Do insurance premiums increase for claims, even if the damage is not your fault?
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Asked March 10, 2014
Except where personal injury protection is the state required minimum, the best course of action is always to file the claim through at fault party's insurance company. When it is not possible to do that, such as if the at fault person had no insurance, it is okay to file the claim for damages with your own insurance company provided you carry uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance. If that is the only liability claim you file, your rates will most likely stay the same.
Liability and casualty insurance are handled as a group of insurance, even when used across multiple insurance policies, such as car policy and a homeowner's policy. When you file a claim for a loss, it gets added to a national database, the Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange. These records are kept for 7 years, and each time you apply for insurance, your CLUE report is accessed. Too many claims for losses, regardless of fault or circumstance, will lead first to higher premiums and could eventually mean being denied coverage entirely.
For example, if you filed a claim on your homeowners policy a couple of years ago and then file a claim for damages that were not your fault on your car insurance, both losses are in your CLUE report, and could mean higher rates. Insurance companies only check your CLUE report when you are purchasing or renewing a policy, so the rate change may not be right away. In the meantime, look for ways to save money on your insurance such as adding security devices or purchasing a safer car.
If your rates have gone up, you can always try getting a free online quote from this website. As an insurance broker, this website is able to provide you with comparison quotes from multiple insurance companies so you can see what the policy would cost from other companies. If you find a policy with more appealing rates, you can even apply for coverage online and print out your new insurance cards when you are done.
Answered March 10, 2014 by Anonymous