driving accidentOne of the most frequent questions I get when I meet with clients, and even from friends, is will my rates go up if I make a claim?  Here’s my answer every time.

First, was the accident your fault?  If the accident was your fault, there is a good chance that your rates will increase.  Now, some people with a clean driving history may be able to take advantage of accident forgiveness programs offered by their insurers, but in general, your rates will typically increase after an accident where you were found to be at fault.

In Florida, your rates will not increase unless the accident was “substantially” your fault.  This is important because recently I have had clients told by their insurers that they should not make a claim because their rates will go up if they do.  Even when the accident was not their fault!  Yet, six months later their rates did not increase because of the accident.  Had they listened to the insurer; they would have been on the hook for bills incurred.

Second, have you had multiple claims within a short period of time.  There is an exception to the above. If you have made multiple claims within a short period of time, you may become “high risk.”  In such a case you may see rate increases.  This typically happens if someone has had multiple injury claims within a short window.

In general, if you were not at fault in an accident, you can make a claim without much risk of rate increases.  You pay the rates you do for coverage and you should be able to take advantage of it.  Don’t let an insurer scare you into making them more money.

Horst Law Firm has a team of Florida accident lawyers ready to help you have the most successful case possible. Contact our office today to schedule your case consultation.