Will My Car Insurance Rates Increase After a Car Accident in Georgia?

Insurance companies usually raise the prices, or premiums, after a car accident because they see the driver as riskier. The main goal of an insurance company is to handle risks and make sure they can pay for any claims that might happen. When a driver has an accident, it could mean they’re more likely to have another one in the future. Insurance companies increase rates after an accident because of risk assessment, looking at past claims, getting back some of the money they paid out, discouraging dangerous driving, and following rules set by regulators.

Insurers also look at a driver’s past claims to guess if they might make more claims in the future. Increasing rates can make drivers more careful to avoid risky driving because they don’t want to pay even more for insurance. 

Rates Don’t Always Change Because of a Car Accident 

A driver waits for roadside service

In some places, rules might require insurance companies to change rates based on a driver’s risk, including their history of accidents. However, it’s essential to know that rate increases don’t just happen because of one thing, like a car accident. Instead, insurance companies consider many factors when deciding how much to charge, such as a person’s driving history, where they live, and what kind of car they drive. 

How much a car accident affects your insurance cost depends on your own situation and your insurance company’s rules.

If I’m Not At-Fault for a Car Accident, Will My Insurance Rates Rise

Your insurance rates may not necessarily rise if you’re not at fault for a car accident. However, this can vary depending on the accident’s specific circumstances and your insurance company’s policies. Generally, if the other driver is determined to be at fault and their insurance covers the costs, your rates should not be affected.

Common Questions about Uninsured Motorists

What if The At-Fault Driver Has No Insurance?

If your insurance company cannot recover the costs from the at-fault driver’s insurance or the fault is shared between both parties, your rates might increase. Remember that each insurance company has guidelines and practices, and regulations can vary by location.

If My UIM (Underinsurance Motorist Coverage)is Used – Will My Insurance Rates Go Up?

If you’re not to blame for a car accident, and the other driver doesn’t have insurance, your Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UIM) coverage might help pay for the damages. But, if you do so, will your rates increase?
In the state of Georgia, the law outlined in O.C.G.A. § 33-9-40 dictates that insurance companies are prohibited from increasing premiums or cancelling policies due to a policyholder making a claim after a crash, provided that the insured individual was not responsible for the accident. The statute states that Insurance providers cannot impose a surcharge on the premium or rate of a motor vehicle insurance policy, nor can they cancel the policy, if the insured party was involved in a multivehicle accident where they were not at fault.

If I’m At-Fault for a Small, Non-Injury Accident, Will My Insurance Rates Go Up?

If you’re at fault for a minor, non-injury accident, your insurance rates could increase if the insurance company has to pay anything for the accident. 

Some insurance companies offer accident forgiveness programs, which may prevent your rates from increasing after your first at-fault accident. 

Additionally, if you have a good driving record and the accident is minor, the impact on your rates could be less significant.

It’s important to remember that each insurance company is different. 

If I’m at At-fault for an Injury Accident, Will My Insurance Rates Go Up?

If you’re to blame for an accident where someone gets hurt, your insurance rates could increase. How much they go up depends on your insurance company’s rules, how you’ve driven in the past, and the details of the accident. Accidents with injuries usually mean the insurance company has to pay more, so they see you as riskier.

Your rates can change based on how bad the accident was, how much the insurance company had to pay, and your driving record before the accident.

If I Received a Traffic Ticket from the Accident – Will My Rates Go Up?

Your insurance rates might increase if you get a traffic ticket because of an accident. How much they grow depends on your insurance company and how they treat traffic ticket violations. 

Traffic tickets can make insurance companies think you made a mistake and likely need to learn from the mistake. If you get a serious ticket or multiple tickets quickly, your insurance rates will increase.

How Much Will Rates Go Up After a Car Accident?

In some cases, rates may increase by a small percentage, while they could go up significantly in other situations. Factors that can influence the increase include the cost of the claim, your previous claims history, and whether you qualify for any accident forgiveness programs.

You are probably wondering how much your rates could increase after a car accident. This is hard to predict. According to study covered by CBS.com, drivers who file just a single claim with their insurance company may end up paying a rate that is 41 percent more than was their previous premium.

For minor accidents, rates go up anywhere from $10 to $50 a month. However, we have seen rates increase from $50 to $300 a month for significant wrecks. 

Common Questions about Insurance Rates Increasing

Can a Lawyer Proving Other Driver’s Fault Prevent Insurance Rate Increase?

If a car accident lawyer can prove that the other driver was at-fault for the accident, it may help prevent your insurance rates from increasing. When you are not at fault, your insurance company typically recovers the costs from the at-fault driver’s insurance company through subrogation. In this case, your insurer may not consider the accident as a factor when determining your future insurance rates.
However, it’s essential to understand that each insurance company has its policies and practices regarding rate adjustments after accidents. In addition, factors such as the severity of the accident, any previous accidents or violations on your record, and local regulations may still impact your rates.

What Are Ways You Can Prevent an Auto Insurance Rate Hike?

One way to avoid insurance premium increases after a car accident is to drive safely. Practicing safe and defensive driving can help prevent accidents and keep your rates low. Some insurance companies also offer accident forgiveness programs for people with good driving records. Ask your insurer if you qualify for this benefit. In addition, choosing a higher deductible can lower your premium, but remember that you’ll need to pay more out-of-pocket if you have a claim.

Taking advantage of discounts and bundling is another way to keep your rates low. Look for offers like multi-policy discounts, good driver discounts, or combining your auto insurance with other policies, like home or renter’s insurance. Reviewing your policy each year and comparing quotes from different insurance providers is essential to ensure you get the best coverage and rates.

Maintaining a clean driving record and a good credit score can help keep your insurance rates down. Avoid traffic violations, speeding tickets, and other issues that can hurt your driving record. Some insurers offer usage-based insurance programs that monitor your driving habits and reward safe drivers with lower rates. A good credit score can also help you qualify for lower insurance rates in some states.

Can Switching Insurance Companies Prevent Rate Increases?

If you switch insurance companies after a car accident, other companies are likely to check your driving history, which may include any accidents you’ve had. This may result in the new insurance carrier charging a higher premium.

Insurance companies use claims history information to determine how risky you are as a driver. For example, if you’ve had an accident, they might think you’re a higher risk, which could lead to higher premiums. But how much the accident affects your premiums depends on how severe the accident was, if it was your fault, and your overall driving history.

It’s essential to shop around and get quotes from different insurance companies. Each company has its way of figuring out premiums and might offer different prices for the same coverage. This can help you find the best coverage at the lowest price, even if you’ve had an accident.

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