Will my Car Insurance Premiums Go Up After an Accident That Wasn’t my Fault?
Arizona Personal Injury Attorneys
If you have been involved in a car accident, you likely have many questions. One of the most common questions asked after a car accident is whether an accident will cause your car insurance premiums to go up? You may well anticipate a rise in your insurance premiums after an accident that was your fault, but what about an accident that was someone else’s fault?
Arizona Law on Car Insurance Premiums After an Accident
What auto insurance benefits might one use in a motor vehicle collision that was not their fault?
- Medical Payments: This is an optional “no fault” benefit that pays up to your Med Pay limits of coverage for medical care. This benefit is portable and follows you wherever you go. If you are walking or riding a bicycle and get hit by a motor vehicle, you can use your Med Pay benefits. If you are in someone else’s vehicle and they get into a collision, you can use your Med Pay benefits. If you are in your own vehicle and get into a collision, everyone in your vehicle can use up to the full limits of your Med Pay benefits. You can vary the amount of your Med Pay coverage, but the most common amount of coverage is $5,000.00.
- UM/UIM: This is an optional “no fault” benefit that protects you in the event the at-fault driver is either uninsured (which includes “hit & run” collisions) or underinsured (the at-fault driver has insurance but not enough to cover your damages). You can still present a claim for your injuries and all derivative claims (medical bills, lost wages, pain & suffering, etc).
- Collision: This optional benefit will cover the damage to your vehicle in the event that at-fault party is uninsured or doesn’t have enough insurance to fully cover your property damage. Your insurance would pay for the repair or your vehicle, or its fair market value if a total loss. The payment would be minus your “deductible,” which can be anywhere from $250.00 to $1,000.00. Many people drop collision coverage once their vehicle is paid for. However, we recommend you maintain collision coverage if you are concerned about covering the down payment on a replacement vehicle in the event your vehicle is totaled in a collision.
- Rental: This optional benefit will help cover any rental costs while your vehicle is being repaired or appraised for its total loss fair market value.
- Comprehensive: This optional benefit will protect you against fire and/or theft.
Under Arizona law, insurance companies are not allowed to raise your insurance premiums for an accident that was not the fault of the insured. If the insurance company raises your rates for another reason, the insurance company is required to let you know why your insurance rates went up. The exact language of the Arizona Statute, Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 20-263, is as follows:
Ariz. Rev. Stat. 20-263. Vehicle insurance; prohibited act by insurer; hearing; penalty
- No insurer shall increase the motor vehicle insurance premium of an insured as a result of an accident not caused or significantly contributed to by the actions of the insured. Any insurer which increases the premium as a result of accident involvement shall notify the insured of the reason for such increase.
- The director, after a hearing, shall order an insurer that has raised the premium of an insured in violation of subsection A to refund the amount attributable to such premium increase and shall impose a civil penalty not to exceed three hundred dollars. In determining whether an insurer has violated subsection A, the director may conduct such investigation as he deems necessary and the costs shall be paid by the insurer pursuant to section 20-159.
What Might Still Cause My Car Insurance Premiums to Go Up?
Although insurance companies are legally forbidden from raising your insurance rates after an accident due to no fault of your own, there are many reasons an insurance company can raise your rates. According to a recent article, Arizona is one of many states that has seen a rise in insurance rates in the past year. The following is a non-exhaustive list of factors that may contribute to an increase in your Arizona car insurance rates:
- Higher rate of accidents. A higher amount of accidents in your municipality or zip code leads to higher payouts from insurance companies. Due to higher payouts, insurance rates are often raised across the board (across the zip code) for all customers to compensate for these increased payouts.
- Population growth. Population growth in Arizona has led to increased traffic on the road. This makes it more dangerous to drive and leads to more crowded traffic on roads with many drivers not familiar with Arizona roads.
- More uninsured drivers. A higher rate of uninsured drivers will impact insurance premiums in the same way that a higher rate of accidents does. An increase payout for uninsured drivers will cause insurance premiums to rise for insured drivers to help recoup the cost of those payouts.
- Weather conditions. Living in areas with certain dangerous weather conditions may result in a higher rate of insurance due to the inherent danger associated with driving in those areas. The higher the level of danger, the more likely an accident is to occur.
Contact the Arizona-Based Lebovitz Law Group Today!
If you are an Arizona driver, chances are that you will have to deal with an insurance company at one point or another. In the case of a motor vehicle accident or any other scenario where you are dealing with an insurance company, you need an experienced Arizona attorney on your side. The Lebovitz Law Group is experienced dealing with car accident victims and insurance companies, and we are dedicated to helping our clients through these difficult situations.
If you or a loved one has been in an Arizona accident, contact the Arizona-based Lebovitz Law Group today to ask questions or schedule a consultation. Our expert staff is ready to help you begin your recovery, and we are here to guide you through all steps.