A study released last week by the Consumer Federation of America found that many auto insurance companies raise premiums when drivers get into car accidents, even when those accidents are not their fault.
The study analyzed car insurance quotes in 10 cities and found that drivers in New York and Maryland paid the most for accidents that weren’t their fault. Drivers in Chicago and Kansas City also faced premium increases of 10 percent or more after a car crash. Some drivers’ premiums went up $300.
Why? Collision history is one of the most predictive factors about whether or not a driver is going to have to file a claim. Regardless of whether or not an accident was a driver’s fault, the driver is statistically more likely to be in another crash.
Two cities analyzed are in states that prohibit insurers from raising insurance rates after an accident that was not a driver’s fault — California and Oklahoma. Those cities saw no increase in rates.
The Consumer Federation of America is sending these findings to insurance regulators for further analysis, and the nonprofit encourages consumers to shop around for auto insurance.
Insurers do have many rating and underwriting factors to predict a driver’s risk, so it is possible that this study didn’t fully account for those other factors. Consumers can check with their agents to insurance companies to find out more about what could happen following an accident that is not their fault.