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

Key Points:

  • You are required to report any vehicle accident involving injury, death, or property damages totaling more than $500 to the police.
  • If you are found to be at-fault, then your insurance premiums may change. However, if you are the victim of a crash, your payments should not increase.
  • Drivers who are ticketed by a police officer or accused by an insurance adjuster are not always found to be at fault in court.

Questions Answered:

One reason that people fear reporting a car accident to their insurance company after an accident is the fact that often times, car insurance rates will increase after a claim. If you have been in a car accident in the state of Georgia, here are some things you need to know about insurance, including how your insurance rates may or may not change:

Insurance Requirements in the State of Georgia

First, it is important to note that the state of Georgia requires all drivers to carry liability auto insurance.

As of 2020, the minimum limits of liability required under Georgia law are $25,000 in bodily injury liability per person, $50,000 in bodily injury liability per accident, and $25,000 in property damage liability insurance.

Other types of insurance coverage are offered in the state, but are not mandatory. These include coverage to pay for injuries and damage caused by uninsured and underinsured motorists, collision coverage and medical payments coverage.

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Do I Have To Report An Accident To My Insurance Company?

A driver waits for roadside service

Many people wonder whether they have to report a car accident to their insurance company.

You are required to report any vehicle accident to the police involving injury, death, or property damages totaling more than $500. The law is found in Section 40-6-273 of Georgia Code. If you are reporting the accident to the police, then it is serious enough that you should report it to your insurance company as well. Failing to report an accident to your insurance company can have negative effects at a later date.

Insurance Rates After a Car Accident

Whether your insurance payments will increase after a wreck usually depends on who was at fault for the accident, as follows:

  • A crash that you cause that results in damages to the other car or driver.  A crash that you are found to be at fault for may cause your insurance premiums to increase.  This is up to the insurance company and how they rate your risk. According to Consumer Guide for Automobile provided by the Office of Commissioner of Insurance, any marks on your driving record—such as getting a ticket for causing a wreck—can have a negative effect on your insurance premiums. Your premiums are also likely to be negatively impacted if the other driver files a claim against your insurance company.
  • A crash that you were involved in, but did not cause. In the event that you are the victim of a crash rather than the cause of one, your insurance premiums should not increase.  Georgia statute prohibits an insurance carrier from raising your premiums if you did not cause the accident or when you use your uninsured or under-insured motorist benefits.
  • A crash with an uninsured driver. While an at-fault driver’s insurance is typically responsible for paying for damages, not all drivers are insured. If you have to file a claim under your own insurance’s uninsured/underinsured or medical payments policy, will your premiums increase? As long as you were not at fault, your rates should not be increased.
To be clear, insurance rates go up when drivers file a claim against an insurance company or/and receive a mark on their driving record

Understanding car accident insurance premiums can be complicated, especially in situations where you were partially at fault for the accident. You can use the Office of Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner’s page frequently asked questions guide to learn more about insurance premiums.

How Much Will My Rates Increase?

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.

Do I Win Automatically if the Police Officer Blames The Other Motorist?

If the police officer gives a citation to the other driver, this is a good indication that you should “win” your case.  But it is far from fool-proof.  Drivers who are ticketed by a police officer are not always found to be at fault in a civil court. A civil court makes an independent determination of fault based on the evidence presented.

Speak With an Attorney Today

If you have been injured in an Atlanta car accident or/and have been blamed for causing an accident, you should consult with an Atlanta car accident attorney as soon as possible. The sooner that you call an attorney, the more quickly at attorney can gather and analyze the evidence in your case.

You can schedule your free case review by calling our offices directly or by using our online form or chat operator.

Article Summary

Georgia law requires automobile owners to carry insurance on their vehicles. The specified coverages are $25,000 in bodily injury liability per person, $50,000 in bodily injury liability per accident, and $25,000 in property damage. You are required to report any vehicle accident that results in property damage totaling more than $500, injury, or death to the police. Many drivers worry that if an accident occurs, it will increase their insurance rates. While this can happen, particularly if you were at fault, it is not always the case.

Just because the police report states that you were to blame for the accident, and the insurance companies agree, you may still be able to keep your insurance rates low. If a civil court in our state finds that you are not at-fault based upon the evidence presented, then the insurance company will not be able to raise your rates. In other words, if you file a civil action following an accident, the court’s independent conclusion will protect you from an insurance rate increase.

- D. Lo
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