Question

Is the penalty for an insurance claim equal no matter what the offense was?

Three months ago our daughter backed into a visitor's car that was in our driveway. The car was black, it was night, and it was parked right in the middle between the two garage doors. She opened the garage door and proceeded to back out, not seeing the car that was right there and certainly not expecting it to be there, as there usually isn't a car in our driveway. The owner filed a claim. Currently, our daughter and her fiance are shopping for insurance, and they find out that this claim on her record is going to cost them significantly. She has been driving for almost eight years and has never had a ticket for speeding or any traffic violation. It seems unjust that she is penalized for this. It wasn't a result of reckless driving. It didn't even occur on a road! Is there any way she can address this and have this claim removed from her record?

Jul 30, 2019 Montoursville, PA

Answer
Kristine Lee

Jul 30, 2019

Unfortunately, it's not that simple and there are many reasons to file a claim not necessarily as a result of reckless driving or other risky driving habits. Insurance companies do not look at the reason for the accident, they look at whose company paid the claim and what it cost them. The accident is likely listed as at-fault which can impact her rates for up to five years and there will be no way to take it off her record. Her best option is to shop around as much as possible for the best rate. To bring down her premium further, she can consider raising her deductible but that comes with the gamble of possibly paying more if she gets in another accident. Good luck and if you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask. For more information, see our additional resources below.

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