Insurance Premiums Rising for Not-at-Fault Drivers

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Posted on Feb 16, 2017

When a driver causes an accident, it is common knowledge that his/her insurance premiums will likely increase. However, according to a report by consumer group Consumer Federation of America (CFA), drivers might see their insurance premiums rising even if they are not at-fault for a crash.

What did the report find?

Researchers analyzed insurance premium quotes in 10 large cities. The results show that Queens, NY drivers see the biggest premium increase among all cities with a $401 increase. Baltimore, MD comes in second with a $258 increase. A close third is Minneapolis, MN with a $213 increase.

While some drivers might see a $400 increase, some drivers will not see an increase at all. California and Oklahoma have laws in place that prevent insurers from increasing premiums for non-fault drivers.

The report also found that location is not the only factor that determines how much of an increase you will see after an accident for which you were not at-fault. The lower the driver’s income level, the higher the increase in his/her premium. CFA found that higher-income drivers are likely to see an 8.3 percent premium increase, while moderate-income drivers might see a 12.1 percent premium increase.

Not All Insurance Companies Act the Same

CFA tested five major insurance companies: State Farm, Allstate, Farmers, GEICO, and Progressive. State Farm is the only company of the five that does not increase premiums for non-at-fault drivers. On the other hand, Progressive customers that do not live in California or Oklahoma, pay a 16.6 percent penalty for accidents that are not their fault.

Insurance Industry Fights CFA Study Results

Some groups in the insurance industry claim that CFA’s study is not completely accurate and that there are reasons for this premium increase. The Property Casualty Insurer’s Association of America (PCI) says that drivers who have been in an accident are more likely to be in an accident in the future, regardless of who was at-fault.

PCI also reported that the high-income and moderate-income drivers used in the study did not have the same prior insurance status. It maintains that prior insurance status is another solid predictor of future accidents.

According to PCI, driving experience, type of vehicle, previous claims, and other factors are also used to determine the price of a driver’s insurance. Another important point was that determining who the at-fault party is can be difficult after an accident.

As unfair as it may seem, drivers in many states are paying the price for accidents they did not cause. Do not let another driver increase your insurance premiums and leave you paying for your own injuries after an accident. If you or a loved one was injured in an accident caused by another driver’s negligence, discuss your legal options for recovering compensation with a Kirkland car accident attorney at Max Meyers Law PLLC.

Call 425-399-7000 to discuss your accident claim today.

Max Meyers
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Max is a Kirkland personal injury attorney handling cases in Seattle, King County & surrounding in WA State.