What Type of Accidents Affect Your Auto Insurance Rates?

One of the most expensive aspects of owning a vehicle is having to have insurance. Without insurance, you cannot legally be on the roadway. Nobody wants their insurance to go up, but that is one of the unfortunate consequences of car accidents. While rates do not always go up after a traffic crash, sometimes they do.

Most people will be involved in a car accident at some point in their lives. During the latest reporting year in Minnesota, there were 79,215 total crashes across the state. Out of those, there were 381 fatalities and 27,877 injuries reported.

Types of crashes that affect insurance rates in Minnesota

For an accident to “count against” you for most insurance companies, it has to be a “qualifying accident” Major companies assign a dollar value to what makes a qualifying accident, with most of them being close to $750 of damage, something that is not that easy to reach. Most companies also require that the driver be at least 50% at fault in the crash for it to raise their rates.

For the purposes of insurance rate increases, any crash that is your fault is likely going to mean an increase in your rates. How much the increase will be is dependent on how much damage occurred and whether someone was injured in the incident.

How much will your insurance rates go up?

One of the most important questions people ask after a crash is – How much will my insurance rates increase. According to Bank Rate, drivers can expect the following percentage increases based on these types of claims:

  • At-fault bodily injury: increase of 32%
  • At-fault property damage over $2,000+: increase of 31%
  • At-fault property damage under $2,000 : increase of 26%
  • Comprehensive over $2,000+: increase of 3%
  • Comprehensive under $2,000: increase of 3%
  • 2nd at-fault property damage over $2,000+: increase of 110%
  • 2nd comprehensive over $2,000+: increase of 8%

These are the averages across the country. Unfortunately, Bank Rate says that Minnesota drivers faced the sharpest rate increase at 87%. They say that the average auto insurance costs Minnesota driver $1,339, but that after an accident the average increases to $2,503.

Some insurance companies offer accident forgiveness

If the accident was not your fault, and even in some cases when it is your fault, various insurance carriers offer accident forgiveness if you are enrolled in such a program. In these cases, there will not be an increase after the first accident.  Some members in good standing with a company are automatically enrolled in these programs.

Do you need an attorney in these cases?

Many people ask whether they need an attorney after a car accident. If the incident was not your fault and you suffered injuries, you may want to seek a free consultation with an attorney who can guide you toward the path of maximum compensation.

If there is a question of fault, or you think you could be blamed for at least half of the accident, an attorney may be able to help you prove the other driver’s fault. This could help keep you under the limit for a “qualifying accident.” It is completely up to you whether you use an attorney for a Minnesota car accident, but it is highly recommended. For questions regarding a specific case, contact our office to schedule a free consultation.