Will an accident increase my car insurance premium?

Many drivers worry that filing a claim with their insurance company will cause their premium to automatically increase. Luckily, this is not always the case. There are a variety factors that are likely to affect your policy and it's not as cut and dried as most people think.

After an insurance claim is filed, an insurance company re-evaluates the risk of covering the driver. Here are the most important factors insurers consider when determining your premium.

Driving record

Statistically, the likeliness that a driver may become involved in another accident increases with each insurance claim they make. An insurance company will often increase your premium after an accident as a result of an increase in risk.

  • If this was the first accident in your policy, it is illegal in Ohio for an insurance company to increase your premium if you are not legally at fault.
  • Even if you were at fault, many insurers offer first-time accident forgiveness. It can pay off to prioritize accident forgiveness when choosing a policy.

Who was at fault?

Ohio is an at-fault state and the person who caused the accident is responsible for all damages to the other driver, their passengers and property. If the other driver was at fault and your damages are not being paid in a timely manner, you may need to get your insurer involved.

In Ohio, an insurance company cannot increase your premium if:

  • It is your first not-at-fault accident in your policy
  • The accident was caused by an unisured driver
  • You are involved in a hit-and-run

However, your premium may increase if you have more than one not-at-fault accident within a policy period.

Amount and type of damages

Car insurance companies calculate risk based on the specific circumstances and details of the claim. In general, property damage and comprehensive claims are less expensive than bodily injuries. If you are at fault and the other driver sustained injuries, your premium is likely to increase.

What drivers should know

If your premium has increased after an accident there is still hope. Most insurance companies calculate your premium based on the last five years of your driving record. In most cases, an increase to your premium will not haunt you forever.

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