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Will your auto insurance rates rise if you file suit after a car accident??

First, whether you receive an insurance rate increase or not when you go to renew or purchase a different policy depends on a number of factors. If you were in an accident, whether you are considered at-fault or not is one of the biggest factors, however just because you were not at fault, does not also mean you won't receive a rate increase. You might be wondering how someone can be at-fault in a "no-fault" state such as Florida. I encourage you to check out our previous blog "What No Fault really means." Lets start by stating that every insurance carrier has their own algorithm to asses a policy holders level of risk. However, the variables or factors used in the equation to determine risk are for the most part, standard across the industry. Small variations in the factors lead to slightly different conclusions about an individuals level or degree of risk. This is why insurance rates vary across different carriers but are "typically" not too far off from one insurance carrier to the next.

Since I like to keep my blogs short and informative, lets get to the meat of this question. Common Insurance factors in the insurance industry are; numerous claims made against an insurance carrier; an accident or multiple accidents within a short period of time; tickets; age and geographic location are some of the common factors used to asses an individuals risk. ***The main thing you should note, is that an accident is an event that will typically identify a policy holder as being at a higher level of risk, which will likely lead to a rate increase. When we say "higher risk", we mean for the insurance carrier. They are at risk of paying out on your behalf in the future. Your carrier and other carries will now have this assessment based on the accident alone.

Should I file a claim if my insurance rates are likely to increase?

Some of our clients are hesitant to file a claim or suit after a car accident because they do not want to have their insurance rates go up. By being involved in an auto accident, at-fault or not, automobile insurance rates are already likely to go up. This is why we typically advise our clients that are injured in a car accident to file a claim or suit against the at-fault drivers auto insurance to get compensated for the injuries sustained by the negligence of the at-fault driver. If you are injured in any sense, you deserve to be compensated for those injuries. In most cases, (if you're not at fault) you're not filing a bodily injury claim against your insurance carrier, you are filing a claim or suit against the at fault drivers insurance carrier.

To sum this up, the accident itself will likely cause your rates to go up at some point in the future, whether you are at fault or not and whether you file suit or not. Thus, it is not the suit or claim that will typically subject you to a rate increase, rather, it is the accident itself that is most likely to cause the rate increase. This is why if you are injured, we recommend being compensated for those injuries, as you are already likely to have a rate increase based off of the accident, whether you were at fault or not. So to answer the question posed in the title, in most cases no, if your rates increase, it is likely not because you filed suit but rather because you were in an accident

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