Car accidents can involve physical injuries, as well as more metaphorical headaches while you deal with the fallout of the accident. Between paying for repairs and getting medical care if you need it, your hands are already likely full. But car accidents will also affect your insurance rates, and that can be one of the most bothersome lingering issues of a car accident. Keep reading to learn how a history of car accidents will affect your New York insurance rates, and keep in mind that you don’t have to be stressed out after a car accident. Call a Rockland County car accident lawyer and we’ll bring our years of experience to make this as stress-free as we can.
When Will My Insurance Rates Stay the Same After an Accident?
Fortunately, not every car accident will increase your insurance rates. New York law prohibits insurance companies from raising their customers’ monthly rates, as long as the accident didn’t cause more than $2000 in property damage, no one was hurt, and the claim is within the customer’s policy limits.
However, when any of the preceding isn’t true, or if someone has been involved in more than one accident during a short time, then their insurance rates are more than likely to increase.
This shows an emphasis on careful driving by insurance companies and legislators who craft the laws on when rates can be increased. Insurers will weigh whether someone was at fault in the accident. New York state law allows culpability to be shared among every driver involved in the accident, so someone’s rates may not increase if that person was not at fault for at least 50% of the accident.
How Much Will My Rates Increase?
When someone has been involved in multiple frequent accidents, or if their accidents caused a good deal of property damage or physical harm to others, their insurance company may start to see them as a risky person to insure. To compensate, the company will increase the person’s insurance payments.
Usually, New York insurance companies increase rates by about 41% of what the customer’s monthly payment used to be. This means that a prior insurance rate of $200 a month may become $280 per month. Of course, if the damages involved in the accident are particularly severe, insurance companies may increase the rates even further.
Importantly, insurance companies focus on the last three years. Companies most likely will not take into consideration accidents that happened before then, which will not affect your rates.