How does reporting a Not-At-Fault accident affect my future premium?

I was involved with a not-at-fault accident. I contacted my insurance company directly and they handled the claim, then billed the at-fault party's insurance company. Now, there's a mark on my insurance profile even though I wasn't at fault. Why? Does that effect my rate?

Aug 8, 2016 Los Angeles, CA

Neil Richardson

Aug 8, 2016

In California, you shouldn't see any difference in your premium because of an accident designated as "Not At Fault" on your driving record. Your driving record is important and valuable to insurance companies because they want to know about any incident where you filed a claim within a certain time frame, regardless of fault. Flooding or hail damage isn't your fault either, but the number of times you claimed it can impact an insurance company's decision on whether or not to insure you as a driver. The fact that you only have one shouldn't negatively affect you, but you could have trouble finding a new carrier if you end up with  2 or 3 within a three-year period. In states other than California, unfortunately, you can be charged a higher premium even if an accident is not considered to be your fault because of a perceived increase in risk for the insurance company, loss of a "claims free" discount, or both. Best of luck!

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