As a car accident lawyer, this is a common question we receive all the time. The short answer is: “it depends.” Your insurance rate is based on your driving history (prior accidents, speeding tickets, DUIs, etc.) as well as the number of cars you insure, the types of coverage you decide to purchase, the geographic location where you live and drive, credit score, claim history, and other factors.
Ultimately, only your car insurance can answer the question and if you don’t like the rate as is, or the increase after an accident – go find another car insurance company. Many of them like to undercut each other anyway.
Factors that determine whether your insurance rates might go up after you’ve been in a car accident:
- Who was at fault in your accident?
Florida is a no-fault state. That means your personal injury protection (PIP) coverage is going to cover medical treatment regardless of who caused the accident.It is possible your rates could go up just because you were in an accident and your policy is required to cover you regardless of who caused the accident. Some companies might raise you for simply being in an accident(s) and others might give you second or third chances especially when you didn’t cause the collision.After an accident, the police will arrive on scene, conduct an investigation, and determine fault. If you are deemed to be not at fault, this is certainly a factor that can be used in your favor when dealing with your insurance company.Florida Statute § 626.9541 is a statute that governs unfair methods of competition and unfair or deceptive acts or practices by insurance companies.
- Size of claim.
The larger the claim you place with your insurance company the more likely it may increase. If the claim exceeds the policy limits you might also see a hike in your premiums. Smaller claims might not affect your policy at all. It will all depend on the size of your claim.
- Minor accidents and fender benders.
Smaller collisions won’t always lead to a rate increase and many times they won’t. If you have a history of fender bender accidents, you might experience a raise. If it’s a first-time accident, your rates could stay the same.
- Speeding tickets and infractions.
If you have a history of speeding, reckless or careless driving, this will likely affect your insurance rates. In Florida, individuals who caused an accident will get ticked by the police for careless driving. Individuals who have bad driving records or pick up speeding tickets are considered to be higher risks and will likely see rate hikes.
- Hit and Run Accidents.
This is never a good idea so don’t do it. If you’ve been a victim of a minor hit and run (AKA leaving the scene of an accident) you should file an accident report with the police. That way if you do need to file a property damage or personal injury claim with your insurance company the incident is documented. If it is a serious accident you should absolutely report it to the police and file a claim with your insurance company.
Ultimately, whether your insurance rates go up after an accident will depend on a number of factors discussed above as well as your car insurance company and their policies. Some companies are more understanding and tolerant than others. Feel free to shop around if you’re not satisfied with your current policy.