Another driver hits you from behind because they were tailgating, moving too fast for the traffic or simply distracted. You’re injured, and your car is damaged — but the accident definitely isn’t your fault.
That may not mean anything to your insurance company.
You probably expect your car insurance premiums to rise when you’re responsible for a wreck — and rightly so. The increase in your premiums after an at-fault accident can be as high as 73% in the first year (and Texas tends to be among the states where premiums increase higher than others). If you’re either lucky or foresighted, you may have accident forgiveness that will keep your rates down after just one wreck. While rates do inch down over time, you can expect to see an increase in your premiums for up to five years.
But you may see your premiums rise even if you aren’t at fault, depending on your insurance company’s policies. Any accident is considered a “black mark” on your record — especially if you have to subrogate and your insurance has to pursue the other driver’s insurance company for coverage. Other insurance companies will give you a break if it’s just your first accident.
Car accidents can be incredibly costly. Aside from your property damages, you may also incur some steep medical bills and lost wages that add to your expenses. Plus, your insurance rates can rise — through no fault of your own. While recovering medically from your accident should always be your first concern, make sure that you find out how you can hold the other driver accountable for your losses.