Can a Not-at-Fault Crash Cause Higher Insurance Premiums?

Mar 14, 2017 Car Accidents    Insurance Issues    Uncategorized

Posted by: Kisling, Nestico & Redick, LLC

It is reasonable that if you cause an accident, your auto insurer may raise your premiums. By causing a collision, you demonstrate that you may be a higher risk – and more costly client – than your insurer previously thought. However, what about a not-at-fault crash that happened because of another driver’s negligence? Will your insurance premiums go up? The short answer – possibly. Almost any type of accident, whatever the underlying reason for it, can increase your insurance premiums. It is not fair, but it is common practice in the auto insurance industry.

If you are dealing with the repercussions of a collision, including personal injuries, do not hesitate to reach out for legal help. The Ohio car accident lawyers of Kisling, Nestico & Redick understand the complexities of insurance claims following a crash and can represent you in seeking the maximum compensation possible for your injuries.

For more information, call us today at 1-800-HURT-NOW.

Study Finds Auto Insurers Use a Not-at-Fault Penalty

A study released by Consumer Federation of America (CFA), a group of more than 250 non-profit consumer groups, found auto insurance companies raised premiums after accidents, even when their clients were not at fault for the collisions and had safe driving records. CFA tested premiums with five national auto insurers – State Farm, Allstate, Farmers, GEICO, and Progressive – in 10 cities. They used fictional applications of women who were of similar ages, vehicles, and driving records to gain quotes from the insurer’s websites. The major difference between the two women were their education levels, occupations, and income. One was a bank teller with a high school diploma and the other was a bank executive with a master’s degree.

The only insurance company to not penalize drivers for not-at-fault accidents was State Farm. The average not-at-fault penalties for the other large insurers were:

  • Allstate: 4.8 percent
  • Farmers: 11.1 percent
  • GEICO: 14.1 percent
  • Progressive: 16.6 percent

The average increase in premiums due to not-at-fault collisions by city were:

  • Los Angeles: $0
  • Oklahoma City: $0
  • Atlanta: $60
  • Chicago $98
  • Jersey City: $104
  • Kansas City: $123
  • Jacksonville: $132
  • Minneapolis: $213
  • Baltimore: $258
  • vQueens, New York: $401

Los Angeles and Oklahoma City did not have any not-at-fault penalties because these are prohibited in California and Oklahoma.
Additionally, the fictional women with the lower education level and income was hit harder with the not-at-fault penalties than the woman with a higher income. The bank executive faced an average penalty of 6.6 percent while the bank teller saw an average increase of 9.6 percent.

Avoiding a Not-at-Fault Penalty

It is difficult to avoid a not-at-fault penalty since they are such a common practice. The best way to avoid it is to shop around and specifically ask insurance agents about their companies’ policies for accidents caused by other drivers. Allstate does not use this type of penalty and other insurers may have similar policies.

If you are in an accident and now your insurer wants to raise you rates, do not hesitate to tell your insurer you will shop around for a new policy and that you are aware Allstate does not use such a penalty at all.

Our Ohio Car Accident Lawyers

There is always a lot going on after a collision. From receiving medical treatment to being out of work, a crash causes you a significant financial strain. On top of all of that, you are looking at higher auto premiums for a crash that was not your fault. To rectify the situation, you need an insurance settlement to come through. If it does not, you may need to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver. For help in handling this complicated situation, contact the Ohio car accident lawyers of Kisling, Nestico & Redick. We have years of experience in representing individuals hurt in collisions.

To learn more, contact us online or call KNR at 1-800-HURT-NOW.

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