How does an auto insurance claim affect your policy?

by Guest » Thu Jan 10, 2008 05:47 pm

When you make a claim on your auto insurance policy, the insurance company begins to consider you as potentially risky. Hence, a claim does, in normal circumstances, increase your auto policy premiums.

Why does a claim increase your policy premiums?

When you make a claim after an accident, your insurer may have to pay for:
  • Medical treatment for you and your passengers (if any)
  • Repair damage to your car or any other property
  • Your lost wages and any other damages
If it happens that the other party involved in the accident is uninsured, your own insurance company will have to bear the expenses and this can be quite expensive. After the insurance company pays you against a claim, they will try to recover the amount paid to you, but in most cases they won't be able to get back the entire sum. So, when they renew your policy, they will ask you to pay higher premiums to counter any future risk of a claim.

Are there other factors that affect auto policy premiums?

Claims alone don't trigger increase in insurance rates, there are also few other factors that may influence your insurance premium. Some of the factors may be directly related to you and some may not be.

Here are few other common reasons why your premiums might go up:
  • Receiving a traffic ticket: Your receiving a ticket, may not pose any threat to the insurer, but that definitely makes you a risk. Tickets for traffic violations reflect carelessness in your driving and hence insurance companies see you as higher risk which means higher rates for you.
  • Too many claims paid by the insurance company: You may not have been the claimant, but the insurance company might have paid a lot of money over claims made by other policy holders. In such a case too, your premiums might go up. You may not have anything to do with this, but since there had been too many claims made by other policyholders, the insurance company may decide to increase the rates of every policy holder in their company.
  • Adding a new driver to your policy: Each time you add a new driver to your existing policy, your rates will go up. Irrespective of what age the driver is, or the driving record, your auto rates will go up. If the new driver is a teenager or someone with a not so good driving record, companies make greater increase in rates.

Does a claim for PIP coverage in no-fault state affect premiums?

Claiming Personal Injury Protection (PIP) or First Party Benefits in a no-fault state does not increase your auto insurance rates. If you make a claim, your PIP coverage will compensate up to the coverage limit after which the additional medical bills can be transferred to your health insurance.

One thing to remember here is to not make your health insurance a primary means. If you do make it primary, then in case of any medical bills, your health insurance will kick in before PIP, even in an auto accident.

How can you avoid an increase in premium rates?

The best way to prevent an increase in premiums would be to avoid accidents and traffic tickets. But some companies offer policyholders an accident forgiveness program. These programs are designed such that you (policyholder) can be forgiven for minor accidents up to a certain number of times and your insurance rates will not increase. However, there are limitations to the number of times or the frequency of accidents beyond which your rates will go up.

Insurers have excluded major accidents from the program and if you have a claim for a major accident, you may be disqualified for the program for as long as it reflects on your policy. Again, tickets for Driving under Influence (DUI) may also prevent you from qualifying for such a program. So, if you want to qualify for this program you need to have a good driving history with no claims for a major accident.

I live in Pennsylvania, which is under a 'No Fault' system. What happened was me, along with 3 friends were involved in a car accident;my friend was the driver. A car hit us from the side, hitting the front of our car, and we had the green light. The driver of the other car was technically at fault, and now the real problem I'm facing is this: We all went to the ER to get checked on, the bill comes to us, my friend tells me he's claimed us all into his insurance for medical coverage, BUT his insurance tells him that because it's a no-fault law, we are each suppose to claim the accident ourselves to our own insurance/parents insurance...which doesn't make sense to me at all. His company is Allstate, and I've talked to the representative and did my research. According to the representative, if I claim with my dad's auto insurance, the bill will be taken care of and his premium will not rise, but where's the logic? Why would my dad have to claim me if it had nothing to do with me when the responsibility is on my friend? Plus, he(dad) called his company and they told him his premium would rise. So now i am stuck, and unsure of what to do. The bill itself is $800.00 and there is no reason why I should pay out of my own pocket or increase my dads premium because of this. Can anyone provide any help as to what I should do..? Why isn't the driver allowed to claim all of us in his medical coverage? Why do we each need to claim this separately to our own coverage when the driver is to be responsible? thanks for any comments

Total Comments: 49

Posted: Fri Jan 11, 2008 12:43 pm Post Subject:

Good morning bowbowbow and welcome to the community...

Oh my PA insurance laws give me a headache! :roll: But surely between all the experience on this site we can help you out! Let's try....

I live in Pennsylvania, which is under a 'No Fault' system

Well, kind of they are, they are a 'choice' no fault...

BUT his insurance tells him that because it's a no-fault law, we are each suppose to claim the accident ourselves to our own insurance/parents insurance...which doesn't make sense to me at all.

He may be partially or completely correct...I still think as passengers though you would be eligible for his pip coverage...Turn them into his carrier, (claims dept or adjuster NOT his agent) and if this is correct they will formally (via written letter) send an explanation to you or your folks...

Plus, he(dad) called his company and they told him his premium would rise

Whom ever dad talked to was either uninformed or lied...if you did your research then you know...

First Party "PIP" Coverage
First Party Benefits (previously referred to as Personal Injury Protection, or PIP) is mandatory coverage. This is a basic no-fault type of medical insurance for your own medical bills. The minimum coverage required by law is $5,000.00. Regardless of who is at fault for the accident, your medical bills (if you need treatment) will be paid through your PIP coverage. You are entitled to this protection, and using it will not affect your rates or premiums in any way. If you exhaust your PIP limit of coverage, then any additional excess medical bills can be submitted to your health insurance. ..

but where's the logic?

Honey, I understand and agree with you, but that/those are the insurance laws in your state...which is also why HE CANNOT BE RATED UP FOR IT!

Why isn't the driver allowed to claim all of us in his medical coverage?

Well, again I'm not 100% true that, this is acurate, they may be able to...again, file it (formally) with the ADJUSTER, and have the ADJUSTER formally deny it (in writing) if that's the law, then that's the law, and go ahead and file the pip claim under dad's policy with the assurance it cannot raise his rates...

Here is the web link for your state's dept of insurance comsumer liason...just either call her or send this question to make yourself feel better (re:rate increase for pip claims) or get more clarity regarding this issue...

hope this helped, others will likely respond with additional need to find out too which tort option dad has on his policy, as you 'may' have an injury claim against the 'at fault' party...

Posted: Fri Jan 11, 2008 06:36 pm Post Subject: car accident...can i sue the insurance company

Hi..thanks for reading it and helping.
my bf was in a car accident. the other car hit his car in the back and as the report indicates. its not my bf fault but the other guys fault. we got the report. we called the auto insurance co. Now the problem is that the other driver was not registered on that car insurance, but the other car was never being reported as stolen, so we assume it was a friend. The insurance co. has beein trying to contact his client, by mail and phone but he is not asnwering or calling them back. this happened a month ago and nobody is helping in this matter. can I sue the other insurance com (the other driver;s insurance co) for not doing their job and because they did not have all the information updated?

please help

thanks !

Posted: Sat Jan 12, 2008 05:59 am Post Subject:

Lori is correct... and you should go pound on the head of the insurance person who told you filing a PIP claim under your own policy would affect your rates.

Your parents PIP should extend to you and it would be the primary insurance to address your medical bills (require by law to address them)

Many states have adopted No-Fault laws because of your _exact_ situation. While the other insurance company is determining liability and coverage, who would be paying your medical bills? Without No-Fault, no one. You mentioned that this was not fair. You're 100% correct. So, to a certain degree, each person's _own_ carrier address those bills. If all carriers do this it works out just fine as they all have the same right of recovery (none or all). So it's really just a wash.

You can't sue the insurance company as PA is not a direct action state (they did not cause the loss). You could sue the driver/owner of the other vehicle. But _you_ can only sue based on your parents PIP tort election. You can read the following:

"If you chose the "full tort option," you retain the right to sue negligent drivers. You may sue for any uncovered medical expenses or wage losses. You may also recover for your pain and suffering, for other economic losses, and for the permanent or continuing limitations on your activities and income that may result from your injuries.

If you chose the "limited tort option," you can sue only for the actual economic losses you have sustained that are not covered by your automobile or other insurance. However, if you have sustained a personal injury resulting in death, serious impairment of a body function, or permanent serious disfigurement, you may sue for your pain, suffering, and other losses. Also, if you elect the limited tort option, you may still recover for pain, suffering, and other losses if the negligent driver was drunk, was driving an out-of-state vehicle, injured you intentionally, or was uninsured. You can also sue if you were an occupant of a vehicle not a private passenger car or if you are suing a business responsible for a motor vehicle defect that caused your injury.

If you do not have your own policy of automobile insurance, you are bound by the tort option selected by your spouse or any insured relative with whom you live. When you select a tort option for yourself, you bind your children and your spouse or relatives in your household, unless they have their own automobile insurance policies."

If you secure the service of an attorney... the attorney won't file suit. The attorney would wait until the coverage issue was resolved and then just send over a demand to the carrier. If the other carrier won't provide coverage, there is no money for the attorney to get paid. Also, with minor injuries it's not worth the added expense and time to actually file a suit. People think filing a suit is quick, easy, does not cost anything and it done to have justice severed. Trust me, it's none of those thing.

The other carrier can easily take up to 30 days to determine why this person was using the car. Most likely this won't change anything but they will want to know. Hopefully before 30 days even if they cannot reach their insured or driver they will still make a decision. I'm guessing that this other owner has a non-standard policy. This means they are a high risk (for a reason). Not to offend anyone but these people can be terrible to deal with. They loan their cars out to anyone for any reason and don't feel the need to talk to anyone... unless they have coverage on their own vehicle. Only then do they speak to their carrier. This is another reason why it's a good reason to have collision insurance on ones own vehicle... and another reason why having No-Fault/PIP is good as well.

Posted: Sat Mar 29, 2008 05:54 am Post Subject: Welcome to our community!

Hi frustratedandinnocent,

Welcome to the ampminsure community!

Your post has been shifted to the following page in order to invite a better user-response:

Posted: Sun Mar 30, 2008 04:31 am Post Subject:

can I sue the other insurance com (the other driver;s insurance co) for not doing their job and because they did not have all the information updated?

No. They are doing their job, the other party is not. The other driver is responsible for the damages to you BF's damages, not their insurance company. In the contract between the other party and their insurance company, it will clearly state the insured is to assist in any investigation arising from a claim against the insured.

The other party is actually breaching his insurance contract by not cooperating.

Needless to say, you would have to file suit against the other driver since he was the at-fault party. It would be foolish of him to not cooperate with his insurance company and risk a lawsuit.

Posted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 07:06 pm Post Subject: safe driver

Does my daughter's traffic challenges stay with me if we are on the policy under my name, even though she has her own vehicle. I am trying to get seperaste insurance and I am being told I am un insureable yet I have had no tickets in 9 years and no accidents, that was my fault and my insurance did not pay out any money

Posted: Sat Mar 13, 2010 09:40 am Post Subject: claim

how long do it take by law for a insurance company to let you no if their going to pay you're claim for my car being stolen and totaled out

Posted: Sat Mar 13, 2010 01:36 pm Post Subject:

well bw it depends on the circumstances....

Posted: Sat Mar 13, 2010 01:41 pm Post Subject: insurance

Wow!! Those were great tips about what can effect your Insurance policies, etc (even though it was an older post). (Just venting here, I suppose..) I know someone who has ALOT of speeding tickets, etc., has gotten into several car accidents, and STILL drives!! How can ANY Insurance company 'pick her up' after all of that!? She's even tried to lie to Insurance Co's about her driving record!! I really don't know how she gets away with this!! Does make me upset, because 'we' have people, on the road, who are safe drivers.

Posted: Sun Mar 14, 2010 04:46 pm Post Subject: minor accident with no injuries

My daughter had a speeding ticket within the last year that was removed from her record because she completed a class. Now she has had a o-fault non-injury accident and the question is how much would her AAA auto ins. increase and for how long/

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