221.
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