Auto accidents can be stressful and overwhelming, raising numerous concerns for those involved. Among the worries that linger after a collision is the question of whether your insurance rates will increase.
After any accident, you should seek the legal guidance of our car accident attorneys in Orlando. While we can’t affect the rates you’ll pay for insurance coverage, we can help you make an auto insurance claim and fight for every dollar your coverage is worth.
Will My Insurance Rates Go Up After a Car Accident?
Florida Statute § 626.9541, states that insurance companies in Florida are prohibited from increasing premiums for liability, personal injury protection, medical payments, or collision solely due to the insured party’s involvement in a car accident.
The exception is if the insurance company, in good faith, determines that the insured was significantly at fault. While rates may not increase, the insurance carrier may still be able to remove some discounts such as good driver discounts, even if you were not at fault.
Additionally, if you have been involved in three accidents within three years, whether you were at fault or not, the insurance company may cancel your policy.
Factors That Influence Insurance Premiums After an Accident
Several factors come into play when determining whether your insurance rates will increase following an auto accident:
- Fault and liability: If you are deemed to be significantly at fault for the accident, there’s a higher likelihood of your insurance rates increasing. This typically means that you are found to be 51% or more at fault for the accident. Insurance companies may view at-fault accidents as an indicator of increased risk.
- Severity of the accident: The extent of the damage and severity of injuries can impact the likelihood and/or amount of a rate increase. More substantial claims may result in higher premium adjustments.
- Previous driving record: Your driving history plays a significant role. If you have a clean record with no previous accidents or traffic violations, your insurance company may be more lenient. However, a history of accidents or violations can contribute to a higher likelihood of increased premiums.
- Insurance policy details: The specific details of your insurance policy, including coverage limits and deductibles, can influence how much your rates may increase after an accident.
What to Expect From Your Insurer After an Accident
- Reporting the accident: It’s crucial to report the accident to your insurance company promptly. Delays in reporting can complicate the claims process.
- Insurance investigation: Your insurance provider will conduct an investigation to determine fault and assess the extent of the damages. This investigation helps them make informed decisions about premium adjustments. Make sure that you provide all relevant information to the insurance company, so they have all of the information that they need to properly determine fault.
- Rate adjustment: If your insurance company determines that you are at fault and the claim is substantial, they may adjust your rates at the time of policy renewal.
Navigating Insurance After a Car Accident
While a rate increase is a common concern, it’s essential to remember that each insurance company is different, and their policies vary.
Here are some insurance-related tips for navigating the aftermath of an accident in Florida:
- Review your policy: Understand the terms of your insurance policy, including coverage limits, deductibles, and potential rate increase clauses.
- Consider accident forgiveness: Some insurance companies offer accident forgiveness programs, which may prevent your rates from increasing after your first at-fault accident.
- Shop around: If you’re concerned about a potential rate hike, explore other insurance options. Different companies may have different approaches to handling accidents, and you may find more favorable terms elsewhere.