Will My Insurance Rates Increase after a Car Accident?

person driving car

California drivers, reasonably, feel a lot of concern regarding how much their insurance rates may increase in the wake of a car accident. Even if you weren’t at fault for the accident, the complexity of the legal landscape can have you anxiously turning over possibilities in your mind. Keep reading to learn more about how much your rates will increase after an accident, whether being at fault makes any difference, and when your rates will again reduce. If you’ve been in a car accident, you deserve peace of mind as you physically recover and tend to any broken property. Let a San Mateo County, California car accident lawyer start looking into your case, and we’ll do everything we can to ease the stress headache car accidents can bring.

What Kinds of Increases Can I Expect Post-Accident?

As a national average, car insurance rates increase by about 46% when you are involved in an accident that injured someone. Consider that there are also state averages for car insurance rate increases post-accidents. California has an average percent increase of 69%, which comes to approximately $585 as an average dollar increase.

Several additional factors can affect what exactly your increase will be. Your specific insurance company, who the at-driver was, what your driving history and experience are, and how many miles are on your car.

Sometimes, an insurance company may offer its customers the option of taking driver’s safety programs, in exchange for which your rate increases may be reduced anew or waived entirely. On the other side of the coin, frequent bad driving that leads to repeated accidents may result in your rates shooting skyward.

During your claims process, a claims adjuster will inspect your car after the accident to get a clear idea of what kind of and how much damage occurred.

Will My Insurance Rates Still Increase if I Wasn’t at Fault in the Accident?

As stated above, insurance rates can increase by 46% after a car accident, and by 69% in California. Your rate increases may even be higher, depending on whether the accident caused injuries or property damage.

Unfortunately, nationwide, your rates are still likely to increase whether you were at fault or not, though not being at fault may reduce how high the increase is. As a national average, not-at-fault drivers may only see their rates increase by approximately 4%.

Fortunately, at the state level, California legislation prohibits increasing insurance rates on drivers considered “not principally at fault.” California is a comparative negligence state, which means plaintiffs who seek compensation will have it reduced by whatever percentage they were at fault for their own accident. As a result, you may still share partial liability for initiating the accident, and in turn, may see your rates go up.

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