Can your auto insurance company raise your premium for an accident that wasn’t your fault?
I learned the answer the hard way a few years ago when my neighbor who parked next to me banged up my car as he was leaving his parking space.
Even though I had nothing to do with the accident, and I wasn’t even present, my rates shot up 15%.
Not-at-fault crashes can increase your insurance rates
A 2017 study from the Consumer Federation of America (CFA) found that several major insurance companies are more likely to raise premiums after a not-at-fault accident.
In some cases, you can end up paying $400 more for doing nothing wrong at all, the study’s author said.
“Innocent drivers who don’t cause accidents should not be charged more because someone else hit them,” said J. Robert Hunter, CFA’s Director of Insurance and the former Insurance Commissioner of Texas. “Most people know that if they cause an accident or get a ticket they could face a premium increase, but they don’t expect to be punished if a reckless driver careens into them.”
CFA wants lawmakers to outlaw these penalties, which is already the case in California and Oklahoma.
Taking a look at five auto insurers, the study found that Progressive penalized not-at-fault drivers most aggressively, followed by GEICO, Farmers and Allstate.
State Farm didn’t increase premiums for these accidents.
When you’re shopping around for a better deal on car insurance, CFA recommends that you ask specifically about whether you may be subject to this surcharge.