Getting into a car accident can be frustrating for several reasons, but perhaps the most annoying to deal with is the increase in your auto insurance rates. Several companies boast their accident-forgiveness or safe-driving programs, which can provide discounts to drivers who aren’t involved in accidents often (or at all).
Here’s how a car accident can impact your car insurance rates:
According to a study conducted by Value Penguin, on average, rates increase 1.33 times when both injuries and property damages are involved. Accidents only involving property damage see less-dramatic increases, at an average of 1.23 times.
If you pay $1,000 per year for your auto insurance premium, you’ll pay:
- $1,333 per year after an accident involving both hospital bills and vehicular repairs, OR
- $1,230 per year after an accident involving only vehicular repairs
Not All Insurers Charge the Same Rates
The above example is an average between the various companies in all 50 states. Keep in mind that insurance rates vary from state to state and from company to company.
For instance, State Farm policyholders saw an average rate increase of 1.20 times, while Geico policyholders had their rates increased 2.18 times.
For this reason, it is extremely important to do your homework when shopping for auto insurance. It’s in your best interest to compare quotes because the same driver and accident can be handled very differently among the available insurance providers.
Other Elements That Can Impact Your Rates
It’s not just accidents that can influence your auto insurance rates. Your rates may also be affected by the following elements:
Younger drivers are considered high-risk because they have less experience behind the wheel and are more likely to take unnecessary risks. When young drivers are involved in accidents, their rates may not increase very much since they are already paying much higher rates than older adults.
The Number of Violations On Your Record
Insurance companies will check to see if you’ve been involved in other car accidents and how often. If you have several violations in a relatively short period of time, your rates will likely be higher.
In Florida, an accident will go on your record if you received a traffic citation as a result of the wreck. Most citations will remain on your driving record for three to five years, but more severe violations will stay on your record longer. Any violations related to alcohol will remain on your record for 75 years. That means if you cause a drunk-driving accident in Florida, it will remain on your driving record for life.
Florida is a No-Fault State
Since Florida offers no-fault auto insurance, that means you will likely see an increase in your auto insurance rates even if you didn’t cause the wreck. As you may know, when you file a claim for damages, you must file it with your own insurance company, rather than the other driver’s insurance provider. That means your insurer will be required to pay on your behalf even if you aren’t to blame for the crash.
The Amount of Your Insurance Claim
After an accident, the amount of the claim you file may play a part in how much your rates increase. For instance, if you cause an accident and the other driver sustains severe property damage and bodily injuries, you may see your rates increase more than if you simply run into a tree and just need funding for vehicular repairs.
If you’ve been involved in an injury-sustaining car accident through no fault of your own, you may be owed compensation. Our attorney, Paul A. Shapiro, has helped many other people in similar situations, and he may be able to help you, too. Don’t delay—contact our office right away with any questions you may have.
Call Shapiro Law Firm, P.A. today at (850) 629-7226 for a free consultation.