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Will a car accident make your insurance costs increase?

After a car accident, you may worry about the impact on your car insurance. Even if the accident was not your fault, your insurance company may feel differently. It will assign fault and determine the degree to which you were responsible for the incident. This can impact what happens with your car insurance rates.

According to Forbes, after a crash or other accident situation, your insurer will determine if it qualifies as chargeable or non-chargeable. If it is chargeable, then you will see an impact on what you pay for insurance. If it is non-chargeable, you should not see any rate changes related to this incident. It may be confusing to know what accidents fall into which category.

Chargeable incidents

A chargeable incident is one in which the insurance company believes you were more than 50% at fault. This type of designation also requires that the accident involved property damage, physical injury or death. In general, this is a situation where you probably will also face criminal charges related to the accident, or at minimum, a traffic ticket because law enforcement will also find you at fault.

Non-chargeable incidents

Non-chargeable incidents are those that are out of your hands. You probably had no control over what happened and no ability to prevent it from happening. This might include a hit and run accident, an incident with a drunk driver, a collision with a domestic or wild animal or another type of collision in which you did not receive a moving violation conviction.

Also of note

You also want to be aware that you will not face rate increases when you make a claim under your personal injury protection coverage. However, you should keep in mind that your insurer may continue to apply a chargeable incident to your record for three years. After that time, they can no longer attribute a rate increase to your accident.