How Will a Car Accident Affect My Insurance Premium? | Belt, Bruner & Barnett

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How Will a Car Accident Affect My Insurance Premium?

Mar 13, 2017 | Car Accidents

No one plans to have a car accident, but there is more than a 98 percent chance that you will be involved in a crash during your lifetime. The possible financial fallout and high probability of being in an accident are why most people choose to maintain liability auto insurance.

As if having a car accident isn’t stressful enough, making an insurance claim can also impact how much you pay in premiums. If you are considering whether to file an accident claim, you may be wondering whether it will increase your insurance premiums and for how long.

If you have been involved in a car accident that was someone else’s fault, contact our Alabama car accident lawyers at Belt, Bruner, & Barnett P.C. We can help you obtain compensation for your past and future losses. Call today at (205) 933-1500. We have offices in Birmingham, Mobile, Huntsville, and Montgomery to better conveniently serve you.

Factors That Can Impact Whether Your Insurance Premiums Increase After an Accident

Whether your car insurance rates will increase after an accident depends on the specific terms of your policy, the state in which you maintain insurance, and a variety of other factors including:

  • Who was at-fault
  • Your driving record, meaning whether you’ve had any other accidents or violations
  • The severity of the accident (i.e. the extent of property damage or bodily injury)
  • Age and gender of the insured
  • The type of car you own

How Much Can an At-Fault Accident Raise Your Insurance Rates?

According to a 2015 study, an at-fault driver making a single auto insurance claim of $2,000 or more can expect to see an average premium increase of 41 percent. However, that rate increases can vary greatly depending on the state.

As of 2016, Alabama has the 18th highest annual premiums for car insurance in the country at $1,337. In Alabama, the average premium increase after a driver’s first at-fault accident claim is around 28 percent, according to Time magazine. On average, premium increases last three to five years and will then return to pre-claim levels so long as you do file another claim during that time period.

Can Your Insurance Rates Go Up After a Not-at-Fault Accident?

Drivers generally do not expect their insurance rates to increase if it is their first accident and they were not at-fault. However, it is still possible for insurance companies in most states to increase your premiums even though you were not at-fault. To date, only California and Oklahoma have laws prohibiting premium hikes for not-at-fault accidents.

If, for instance, you have multiple accidents on your driving record, an insurance company may increase your rates even though you were not at fault because you are seen as a higher-risk driver. In fact, the Consumer Federation of America (CFA) recently found that drivers in eight of the 10 cities they surveyed faced increased rates even though they were not at fault.

Experienced Representation for Your Car Accident Claim

If you have experienced injuries caused by another driver’s negligence in motor vehicle collision, it is important that you speak with an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible. At Belt, Bruner, & Barnett P.C., we have more than 65 years of collective experience handling car accident claims and negotiating with insurance companies to secure the best available financial recovery for our clients.

Working with our skilled team of car accident lawyers will give you the best chance at recovering the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Our firm has a proven track record of achieving successful results and we are proud of work representing car accident victims throughout Alabama. We will fight to obtain the maximum compensation possible in your case through professional and compassionate legal advocacy.

Contact the car accident attorneys with Belt, Bruner, & Barnett P.C. today at (205) 933-1500 or online to schedule a free consultation about your case.