When I File a Not-at-Fault Claim Will my Premiums Jump?

People are afraid of doing anything that might cause their auto insurance premiums to increase – even filing a claim for damages that someone else admitted to causing.

In this situation, do you make a claim with your insurer, or do you wait for the other party to file a claim with his or her insurance company?

Although you might be reluctant to contact your insurer, you should always do so. If the other party never makes a claim, you could be left paying for the damage he or she caused. You should also immediately file a formal claim with the other party’s insurer.

If he or she disappears or has given you false information, you can rely on your own policy’s uninsured/underinsured motorists’ coverage – and rates shouldn’t go up.

In general, if you need to file a claim for damage that isn’t your fault, it’s unlikely your premiums will rise unless you have had multiple claims, especially in a one-year period. If you’ve had four accidents in a year, even if none of them was your fault, your insurer will take note.

This claims history may signal fraud, bad driving habits, or bad luck – none of which insurers like.

If you have a bad claims history, and the accident hasn’t caused major damage, both parties might consider leaving insurers out of it. But do ensure you write down the at-fault driver’s license and plate number, as well as insurance and other pertinent information.

Remember, if you’re suspicious, contact your insurer regardless.