There you are, sitting at a stop sign waiting for the cross traffic to pass when you are rear ended. Hopefully in this instance the impact from the collision wasn’t enough to cause physical harm to you or your passengers. But either way, through no fault of your own, you were just involved in an accident. With all of the things that are going through your mind, there is at least the relief knowing that the accident was not your fault and therefore you don’t have to worry about your car insurance rates going up.
Or do you?
It really depends. If you have had a spotless record up to this point you probably have nothing to worry about. However, if you have had an accident or any other infraction before you were rear-ended then your chances of seeing a spike in your premiums will greatly increase. This is because insurance companies can view you as accident prone for a length of time that is only known to them and will vary depending on the company you are with.
Time Heals All
Many companies have a forgiveness policy that writes off past accidents and tickets after a predetermined length of time. The length of time varies from company to company but averages about three years, with some offering as little and as two years or as much as five years. If this is the case there is less of a chance of your premiums going up.
Another aspect that will come in to consideration is who the authorities rule to actually be at fault during the accident. This is especially true in accidents that are a little more complicated than a simple rear end collision. While you may feel that the maniac in the other car was clearly at fault as you went through the changing light, the police on the scene may view it completely differently.
The actual number of accidents you have been in, even if they are all deemed no fault, will have an adverse effect on your insurance rates. Your insurance company will most likely feel that even though the police found you innocent of any wrong doing, there has to be some reason as to why you are continually getting into accidents. Are you cursed? Does someone have a personal vendetta against you? All the insurance company knows is that you’re costing them money. They may even feel like you are purposely staging accidents to get some extra cash.
If you have recently been in an accident that was no fault of yours but have still seen a rise in your insurance rates you may want to take these factors into consideration. If you feel that none of this applies to you the best thing to do is contact your insurance representative. They will be able to give you the information needed to argue the increase or at least to understand why.