A lot of people ask me whether their insurance rates are going to go up after their car accident. When people come into my office and see me for their car accident, it’s usually because some careless driver ran a red light or stop sign and smashed into them, or wasn’t paying attention and rear-ended them when they were stopped. So when my clients are asking me if they should expect their automobile insurance rates to go up, they are really asking if their insurance company can legally jack up the premium after an automobile accident that was not their fault. The answer to this question, at least in Delaware, is NO WAY!
If you were involved in an accident but you did not cause the accident, then your insurance company cannot raise your rate. Delaware Administrative Code, Title 18, Section 609, Regulation 5.1.1 says:
“No surcharge shall be imposed against a named insured or any person insured under the policy for any claim paid by an insurer arising from a not-at-fault accident.”
“’ At-fault Accident’ means an accident involving the ownership, maintenance or use of a motor vehicle, including unlawful parking, in which damages or losses are incurred and which is chargeable to the named insured or any other insured under the policy. In the event of contributory negligence, an accident shall be considered at fault if more than 50% of the fault is assessed to the insured. There is a rebuttable presumption that a single-car accident that results in the payment of a claim is an “at-fault accident”.
That means you’ve got to be more than 50% at fault to have your rates jacked up after an accident.
If you were injured in a car accident that was not your fault, and now your insurance company is raising your rates and in effect victimizing you twice, call us for a free consultation.