driver's ed.
November 10, 2012 5:28 PM   Subscribe

how much is it normal for my auto insurance premium to rise after an accident?

i got into an accident this past spring which was determined to be not my fault. a driver parked on the curb of a busy street opened his car door as i drove by, causing damage to my front passenger door, which had to be replaced. the car was actually not his but his father's and the father was insured by the same insurance company as i am and because of that, they waived my 500.00 deductible.

just got my new insurance policy (i actually have multiple policies with the insurer, including my homeowners insurance). it's almost 500.00 more than my premium six months ago. it appear to be from my no longer qualifying for a safe driving discount as well as the surcharge listed for the accident. is this normal? if so, will my rate eventually reduce again, assuming i don't get into another accident any time soon?
posted by violetk to Travel & Transportation (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Mine went up two thousand a year after I rear-ended a car with very little damage and was immediately rear-ended myself, with much much more damage and injury.
posted by infinitewindow at 5:40 PM on November 10, 2012

how much is it normal for my auto insurance premium to rise after an accident?

An arbitrary amount. You may find that this is a good time to change carriers. Not every company rates things the same way.
posted by valkyryn at 5:48 PM on November 10, 2012

the car was actually not his but his father's and the father was insured by the same insurance company as i am and because of that, they waived my 500.00 deductible.

The deductible was waived because it was the other driver's fault. The deductible only applies to stuff that's your fault.

Call your agent. Maybe they can smooth things down for you.
posted by Doohickie at 6:24 PM on November 10, 2012

I don't know what the normal premium bump is, but it sounds about right, from back when my teenage brother was paying more than 100 dollars a month after totaling a Honda.

One thing it can't hurt to do is shop around for carriers. If they allow it, you might also look into taking a defensive driving course for a discount -- people in parked cars pull dumb moves like that all the time, as you've discovered a bit too late.
posted by pwnguin at 6:26 PM on November 10, 2012

I have been in 3 accidents in the last 6 years. None of them were my fault. In the first my car was totalled, the second my car had over $6,000 in damage and this latest was "only" $1,500 in damage. My premium did not increase at all. I live in California and have Allstate. I'd call your agent.
posted by agatha_magatha at 7:44 PM on November 10, 2012

Yeah, this is BS, assuming you've had a decent record as far as citations and accidents go. My insurance didn't go up like this after a year when I had THREE not-at-fault accidents, one of which totaled a motorcycle (and nearly me), one of which totalled my car, and one of which was a fender-bender (2008 was rough). You shouldn't lose your safe driver discount because of one not-at-fault accident. And yeah, there was no deductible because it WASN'T YOUR FAULT.

Time to shop.
posted by randomkeystrike at 8:51 PM on November 10, 2012

Two other variables that no one has disclosed or asked are your age and your location. With some carriers, the underwriting effect of things like this tends to be magnified for drivers under age 30, and in large cities.
posted by megatherium at 12:57 AM on November 11, 2012

It is common for premiums to go up after an accident, your fault or not. This is annoying, but the reason is this: even in cases where it is not your fault, the accident can often place you in a higher risk category. For example: you park your car on the street. Your car gets hit while parked. Not your fault, but statistically where you park your car may increase the risk of an accident. Your premium rises. Or, for example, people with poor defensive driving skills: are more likely to get into accidents, even if those accidents are not their fault. In short: insurance company risk models tend to count most accidents, regardless of fault, as an indicator that you are more likely to have another accident, even if it wasn't your fault again.

Because insurance companies don't all use the same risk models, and because new business frequently gets more preferential rates than existing business, if your insurance goes up after a no fault accident it pays to shop around, get competitive quotes and then take them back to your existing insurer and see what they'll offer you.
posted by MuffinMan at 5:33 AM on November 11, 2012

It depends on the state and the insurance company.

Agatha_magatha, your premiums didn't go up for non-fault accidents because you're in California, and that's the law there. In Illinois, they would have.

You didn't pay the deductible because the accident wasn't your fault.
You lost your safe driving discount because you were in an accident, no matter whose fault.

Shop around.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 7:03 AM on November 11, 2012

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