A former insurance producer, Laura understands that education is key when it comes to buying insurance. She has happily dedicated many hours to helping her clients understand how the insurance marketplace works so they can find the best car, home, and life insurance products for their needs.

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Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products, including home, life, auto, and commercial, and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, mainly in the insuranc...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers Insurance CSR 4 Years

UPDATED: Oct 19, 2021

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Here's what you need to know...

  • Some states have laws against raising premiums after a customer files an uninsured motorist claim
  • Rates may go up for excessive claims regardless of fault
  • Premium may increase after filing comprehensive claims

It’s important to choose an insurance company that will provide you with great service while helping you save money. However, you should be aware that insurance companies can increase rates for a variety of reasons. People often worry that their rates will go up if they’re involved in an accident that someone else caused. This is a mixed bag, and there are several factors that will come into play. If you do see your rates go up after someone else hits your car, remember that you can use a comparison tool to find a more accommodating plan. Compare car insurance rates now by using our FREE tool above!

Factors Behind Rate Increases

When it comes to rate increases, there is no magic formula followed by every company. The truth is that there are many different factors that a company will take into account. At the end of the year, the claims you filed are only a small part of the equation. You can also expect insurers to look at your:

  • Gender, age, profession and marital status
  • Place of residence
  • Credit score
  • Vehicle information, including safety rating, size and age
  • Driving activity

In some cases, a rate increase or decrease can be the simple result of moving to a new area or changes in your own driving patterns. However, being involved in an accident can certainly prompt the insurance company to take a closer look at your policy and see if they want to make adjustments.

If you come out to your parked car to find it damaged, then you may be forced to file a comprehensive claim. Unfortunately, this can lead to an increase in your rates. Before you decide to move forward with the claim, see if you can get a quote on the repairs. In general, insurance companies will follow a few general guidelines:

  • If the damage is below $1800, your rates may hold steady.
  • If repairs are between $1,800 and $2,800, then you can expect some increase in your rates.
  • When the fees exceed $2,800, you should anticipate a more significant premium increase.

It can be hard to weigh the benefits of filing the claim against the potential increase. Your best option may be to speak with a company representative to see if they can provide you with more information about your policy the specific criteria used by your insurer. If the damage is severe enough, you may simply have to file the claim and hope that the increase is manageable.

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The Good News About Increases

There is some good news when it comes to premium increases. According to experts, most companies won’t institute permanent price changes. You can expect the new, higher rates to be with you for three to five years, and then the company may be willing to drop them back down.

If your insurance company raised your rates too high, then you can also shop around to find a more attractive premium.

When entering your information on the comparison site, be sure to answer all questions honestly and to the best of your ability so that you can receive an accurate quote.

The Numbers Matter

It’s easy to say that the insurance company shouldn’t raise your rates if someone else is at fault for an accident, but insurers need to minimize their risk, and that means looking at the whole picture. If you’ve been involved in multiple accidents that were not your fault, then your carrier may still ask you to pay a little more.

It may be a matter that you simply live in a high-accident area, or the company may determine that you’re not as careful behind the wheel as you should be. Even if the police felt that you were not at fault for the accident, the insurance company may believe that you still could have avoided it. Regardless of who is at fault for the accidents, you can expect your premiums to go up if you need to file multiple claims in a year.

Protection from the Hit and Run Accident

In a perfect world, the person responsible for an accident would stay at the scene and take responsibility. However, there are many times when the responsible party will decide to keep going and hope that they aren’t caught. Whether they’re worried about the ticket, are driving on a suspended license or just don’t have insurance, the result is the same for you.

Unless you have uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, you’ll wind up paying for the damage on your own.

With the right coverage, your insurance plan will pay for the damage to your car. This coverage will extend to any authorized drivers in your household, so you’ll have protection against a hit and run even if it’s your licensed teenage daughter behind the wheel. If you’re worried about your rates going up after such a claim, you can relax. Many states, including New Jersey, have laws that specifically prevent insurance company from raising premiums after someone files an underinsured or uninsured motorist claim on an accident they did not cause.

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Check the Limits on Your Policy

It’s important to remember that every policy comes with a maximum benefit amount that may be paid out over the course of the year. In the case of uninsured motorist benefits, the stated limit may be even lower. If you’ve been involved in one uninsured or underinsured motorist claim, then you should review your coverage amounts to ensure that you’ll still be protected in the future. Your rates may go up slightly to allow for the higher limit, but you may decide that it’s worth the additional peace of mind.

Some policies also have accident forgiveness, so your rates will not change after your first accident. This additional feature can make it a little easier for you to file a claim if you should ever be involved in an accident. If you’re interested in this type of plan, then you can use a comparison site to shop around for the right company. Even if another company recently raised your rates, you may still be able to bring them back down by choosing a new provider. Enter your zip code in our FREE tool below to start comparing car insrurance now!