• R.F Wittmeyer
  • September 22, 2016

Everyone has car insurance. Or at least the law requires everyone to have car insurance. But no one wants to use their car insurance! After a car accident, the driver files a claim with the insurance company if he or she wants to be reimbursed for the damages. Yet, when the damage is minor, a lot of drivers try to avoid filing minor claims. They fear a claim will trigger a higher premium for their car insurance.

Recently, analysts tied the rise in car insurance rates to an increase in accident rates. They point to distracted driving and drowsy driving as the cause. These conditions have led not only to higher insurance premiums, but also many fatalities. Drivers absolutely need to pay closer attention to the road when behind the wheel.

How much do insurance rates rise after accidents?

Typically, an insurance company pays for the damages after a determination of fault. If fault lies with the other person, your rates may not rise. However, the following illustrates how fault may affect your car insurance rates:

  • No fault regardless of damage – typically, no change to insurance rates.
  • Under $2,000 of damage involved and your fault – an increase between $0 and $300 a year.
  • More than $2,000 of damage involved and your fault- an increase between $300 and $600 a year.
  • Your fault and you cause an injury to a person – an increase between $400 and $800 a year.
  • Your fault in multiple accidents with damages above $2,000 – an increase more than $1,000 a year.

Additionally, medical damages may come out of your pocket!

How should you handle a rate increase?

Remember though, even if you are not at fault, some car insurance companies will increase your premium regardless. Many car insurance companies have concluded that ifyou have one accident, you are more likely to be involved in another accident – even if the first accident is not the driver’s fault.

Other scenarios where your insurance rate might increase when it is not your fault include if debris falls off of a truck and hits your car. The insurance company might describe the debris as an unavoidable flying object and therefore not issue a surcharge. But if you run over the object, collision coverage may cover the damages but a surcharge may apply.

If the truck driver pulls over, you can file a claim under the truck driver’s liability insurance, but that is only if the truck driver knows that something flew off the truck. There is a high likelihood that your insurance company will charge you for some of the costs of the accident.If you are handed a surcharge in any scenario, it is best to discuss the options with the insurance company. There may be an opportunity to appeal an at-fault finding and reverse your rate increase. If you have been injured in a truck accident, contact the Law Offices of R.F. Wittmeyer, Ltd. today at 847-577-1123.

Also, beware if the other driver does not carry car insurance. Insurance companies may increase your rates if the other driver does not have insurance. If you have been injured by an uninsured drivercontact the Law Offices of R.F. Wittmeyer, Ltd. today at 847-577-1123.

Increasing claims severity

Claims are bigger and this is affecting several insurance companies. High medical bills and high auto repair bills are two factors that have caused the claims to increase. Additionally, auto parts are more expensive, and this has caused the claims to increase as well. Last year, big insurance companies reported many more personal claims than before, and this has damaged their profitability.The only way they could build this back up was to charge higher insurance rates.

What contributes to the rise in car accidents?

Since more people are employed and gas is cheaper, there are more people out on the road driving, which also means that there are more accidents, but this is not the only thing contributing to the rise in car accidents. Research conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reveals that unsafe behavior may also be contributing to the rise in accidents across the United States. Some unsafe behaviors include using a cell phone while driving or riding in a car without wearing a seatbelt, and drivers regularly engage in this behavior. Drivers should make sure to guard against engaging in these behaviors while they are behind the wheel.

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