Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.

How does a car accident affect your insurance rates?

After getting into a motor vehicle accident, your first concern is probably getting medical assistance, if necessary. You also talk to the other driver to swap insurance information and call the auto shop to schedule repairs. Once you have done everything to handle the situation, you hopefully move on with no more to worry about.

However, one area you may wonder about now that you have taken care of higher priorities is the effect of a car accident on your insurance premiums. Will you have to pay more?

When the accident was your fault

Almost always, your insurance rates will increase when you cause a crash. Insurers impose such penalties to motivate people to be good drivers, because insurers do not want to pay for the financial consequences of an accident; they want to keep as much money as they can.

The amount the rate will increase depends on how serious the accident was, how long you have been a customer with your current insurance provider, which company insures you and what state you live in. Some insurance providers offer accident forgiveness if you have been a long-term customer with a clean record for the past few years.

When the accident was not your fault

When the accident was the other driver's fault, it makes sense to think that you are off the hook. However, MPR News reports that many insurance companies also penalize those who are crash victims. In the provider's eyes, collisions can imply that you are an inexperienced or distracted driver. The more accidents you are in, even if you are not at fault, the greater liability risk you become to your insurer.

How much your premium goes up depends on the same factors as if you were at fault, along with your income. Data shows that those with middle to lower incomes receive greater hikes in price than do those with middle to upper incomes. It seems that no matter if you are responsible or not, insurance companies are not on your side.

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Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.
20 Stanwix Street, Seventh Floor
Pittsburgh, PA 15222

Toll Free: 866-466-5789
Phone: 412-567-1232
Fax: 412-391-7453
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