AFTER A CAR ACCIDENT…
You might be worried that your car insurance will go up. It’s a valid concern since car insurance is already so expensive. Plus, Louisiana is one of the top states for expensive rate increases after a car accident.
Fortunately, not all accidents will cause your car insurance to go up.
IF THE ACCIDENT IS YOUR FAULT…
Your car insurance rates will most likely increase. Some car insurance companies offer “accident forgiveness,” which gives drivers leniency for a first accident. Even still, drivers may find their rates increase anyway because they lose the discount they may have received for being a good driver.
If it’s your second (or more) at-fault accident, you can feel pretty certain that your insurance company will raise your premium. If you have multiple at-fault accidents, you may even be at risk for being dropped by your insurance company, not renewed, or denied coverage from other insurance carriers.
IF THE ACCIDENT IS NOT YOUR FAULT…
Louisiana law prohibits car insurance carriers from raising premiums or adding a surcharge when their insured drivers make a claim for their uninsured motorists coverage. In other words, if the wreck is not your fault and you need to make a claim against your own insurance because the other driver either did not have insurance or did not have enough, your insurance company cannot penalize you for it. (Of course this only matters if you actually have uninsured motorists coverage, which I highly recommend.)
Furthermore, your insurance companies cannot legally drop you or deny you coverage simply because you have been involved in one or more accidents that were not your fault.
And if insurance companies penalize you anyway, they may face penalties themselves including reimbursing you your premium, paying for your damages, and paying for your attorney’s fees in fighting them.
So in summary, if you need to use your uninsured motorists coverage after a wreck that was not your fault, you should not worry that you will be penalized by your insurance company. And if you are penalized, you have legal recourse against them.
But if you cause an accident and the other driver makes a claim against your insurance company, then you can expect rate increases and possibly other penalties.