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How Much Does Car Insurance Go Up After an Accident?

Published on Jul 9, 2024 by Thomas Law Offices.

Maintaining an automobile insurance policy offers many benefits for car owners. In Illinois, it is also the law. A recent report on ABC 7 Chicago Eyewitness News found that insurance costs spiked in the last year from $1,806 to $2,310. In addition to those regular increases, your car insurance can also go up after an accident. How much those premiums rise depends on several factors, starting with who is found liable for the collision.

Reasons for Insurance Rates Increase After an Accident

Every insurance company has policies that dictate when it raises rates as it relates to an accident. Some companies automatically raise rates with any accident report. However, most carriers will not raise your rates if you are found not to be at fault for the accident.

Your insurance company could raise your rates if you were partially at fault. However, they might have a policy of accident forgiveness. That typically applies to someone who is dealing with their first accident. Essentially, you can ask for a “pass,” and your rates won’t go up.

On the other hand, if you have a history of previous accidents, your premiums could be raised even if you were not liable for the crash. How much higher your premiums go up depends on the individual insurance company. According to the insurance resource site Value Penguin, Illinois residents could expect an increase of around 56%.

Fault Based System

Illinois follows a tort liability or fault-based system. That means the motorist who is found liable for the accident is responsible for paying for the damage, or at least their insurance company should be.

In an accident where speeding or driving under the influence is a factor, it is easy to determine who is to blame for a crash. There are other scenarios where you wouldn’t be considered at fault. That includes being involved in a hit-and-run or non-moving collision, such as someone hitting your parked car. However, there are other situations where assigning blame to a single driver is challenging. That is where the concept of comparative negligence comes into play.

The Illinois Department of Insurance defines  comparative insurance as “how the responsibility for an accident will be shared between the parties directly involved in an accident where bodily injury or property damage was suffered.” That is important because the fault in an accident will have a direct impact on your car insurance premiums.

When there is a dispute about who is at fault, it might be time to discuss the matter with the Thomas Law Office. We have many years of experience assessing all kinds of car accidents. If we take up your case, we’ll work diligently to assign the proper degree of fault.

Determining Auto Insurance Rates

The business model for an insurance company is to earn more profits from collecting premiums than losing money by paying out claims. That is why insurance carriers apply a risk assessment to any potential customer. Think of this as a “credit check” for your driving record. Here are the factors that determine auto insurance rates.

  • Car owner’s accident and claim history
  • Moving traffic violations record
  • Location of where the car will be driven
  • Age

Traditionally, the younger the driver, the higher the insurance rate. Since your history of accidents is critical in determining your current and future rates, you want to ensure you clear yourself of fault whenever possible.

Filing a Claim

Many drivers hesitate to file an accident claim with their insurance company for fear of a premium hike. However, filing a claim is the only way to activate your coverage protection. There might also be a clause in the fine print of your policy that makes it an obligation to report a collision.

The Thomas Law Offices offer support to file a claim. We can help gather the evidence to determine who was negligent in the accident. When presented to your insurance company, that documentation can mitigate the potential for a rate increase.

Call our offices today to discuss the accident and the claim filing process.


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Meet Our Founder

Tad Thomas - Trial Lawyer

Tad Thomas

Managing Partner

Tad Thomas has dedicated his practice to representing plaintiffs in various types of civil litigation, including personal injury, business litigation, class actions, and multi-district litigation.

After graduating with his law degree in 2000 from Salmon P. Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University, Mr. Thomas immediately opened his own private practice and began representing injury victims.

In 2011, Thomas Law Offices was established in Louisville, Kentucky. Over the past decade, Mr. Thomas has expanded his firm and now has offices in three additional locations: Cincinnati, Ohio, Columbia, Missouri, and Chicago, Illinois. He is also a frequent lecturer on topics like trial skills and ethics and technology.

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