Insurance Rates After a Car Accident
Being involved in a car accident is not something any of us ever hope to have happen to us, but we all know that it is very possible. So far in 2020, through the end of July, there have been over 176,000 accidents in Florida*. That is about 826 accidents per day in Florida. Car accidents are not rare and it’s why we all have to carry auto insurance if we are driving a car.
If you are one of those unfortunate people who have been involved in a car accident, there is a 41% chance that there will have been injuries that result from that accident*. Of the 72,381 car accidents with injuries that have happened in Florida this year through the end of July, 109,328 people have been injured*. That is 513 people getting injured per day in Florida from car accidents.
Complete Care treats people who have been injured in car accidents. It is our area of expertise and we meet and talk with people every day who are dealing with the aftermath of a car accident. Some of those we meet have just been in an accident recently and are researching their options for what to do next. One of the most common concerns we hear from people researching their options after being involved in a car accident is, “will my rates go up if I seek treatment after a car accident?”
This is an important concern and one many people may have who never even make a call to research their options. None of us want our rates to increase after a car accident and many may assume that if they make a claim of any kind, they are likely to have their rates increased.
The answer to the question depends on a couple of factors. Florida Statute 626.9541 section 3.a-b.** gives us the answer:
- 3.a. Imposing or requesting an additional premium for a policy of motor vehicle liability, personal injury protection, medical payment, or collision insurance or any combination thereof or refusing to renew the policy solely because the insured was involved in a motor vehicle accident unless the insurer’s file contains information from which the insurer in good faith determines that the insured was substantially at fault in the accident.
- b. An insurer which imposes and collects such a surcharge or which refuses to renew such policy shall, in conjunction with the notice of premium due or notice of nonrenewal, notify the named insured that he or she is entitled to reimbursement of such amount or renewal of the policy under the conditions listed below and will subsequently reimburse him or her or renew the policy, if the named insured demonstrates that the operator involved in the accident was:
- (I) Lawfully parked;
- (II) Reimbursed by, or on behalf of, a person responsible for the accident or has a judgment against such person;
- (III) Struck in the rear by another vehicle headed in the same direction and was not convicted of a moving traffic violation in connection with the accident;
- (IV) Hit by a “hit-and-run” driver, if the accident was reported to the proper authorities within 24 hours after discovering the accident;
- (V) Not convicted of a moving traffic violation in connection with the accident, but the operator of the other automobile involved in such accident was convicted of a moving traffic violation;
- (VI) Finally adjudicated not to be liable by a court of competent jurisdiction;
- (VII) In receipt of a traffic citation which was dismissed or nolle prossed; or
- (VIII) Not at fault as evidenced by a written statement from the insured establishing facts demonstrating lack of fault which are not rebutted by information in the insurer’s file from which the insurer in good faith determines that the insured was substantially at fault.
Florida law protects the rights of the insured. If you have been in an accident, you should definitely speak with an attorney about your rights and ensure that you are protected legally, but now you have some information for yourself to know that your insurance company has restrictions on what they can and cannot do with your rates if you have been in an accident.
You are paying your insurance every month for a reason. It is there for you to use if you need it and if you were in an accident that wasn’t your fault, you should not worry about your insurance rates being impacted because you chose to seek care and make a claim.
Ok How About if You Were at Fault in an Accident?
Well. Maybe. Your insurance company is probably going to want to talk to you. Insurance rates after a car accident that is your fault could be impacted. That does not mean however that you cannot seek care for any injuries you may have suffered as a result of the accident. There are benefits that apply to all accidents, regardless of fault, that can help you get started and at least checked by a doctor to evaluate your health. In either case, it is important to be checked by a doctor right away following a car accident.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, call Complete Care right away. We are here to help answer questions about next steps and can get you scheduled at any of our 30 locations across central Florida for a free evaluation. You can call us at 844-699-CARE or visit the Complete Care website for more information and to request an appointment.
Don’t let worries about insurance rates after a car accident keep you from getting care. You have insurance for a reason. You have paid your premiums for a reason. Now that you have a reason to use your insurance, don’t be worried if you don’t have to be.
Get the care you need to ensure you can live your life without pain how you want to live.
*Statistics taken from the Florida Crash Dashboard, 2020 year, accessed on August 20, 2020.
**Quote from Online Sunshine website. The 2019 Florida Statutes, Title XXXVII, Chapter 626, accessed on August 20, 2020.
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