If the car accident you were just in wasn’t your fault, this is certainly good news. However, as relief sets in, you may start to wonder whether or not a fender-bender or other motor vehicle accident that didn’t involve any fault of your own could affect your car insurance rates. After all, accidents and related claims filed can have an impact on auto insurance premiums in some instances. The experienced professionals from Altra Insurance, the premier providers of auto insurance San Diego drivers trust for reliable, high-quality service, explain what you need to know about car insurance, no-fault accidents, and your rates.
There’s a Difference between At-Fault & No-Fault Car Accidents
Car accidents fall into two main categories: at-fault and no-fault. Vehicle insurance providers use the determination of fault to figure out who’s responsible for related compensation. In the case of an at-fault accident, you’re the responsible party. With a no-fault accident, the other driver was responsible for what happened.
Typically, Rates Won’t Go Up for No-Fault Accidents
According to Car and Driver, auto insurance rates generally won’t increase with no-fault accidents. The main reason for this is because it’s typically the at-fault party who’s responsible for medical expenses and vehicle repair costs related to the accident. If your insurance provider doesn’t have to pay anything, there’s not likely to be a premium increase.
States Regulate Car Insurance Differently
It’s also a good idea to know how your state handles auto insurance with regard to accidents, since this determines coverage requirements and how compensation is handled. Twelve states are no-fault states. The others, including California, are at-fault states. In an at-fault state, a claim can be filed against the other driver’s insurance to recover accident-related expenses. However, California goes a step further and allows drivers to retain some rights to pursue further legal action for additional damages.
Other Factors May Affect Your Insurance Rates Following an Accident
According to a Consumer Federation of America study, your insurance rates may still go up even if an accident isn’t your fault, at least with certain providers. This same group notes drivers involved in no-fault accidents may experience a premium increase of as much as 10 percent. A study presented by The Zebra in 2021 showed car insurance rates for no-fault accidents increased, on average, by nearly $70 in 2020. There are several factors that usually determine if your rates will be affected by a car accident, including one that wasn’t your fault. Some of these include:
• The specific circumstances of the accident
• The type of coverage you have in place
• Your claims history
On a side note, California and Oklahoma are two states that prohibit auto insurance providers from boosting rates as a result of a no-fault claim. Even so, the factors above may still be taken into consideration when making general rate determinations when it’s time to renew your policy.
Whether you’ve been in an accident or not, it’s important to make sure you find the most affordable auto insurance to protect yourself in the future. If you need affordable, reliable car insurance, look no further than the trustworthy pros at Altra Insurance Services. We can take care of a variety of your insurance needs, including motorcycle, homeowners, and business insurance. Give us a call today at (800) 719-9972 to find out more about our high-quality insurance products and impeccable service.