There’s a good chance your insurance rates will increase if you’re in an accident in which you were at fault. What happens if you’re in an accident in which you aren’t at fault? Not knowing the answer to this question can keep you from filing a claim or even letting your insurance carrier know you were involved in an accident, which can kick off an entirely new set of problems. Find out what you can expect in such a scenario, so you can improve your chances of a favorable outcome.
You May Have To Deal With a Surcharge
Another factor that influences whether an accident that wasn’t your fault impacts your insurance rates is how many claims you’ve made recently. For instance, if you’ve had a spate of bad luck on the road and had to file, say, three or more claims in a three-year period, your insurance company may hit you with a surcharge for a recent accident that was another driver’s fault.
Simply put, a surcharge is a type of monetary penalty; in this instance, that’s usually a premium increase. One thing to keep in mind with a surcharge is that it should go away after a while. Insurance companies are in the business of making money, and by your filing so many claims in such a short amount of time, you’re costing them money and resources. A surcharge is the insurance company’s way to “stop the bleeding.” If you are hit with a surcharge instead of increased premiums, you can reach out to your agent and explain your situation to see if you can have the penalty removed.
It Depends on Your State
Determining whether your coverage premiums will increase due to an accident at which you weren’t at fault has to do a lot with your state and its insurance laws. For instance, in Tennessee, it’s unlawful for insurance companies either raise your rates or cancel your current motor insurance policy if you were involved in an incident caused by an uninsured driver.
Thankfully, in most U.S. states, you can file a not-at-fault claim against the responsible party’s insurance policy. When you take this step, you’re less likely to have to worry about your own premiums increasing. Say you were vacationing and were involved in a Las Vegas drunk driving accident with an inebriated driver or someone who didn’t have insurance. Under those circumstances, it may be in your best interest to work with an attorney familiar with drunk driving accidents. Such legal professionals are best equipped to help you navigate the legal waters and explore your options to receive the compensation you deserve.
You May Need To Switch Insurance Providers
Despite your best efforts to work with your insurance company, you may find yourself on the receiving end of a premium hike. If so, you may have no choice but to seek out another insurance carrier. Be sure to ask about surcharges and premium hikes triggered by not-at-fault accidents; that way, you won’t suffer the same fate if you’re involved in another faultless accident in the future.
As you’re trying to restore your health, finances, or vehicle after a not-at-fault accident, you want to take steps to protect your legal rights. Speaking with an attorney may prove more helpful than speaking with your insurance provider or the at-fault driver.