When you get in a car accident, you’ll need to file a claim with your insurance company for damages (in Pennsylvania, the state embraces a choice no-fault system, meaning that some drivers need to file a clam with their own insurance even when not at fault). However, regardless of whether or not you’re at fault for an accident, your rates may still go up.
The Insurance Company Considers You to Be an At-Risk Driver
Insurance companies have a very specific method for setting rates. The more risk a driver carries, the higher the rate.
Your rate can go up in these circumstances.
- You’ve had multiple accidents (regardless of fault)
- You could have done something to contribute to your most recent accident
- You have multiple traffic violations on your record
If you have a clean driving record and the accident was minor, you’re probably in the clear, and your rate won’t change.
The Crash Was Serious
If the crash was serious and your insurer had to pay a lot of money in damages, then your rates might go up. Similarly, your rates may go up if you filed a claim under your policy’s uninsured or underinsured coverage, even if you didn’t cause the accident.
The Insurance Company Thinks You’re Partially At-fault, Even if You Don’t
Even if an accident police report and your personal beliefs indicate that the car accident wasn’t your fault, your car insurance company may disagree. If the car insurance company suspects that you were personally to blame for the accident—especially if damages were major or you have a poor driving record—then it’s not unlikely that they’ll raise your rates.
How to Negotiate for a Fair Settlement Amount
If the insurance company assumes that you’ve done something wrong, then raising your rates isn’t the only thing that you risk. They may also try to lowball your settlement offer. Believing that you’ll be offered a fair first offer is one of multiple car accident claim myths. And, if you don’t have experience in legal negotiation, it’s also important that you hire an attorney who can negotiate on your behalf.
In addition to negotiating, an attorney can also help to prove to the insurance company that the accident was the fault of the other driver, and that you aren’t partially to blame. If you want to learn more about your insurance rates, how to file a claim, and the negotiations process, call Cordisco & Saile LLC LLC at 215-642-2335 now.