Getting into a car accident can be an incredibly stressful event, often
causing physical pain, and emotional and financial strain. It is stressful
enough that when you get in a car accident, you often have to worry about
medical expenses and fixing the damage to your vehicle. Add in the stress
of rising insurance rates, and just thinking about the consequences of
collision involvement can cause a headache.
Rising Premiums a Possibility
study found that drivers making just one claim to their insurance company end
up stuck with a national average increase of 41% on their auto insurance
premium. This study’s purpose was to answer the difficult question
of whether insurance rates will rise for drivers after involvement in
an accident. It is difficult to get a straight answer to this question,
as insurance companies consider many factors that determine an insurance
rate increase on an individual basis, including driving record, fault
in the accident and the degree of severity of the accident. Bodily injury
claims were found to be the most expensive for drivers involved in an accident.
The study found that, on average, drivers who make one single claim of
$2,000 or more can expect their premiums to raise $335 per year, based
on a national average premium of $815 annually (or a 41% increase, as
previously mentioned). If a driver makes two claims in one year, that
increase spikes to 91%. Making an insurance claim can affect your insurance
premium for three to five years. If the accident was not your fault, your
premium should not increase. However, in many states, a conviction for
driving under the influence can remain on your driving record, and consequently
is reflected in insurance premium charges. The amount of increase varies
from state to state. In Georgia, the average
insurance premium is $749 annually. After one accident claim, that premium increases an
average of 31.4%.
The reason behind the rising premium after filing a claim is that insurance
companies know that filing a claim for an accident makes it likely that
someday you will file another. This, in turn, makes a customer more risky
and expensive to insure. Robert Hartwig, president of the nonprofit Insurance
Information Institute explained, “People shouldn’t view an
increased premium as a penalty, but rather as an assessment of your risk
moving forward. After making a claim, you’re now that much more
likely to be involved in an accident in the future.”
Contact Goldstein & Hayes, P.C.
If you or your loved one has been involved in an auto accident and have
questions, please do not hesitate to contact our Atlanta injury law firm.
The experienced personal injury attorneys at Goldstein & Hayes, P.C.
are dedicated to helping you with every step of your case, and assisting
with handling insurance claims.
Contact us today for a free consultation.