Q: Will having an accident make my insurance rates increase, even if the accident was not my fault?

A: Most insurance companies will “surcharge” your policy, meaning they can increase your premium based on an accident or a traffic violation. The surcharge is imposed as a result of the claim payment and not based on who was at fault. Sometimes there is a dollar threshold, or sometimes the second or third “not at fault” accident can trigger a surcharge. The surcharge is usually limited to a specific period of time, such as 36 months. (Read the surcharge disclosure sheet provided with your policy.) A surcharge would not apply, of course, if the other party’s
insurance company paid the claim or reimbursed your company for 80 percent or more of the costs for repairing your vehicle.

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