If you were in an accident, the following question has probably crossed your mind: “What will this do to my car insurance rates?” It is a fair question and one that Boulton Law Group regularly receives.
The straight answer is “it depends.” Because there is no definitive way to determine ‘when’ and by ‘how much’ your insurance rates may increase, it can feel as though the insurance company moves in mysterious ways.
And while we do not have access to the insurance giants’ rate formulas and algorithms, our experience in handling Indiana car accident claims has helped us to identify examples of crash types that may result in a bit of a rate bump vs. collisions that do not affect premiums.
When Will Your Insurance Rates Stay the Same?
Some people may assume that their car insurance rates will automatically rise after their accident, no matter the details. Fortunately, that is not always true.
In fact, if any of the following apply to your car accident, there is a good chance that your insurance rate may stay the same:
- You have a safe driving record – In insurance-speak, this often means that you have no prior car accident history and/or any moving violations, e.g., speeding tickets.
- You were not at fault for the accident – If you were involved in a minor collision, and the Indiana accident report has placed the other driver 100% at fault, you may not experience an increase in rates.
- You were involved in a hit-and-run – Hit-and-run car accidents often require a person to file an uninsured claim with their own policy, however, if it is determined that you were not at fault, your insurance rates may not increase.
- You have Accident Forgiveness – Certain insurers allow their policyholders to purchase (or earn) Accident Forgiveness that will essentially prevent a driver’s first at-fault accident from raising their car insurance rates. Accident Forgiveness programs differ per insurer in terms of who qualifies, however, it may be worth investigating if the additional cost would be worth it for you.
- You had an accident due to mechanical failure – For example, if it is determined that your car accident was the result of a tire blowout, you may not experience a rate increase.
Keep in mind, if your car insurance rates do increase despite meeting any of the above qualifications, you may find that another carrier will overlook your most recent accident and provide you with a premium that matches your previous rate or is lower.
What Will Cause Your Insurance Rates to Increase?
As you may have guessed, the list of factors that can cause your insurance rates to increase after a car accident is much more cut-and-dry. If any of the following apply to you, you may experience a car insurance rate increase:
- You were 100% liable for the accident – Any time you are found to be fully liable for a car accident, there is a likelihood that your insurance rates will increase.
- You were partially liable for the accident – Indiana law allows accident victims to recover compensation for their injuries as long as they are no more than 50% at-fault, however, if you have any percentage of fault for the collision, you may experience a rate increase.
- Your state/zip code is considered high-risk – Insurance companies use location to determine your initial premium, so if you live in a state or city that records a large number of car accidents, you can expect to pay a higher premium if you are involved in a traffic incident.
- You have been previously ticketed – If you were not at fault for the car accident, but your driving record includes a number of tickets for speeding and/or other minor offenses, you still may experience a rate increase.
As you can see, dozens of factors are considered when determining whether or not your car insurance rates will increase. For this reason, the best advice we can give Hoosiers regarding insurance rates is simple: Always be careful on the roads and maintain a flawless driving record!
Do Raised Insurance Rates Ever Go Back Down?
If your car accident does increase your insurance rates, you should expect these rates to stay in effect for a considerable amount of time.
Ultimately, the insurance company will look at the seriousness of the accident, the total dollar amount in damages, and your past history to determine how long the new rate will last.
That said, increased car insurance rates do not have to last forever. Your carrier will also closely monitor your post-accident driving record as a measure to begin lowering your premiums to their previous rate.
Also, as mentioned earlier, you always have the right to consider other insurance companies and see if they will offer you cheaper rates.
What’s the Good News for Hoosiers?
Indiana residents can take comfort in knowing that our state offers some of the lowest car insurance premiums in the country. In fact, we are consistently among the Top 10 in affordable car insurance rates.
Among the reasons Indiana can offer first-time and safe drivers consistently low rates includes the following two factors:
1.) There are a large number of insurance companies throughout Indiana. The competition between various insurers often translates into rate-matching and discounts for insured Hoosiers.
2.) Indiana is a fairly rural state when compared to states with the highest average premiums, such as Florida, California, Illinois, etc. Many states with higher premiums also report the largest number of uninsured drivers.
Questions About Insurance Rates After Your Indiana Car Accident?
By analyzing the details of your accident, attorney Matt Boulton can quickly advise on whether or not you should expect a rate increase. Additionally, if you were injured in the car accident, Matt can help explain your legal rights with regard to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Boulton Law Group offers Indiana accident victims a Zero Fee Guarantee. This risk-free promise means that you will never pay for a consultation regarding your accident claim, and our firm does not receive payment until we win your case.
To speak with Matt about your insurance rate questions, contact him at (317) 275-3680.
If you prefer to write to us, Matt reviews every website contact received at our firm. Simply send us the details of your accident by using our confidential contact form.
We look forward to hearing your story!
Attorney Matt Boulton is an award-winning personal injury attorney with more than 20 years of experience helping seriously injured people throughout Indiana reclaim what was taken from them. His firm was created for for the client who expects exceptional service and passionate, successful legal representation.