Will My Auto Insurance Rates Will Go Up If I File a Claim?
October 31st, 2017
Filing a claim against someone else’s insurance should not make your insurance rates go up. Whether your insurance rates will go up when you file a claim against your own insurance depends upon a number of factors including: what type of claim you file, who is at fault, your driving history, the insurance company you are with and the amount of the claim. Even if your rates are raised, however, you may be able to get them lowered by switching to another company, particularly when the accident is not your fault.
Type of Car Insurance Claim Filed
There are generally three main claims you can file against your own car insurance company. Personal Injury Protection or MedPay Claims (PIP/MedPay), Underinsured/Uninsured Motorist Claims (UM/UIM) and Comprehensive and Collision Claims (Comp.). PIP/MedPay claims are no fault claims that you file to cover medical expenses and in some cases other expenses that you incur as a result of an accident. You pay a significant premium for this coverage in comparison to other types of coverage. Insurance companies do tend to raise the rates when you file a claim on them.
UM/UIM claims are claims that you file when another driver is at fault but does not have insurance or has insufficient insurance to coverage your damages. Some companies will raise your rates when you file these claims even though the wreck was not your fault. When this happens, you should shop around to other insurance companies. Often, other companies who did not pay that claim will see it as an accident that was not your fault and they will not hold it against you in determining your rates.
Comp. and Collision claims are claims that you file against your insurance company to repair the damage to the vehicle. It may be your fault or someone else’s fault. Insurance companies often treat these claims like Pip claims and raise the rates when you file a claim.
The Auto Insurance Company
What company you are with can also play a role in whether your rates rise after filing a claim. If you are a high-risk driver with a high-risk auto policy rather than a standard auto policy, you are more likely to have your rates raised than if you are with a standard policy insurer. Non-standard insurance companies are less likely to see you as a valued customer and thus, less likely to forgive your wreck.
Other Factors: Time, You and Accident Forgiveness
Over time, even after your rates are raised, they may be lowered so long as you do not have repeat claims. You are another factor in determining rates. If your driving history is clean and you are not considered a high-risk driver, you may be forgiven for an accident that is not your fault or that is of very low cost. Some insurance companies, like Allstate Insurance, offer Accident Forgiveness–a for wrecks that occur under certain circumstances.
In short, there are many factors that will determine whether your rates will rise. It is at the discretion of the insurance company. Thus, nobody can answer that question for sure except your insurance company. If they do, you should always shop around for a lower rate before simply accepting the higher rate.
Paul Cannon has practiced personal injury trial law since 1995. He is Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law (2005). He has earned recognition as a Super Lawyer by Thompson Reuters in 2017 & 2018, and as a Top 100 Trial Lawyer by the National Trial Lawyers Association in 2017. He is a Shareholder, trial lawyer and online marketing manager at Simmons and Fletcher, P.C. His legal writings have been published by the Texas Bar Journal, Business.com, Lawyer.com HG Legal Resources, Lawfirms.com, and others. He has been asked to give education talks and media interviews on dog bite law.