Have you ever wondered why auto insurance companies boast about things like ‘good driver’ discounts and ‘accident forgiveness’ in their advertisements? Talk to professional Tacoma car accident attorney and you will realize that the financial impact of auto accidents goes beyond claim settlements. Accidents have a significant influence on a vehicle owner’s insurance rates. Therefore, an auto crash, or lack thereof, can mean a significant difference in your auto insurance rates.

By How Much Will Your Auto Insurance Rates Increase After a Crash?

Vehicle insurance companies have different viewpoints on how much to increase rates after a vehicle accident. Remember, the increase will depend on many factors, including the auto insurance policy terms, the driver’s record, the state or country regulations, severity of the damages associated with the accident, and more. A recent study revealed that insurance companies increased the premium rates at a higher percentage for drivers who had previously caused accidents compared to those who hadn’t.

If you were not responsible for the accident, you might see an increase in your car insurance rates or no increase at all. A study conducted by the Consumer Federation of America revealed that some insurers might raise rates by about 10 percent for not-at-fault vehicle owners. However, some states such as California and Oklahoma bar auto insurance companies from increasing insurance rates if the driver wasn’t responsible for the accident.

Besides, some auto insurance companies have set regulations that don’t allow an increase in insurance rates for vehicle owners who were not to blame for a crash. USAA is an example of such insurance service providers.

There are 12 no-fault states across the country. In these states, all parties involved in a vehicle crash file personal injury claims to their specific insurance policies for damages. That means residents of these 12 states are likely to see a significant increase in their insurance rates after a crash, regardless of whether or not they were to blame for the accident.

Your Driving Record

Sure, your auto insurer cannot access your full MVR (Motor Vehicle Report). However, they can access a summary listing your most recent accidents, convictions (if any), and tickets. The look-back period for an individual’s MVR varies significantly depending on state regulations and the terms set by insurance companies. This period is usually 3-5 years but it can be longer in some states. For instance, in California, a DUI charge remains on someone’s MVR (and is counted as an offense) for 10 years! On the other hand, an accident will have a 3-year look-back period.

After an accident, your insurer may want to estimate the level of your insurance risk. The number here might go up based on the frequency and probably the severity of all your recent collisions and violations.

According to experts, the best way of preventing an increase in your auto insurance is by making sure that your driving history and record are clean. Even if you were involved in an accident, make sure it wasn’t your fault.