Your insurance should not go up if you are not at fault in an accident. There is no reason for it to. If you are not driving negligently, then your insurer has no basis for increasing your rates. When they raise your rates because you make an uninsured motorist claim or an underinsured motorist claim, then they are essentially punishing you for using the policy that you pay for. If your insurer does this in Maryland, you have a right to take it up with the Insurance Commissioner. We have had this happen to our clients in the past, and this is what we advise.
Will my Insurance go up if I am at Fault
If you are at fault in a car accident, then your insurer likely will increase your rates. Insurers will view you as more of a liability. They see that you are a liability on the road, so that means it will be more expensive for them to cover your mistakes. Of course, this is not a guarantee. There are other factors to consider. For one, your rates may already be very high to account for previous accidents.
On the other hand, if you have a long driving history with zero accidents due to your own negligence, your insurer may increase your rates less than if you have only been driving for a few weeks. They may also consider the cost of damages in the accident, as well as the general severity of the accident when deciding if your insurance will go up.
What to Expect
Your premium may increase. This is one of the most common ways for an insurer to recalculate your policy. In a similar vein, your insurer may add a surcharge to your policy. This may be in addition to the premium increase or not. A third option, which is unlikely to happen after one car accident but may if you have been in several, is they may non-renew your policy. This would put you in a precarious position because it will be difficult to find a reputable insurer moving forward.
Tips for Avoiding a Rate Increase
In general, the best advice for avoiding a rate increase on your insurance is by driving prudently. This means causing no accidents, not driving aggressively, texting and driving, tailgating, drunk driving, etc. But it also means not to do anything that might cause an accident. If you get a ticket for speeding, your insurer may increase your rates for that as well. Some sources report that your premium will increase by 14% for a speeding ticket. Of course, this is an average and depends on several factors.
If you are in an accident that is not your fault, hire a Maryland personal injury attorney right away. We will help you get a police report which will begin the investigation process and recordation of evidence. Then, we will begin communication with the adverse tortfeasor’s insurer. If they do not have one, then we will initiate similar proceedings with your own insurer. By doing it in this way, they will understand that the negligent tortfeasor has no insurance and you have no choice but to use your own UM coverage. By handling it in this way, they will provide you more leeway. Again, they should not increase your rates regardless if you are not at fault, but they still do sometimes. Remember, if they do raise them despite your prudent driving in an accident, speak with an attorney in our office. We will help you straighten it out.
What to do if Your Insurer Wrongly Increases Your Rates
In Maryland, you need to file a report with the Maryland Insurance Commissioner. The job of the commissioner, per the government website, is to “ensure that all insurance laws of the state are faithfully executed by conducting examinations and resolving consumer complaints.” In essence, this means it is the responsibility of him and his staff to handle the report that you file against your insurer should it wrongly increase your premium. Generally, an investigator in the Commissioner’s office will take the lead on your report and hopefully do his due diligence and identify and resolve the problem.
Contact an Attorney if Your Insurance Goes up
If you are in an accident and you are unsure who is at fault, or you know that you are not at fault, contact our office immediately for a free consultation.