You may know that an accident on your record can cause your car insurance premium to increase. For this reason, you may wonder how making a claim against your own or another driver’s insurance policy for injuries sustained in a crash will affect your premium.
You should know that it is not merely making a claim that causes your insurance premium to increase. Rather, it is being at fault for the accident. Your premium is based partly on the amount of risk that you pose to the insurance company. If you cause an accident, the insurer may decide that you pose a greater risk, and your premium may go up as a result. However, if you are not at fault for the accident, you typically will not see an increase in your premium, although there are sometimes exceptions.
After an accident, insurance companies will investigate evidence from the accident scene, including the police report, to determine fault for the accident. The conclusion that the insurance investigators come to may be different from that of the police. Also, it is rare that one driver is entirely at fault.
Ultimately, if your claim is labeled “not at fault,” it will not increase your car insurance premium. This is true whether you file your claim with the other driver’s insurance company or your own. The amount that you claim in damages makes no difference. Though it may vary by state, your claim is typically reported not-at-fault when you bear less than 51% of the responsibility for the crash.
Personal Injury Protection
In most states, personal injury protection is extra coverage that you can add to your regular car insurance coverage. In a few states, it is mandatory because the laws of those states have a no-fault system that does not assign blame for car accidents.
Having PIP coverage means that you can file a claim from your own insurance and have your medical expenses covered without having to negotiate with the other driver’s insurance company or go to court. However, filing a PIP claim with your own insurance could cause an increase in the premium you pay for either PIP coverage or your regular insurance policy or both. To a certain extent, it depends on the laws of the state where you live. Generally speaking, however, filing a PIP claim after an accident may make it appear to your insurance company that you are now a greater risk.
Contact an attorney, like a personal injury lawyer in Trenton, NJ, to answer your questions regarding insurance claims and policies following a car accident. Contact our office to schedule a consultation.
Thank you to the experts at Davis & Brusca, LLC for their insight into personal injury and the law.