When you are involved in an accident, your base car insurance premium will likely increase. Depending on the state you’re living in and your insurance company, you may or may not be surcharged. Rates may rise even if you are not at fault for the car accident.

The Decision of the Insurance Company

Insurance gives us protection from financial risks after suffering a serious injury or damage to our car after an accident. Insurance companies often see those involved in accidents as a higher risk to insure, even if they didn’t cause the collision. Because of this, the insurance company may impose a surcharge. The rate increase will vary by insurance company.

State Law

Many states have insurance regulations to stop insurance companies from raising your base premium on a couple of conditions. The first condition is that you cannot be at fault in a car accident. The second is that you have to file a claim under your comprehensive coverage. For more information, contact your car insurance agent.

Not at Fault for the Accident

Paying for an accident you didn’t cause can be extremely frustrating. In some cases, you may see a surcharge even if you weren’t at fault. The situations below may help to explain (from DMV.org):

Situation One

Say you’re driving down a highway and debris falls off a vehicle that speeds past you and subsequently damages your car. Generally speaking, the insurance company should consider it unavoidable, cover it under your comprehensive coverage, and not charge you. If you were to instead run over the debris and then damage your car, insurance companies may charge you.

Situation Two

Say you’re involved in a pedestrian accident and the driver who hits you does not have current insurance. This falls under uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage and would usually result in a surcharge even though the accident isn’t your fault. Some states are different and mandate that insurance companies cannot charge you in your first accident with an uninsured driver.

How to Handle the Increase

The details of your car insurance policy are very important. Be sure to ask which situations will lead to increased rates when applying for insurance. If you are subject to a surcharge on your premium, speak with your insurance company. You may be able to appeal an at-fault finding and reverse your rate increase.

When You Need a Philadelphia Lawyer

If you were involved in an accident due to someone else’s negligence, you may be eligible for financial compensation that helps pay for lost wages due to the inability to work, pain and suffering, medical expenses, and more. Contact our personal injury law firm located in Northeast Philadelphia for a free legal consultation. When you hire an experienced lawyer at our firm, all aspects of your case will be taken care of. 

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