It may not seem fair, but you could be subject to higher car insurance rates even if your accident was caused by another motorist – and even if the other motorist was negligent. A recent consumer report indicated that many motorists face higher insurance premiums after being involved in accidents that were not their fault.
Consumer Federation of America (CFA), a non-profit consumer organization dedicated to protecting the interests of consumers throughout the U.S., studied premiums from auto insurance providers in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, and other major cities and found that most companies punish not-at-fault drivers for accidents. The CFA report specifically noted that the annual insurance premiums for these types of motorists can be raised by as much as $400.
California Drivers Protected Against Auto Insurance Premium Increases
California insurance providers use a fault-based system, which means that the insurance company pays for damages only when the person being insured was at fault for the accident. One offshoot of this system is that CA motorists are protected against rate hikes in certain circumstances. For instance, California state law prohibits insurance companies from raising rates on drivers who are involved in accidents that were not their fault.
However, drivers in most other states are still subject to rate hikes regardless of who was at fault for their accident. Bob Hunter, CFA director of insurance, noted the inherent unfairness of this outcome: “Most people know that if they cause an accident or get a ticket they could face a premium increase, but they don’t expect to be punished if a reckless driver careens into them.”
That’s why the CFA is calling on legislators in other states to pass laws to protect innocent motorists from being punished in the form of higher auto insurance rates.
If you or a loved one was seriously injured in a car accident on a Los Angeles road or highway, you need to speak with a qualified personal injury and auto accident lawyer immediately. At The Paris Firm, we are prepared to assist you. Contact The Paris Firm today to schedule a free initial consultation about your case.