You have just been in an accident, for one reason or another. Maybe it is your fault, maybe it is the other driver’s fault, or maybe you had nothing to do with it at all. One of the first few thoughts to go through your head likely is whether or not this situation is going to make your insurance rates go up.
The fact is that many people actually worry too much about this because there are numerous types of accidents and situations that will not cause your insurance rates to rise. Some are even codified in the Code of State Regulations (CSR) regarding Insurance Rate Increases.
The CSR lays out numerous situations in which an insurance company is prohibited from increasing an insured driver’s rates. One of the situations is when the insured driver is involved in an accident where their car has been legally parked. While this may seem like a rare occurrence, approximately 14% of all car accidents involve a parked vehicle.
Another common situation is the rear-end collision. However, the CSR prevents insurance companies from raising the rates of the victim of a rear-end collision, so long as the victim driver (the insured) is not convicted of a moving violation in connection with the accident. Considering the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has found rear-end collisions occur every 8 seconds in the United States, it is important to know that if you are the victim of this type of accident, your rates should not go up.
Furthermore, the CSR also prevents an insurance company from raising their insured driver’s rates if the other driver was convicted of a moving violation in connection with the accident and the company’s insured driver was not convicted of a moving violation related to the accident.
In addition, an insurance company may not raise an insured driver’s rates when the accident involves the other driver committing a “hit-and-run” and the insured driver or other operator of the vehicle reports the accident to the authorities within 24 hours of the accident occurring. According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), 11% of accidents in the United States involve a hit-and-run.
An insurance company is also prohibited from raising your rates when the damage is caused by flying debris, gravel, or even missiles (as the CSR notes). Nor may rates increase when the damage to a vehicle is caused by contact with an animal.
Perhaps one of the most frustrating and scary situations for an insured driver is when the other driver is uninsured. In fact, according to the Insurance Research Council, 1 out of every 7 drivers in the United States is uninsured. But, despite popular belief, the CSR prohibits insurance companies from raising the premiums of an insured due to uninsured motorist coverage. Thus, there is no need to worry if the other driver is uninsured because under the CSR your rates should not increase at all.
And finally, an insurance company is expressly prohibited from raising their insured driver’s rates when their driver is not at fault.
The problem is people do not always know these different situations that have zero possibility of increasing insurance rates. The immediate worry occurs that an accident will cause rates to increase no matter what. However, seeking the help of people familiar with the CSR will help avoid any misconceptions and help those people get compensation they deserve.