Auto accidents can be stressful and overwhelming, and one of the most common concerns people have is whether their insurance rates will go up as a result. In Seattle, the answer to this question depends on a number of factors, including the severity of the accident, who is found to be at fault, and the type of insurance coverage you have. Understanding these factors can help you make informed decisions and take the necessary steps to protect yourself financially in the event of an accident.
Understanding Auto Insurance in Seattle
Auto insurance is mandatory in Seattle, which means that all drivers are required to have liability insurance coverage. This coverage pays for damages or injuries that you may cause to another driver in the event of an accident. The minimum liability coverage required in Seattle is $25,000 for bodily injury per person, $50,000 for bodily injury per accident, and $10,000 for property damage per accident. These amounts are commonly referred to as 25/50/10 coverage.
Many drivers opt for additional coverage, such as collision coverage, which pays for damages to your own vehicle in the event of an accident, and comprehensive coverage, which covers damages from non-collision events such as theft or natural disasters. Collision coverage can be beneficial if you have a newer or more expensive vehicle that would be expensive to repair or replace, while comprehensive coverage can give you peace of mind knowing that your vehicle is protected in the event of damage from other types of events.
Factors that Affect Whether Your Insurance Rates Will Go Up After an Accident:
1) The Severity of the Accident
The severity of the accident will play a role in determining whether your rates will go up. If the accident was minor and resulted in only nominal damages or injuries, your rates may not increase significantly. However, if the accident resulted in significant damages or injuries, your rates are likely to go up more. This is because when you cause an accident, your insurance company will have to pay out damages to the other driver, which in turn increases their risk.
2) Who is Found at Fault
If you are found to be at fault for an accident, it is likely that your insurance rates will go up. This is because when you cause an accident, your insurance company will have to pay out damages to the other driver, which in turn increases their risk. However, if you are not found to be at fault, your rates will likely not increase.
3) Type of Coverage
The type of coverage you have can also affect whether your rates will go up after an accident. For example, if you have liability coverage only and are found to be at fault for an accident, your rates will likely go up. However, if you have collision coverage, your rates may not increase as much since this coverage will pay for damages to your own vehicle. Similarly, if you have comprehensive coverage, your rates may not increase at all since this coverage is not directly related to accidents.
4) Driving Record
Another factor that can affect whether your insurance rates will go up after an accident is your driving record. If you have a good driving record with no previous accidents or violations, your rates may not increase as much as they would if you had a history of accidents or violations. Insurance companies use driving records as a way to gauge the risk of insuring a driver. If you have a history of accidents or violations, your rates are likely to go up more after an accident.
5) Different Insurance Companies’ Policies
Different insurance companies may have different policies and criteria for determining whether to increase rates after an accident. Some insurance companies may be more lenient and not increase rates as much, while others may be more strict and raise rates significantly. This is why it’s important to vet several insurance companies and find coverage that will work for you. New drivers may benefit from a more lenient company that advertises accident forgiveness. Well-established drivers may see a benefit in employing an insurance company that promotes cost reduction for going years without an accident.
How an Attorney Can Help
At the end of the day, it is likely your insurance rate will go up if you are found to be at fault for an accident. That’s why finding an attorney who will work hard to prove your side of the story is so important. At NBF Accident Law, we fight on your behalf with effort and energy. Let us show you the difference a caring and communicative attorney can make. Call NBF Accident Law today at (206) 923-8888.