If I file a vehicle damage claim under my collision coverage, will my rates go up?

Question

Do your insurance rates always go up for having made a car accident claim?

Answer

Everyone is painfully aware of the often exorbitant cost of auto insurance. And so people are understandably concerned that if they claim property damage under their own policies, their insurance rates will go up. But while insurance companies often do raise rates after an accident, such increases are not generally based on the fact that you have filed a claim.

Insurance companies base rates on several factors, including location and type of car and age of the primary driver. But it is your driving record that is most likely to affect your rates. If you are involved in an injury accident, your company will look at your overall driving record, including all moving violations and accidents, to determine whether to raise your rates or, if your record becomes bad enough, to cancel your insurance altogether. It is the fact that you have been involved in an accident, rather than the type of property damage claim you file, that may affect your rates.

To learn more about using collision coverage for damage to your vehicle -- including the advantages and disadvantages of filing a claim under your own coverage, see Using Collision Coverage for Vehicle Damage.

For more information on insurance coverage after a car accident, and every tip you’ll need to navigate your case, get How to Win Your Personal Injury Claim by Joseph L. Matthews (Nolo).

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