How Much Does Your Auto Insurance Increase After a Car Accident?

Aug 31

If you’ve been involved in a car accident in Indiana, it shouldn’t affect your insurance rates if you’re not at fault for the accident. However, you also have to keep in mind that Indiana operates as a modified comparative negligence state concerning fault. This law states that, if you’re more than 50% at fault, you cannot recover money.

Therefore, each person’s involvement and fault for a car accident claim is considered for personal injury cases. Again, if you exceed the fault threshold of 50%, you can’t recover damages. These damages include lost earnings, medical care and rehabilitation, and property damage.

So, if you’re 20% at fault, and you suffer $50,000 in damages, you’ll recover $40,000, or $50,000 – (20% or $10,000) = $40,000.

While this helps you if you’re filing a personal injury lawsuit, the fact still remains that you were partly at fault. So, your car insurance rate can still go up following the accident. 

Crash statistics reveal that about 94% of accidents are due to driver error. Other reasons include road hazards, weather, and mechanical failure.

Your rate should not be impacted if the other driver was found to be totally at fault. That is why you should contact a car accident attorney to prove liability when filing a claim. 

By contacting a lawyer, you may experience a better outcome if you choose to file a car accident claim. By speaking to a lawyer, you’re may meet your expenses and keep your insurance and driving record clear. 


How Insurance Companies Assess Risks and Premium Increases

If you’re deemed to be at fault, the insurance company views you riskier to insure and, therefore, will raise your rates accordingly. The amount of the premium increase depends on several factors, including the following:

  • The insurance provider
  • Your driving history
  • Your claims history
  • Where you’re located
  • Age and gender

According to rate data, full coverage after an at-fault accident jumps about $840, or 42% on average. In some cases, the jump can be as much as 50%. Again, it depends on the insurer and your driving record.


Accident Forgiveness

Some insurance companies offer accident forgiveness. If this feature is part of a policy, the insurance company promises that it will not figure your accident into your premium costs. This feature is often highlighted by insurers who wish to attract new customers or may be extended to parents of teen drivers.

While you might view this feature as a type of free pass, you’ll still face certain restrictions or contingencies. Accident forgiveness does not mean the insurer will erase the accident from your record. It just means that the company won’t include the accident when figuring out future payments. Also, if you opt for this feature, you may still pay more for your insurance. Accident forgiveness may be part of a coverage option or it may be offered as an added endorsement. 

When determining forgiveness, the insurer considers their customer’s driving record and loyalty. Usually, you have to be insured with your insurance company for a specific time and have a clean record. However, forgiveness for accidents is not a template feature. While some insurance companies require that you maintain a clean driving record for five years, other insurance providers will instantly provide the feature. 

Also, some companies may forgive the insurer for a single accident while others offer forgiveness for multiple wrecks. Therefore, you need to scrutinize your policy carefully.


Factors that Impact After-Accident Premium Costs

If your insurance rates escalate after an accident, they’ll usually stay in effect for about 3 to 5 years. The increase will reflect the seriousness of the accident, the total amount of damages, and, again, your driving history. All those factors are computed to figure out how long the increase will last.

Insurance companies increase premiums by using a practice called surcharging. The increased rate goes into effect after you renew your policy. It typically represents a percentage of the premium and, again, is based on whether you had a major or minor wreck.

The insurance company will track your post-accident driving record as well. This will be used as a measure – a measure that will gradually reduce payments to their pre-accident rate. You also have the right to check other insurance companies and see if they’ll provide more affordable coverage.

Auto Insurance Increase After a Car Accident


Why Some Insurance Companies Increase the Rates of No-Fault Drivers 

Auto accident claims fall under two basic categories – at-fault and not-at-fault accidents. If you’re in a not-at-fault accident, it means you did not cause the collision. If you’re involved in an at-fault wreck, you were responsible for the crash.

Auto insurance companies assess fault by specific methods to determine the at-fault driver and the payout. Indiana is considered an at-fault state for insurance purposes, so the at-fault driver pays for the accident according to the percent of fault assigned to that driver. If you’re not at fault, you’ll receive the insurance money from the other driver’s insurance company.


Getting Struck by an Uninsured Driver

Indiana law requires that each newly written vehicle liability policy to offer uninsured/underinsured motorists coverage in each plan. Unless you sign a written rejection, you automatically have that coverage, even if the policy otherwise doesn’t include it.


Why It Pays to Speak to a Lawyer

The main thing to keep in mind is that you should not generally have to pay more for insurance if you’re involved in an accident and you’re not at fault.

To make sure you’re protected in a car accident claim, you should contact a car accident lawyer for advice. Contacting a lawyer after a car accident will give you the chance to receive the money you need to cover medical costs, lost wages, and property damages. 


Contact Blackburn Romey About Your Car Accident Claim

In Indiana, contact Blackburn Romey if you have a car accident claim. Make sure you’re treated fairly when filing an insurance claim or personal injury case.

Tom Blackburn

Blackburn Romey founding partner Tom Blackburn graduated with honors receiving a degree from Indiana University at the Robert H. McKinney School of Law. Initiating his legal career in 1977, he has been active in practicing law and currently serves as a member of the Indiana State Bar Association on the Ethics and Advertising Committees, the American Bar Association, the American Association for Justice, as a board member at the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association, and as an appointed member of the Executive Committee for the State of Indiana for the National Trial Lawyers Association.

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This page has been written, edited, and reviewed by a team of legal writers following our comprehensive editorial guidelines. This page was approved by Founding Partner, Tom Blackburn, who has more than 47 years of legal experience, including over 39 years specializing as a personal injury attorney.