Will My Insurance Rates Increase If I'm Not Responsible for a Car Accident in Virginia?

Written by: Virginia Beach Injury Law

Being involved in a car accident, even one that wasn't your fault, can be a stressful and confusing experience. One major concern for safe drivers is the potential impact on their insurance rates. You have worked hard to keep your record clean and your rates low, so what does a not-at-fault accident mean for you?

Let the knowledgeable and experienced attorneys at Virginia Beach Injury Law explain Virginia's laws on insurance rates and how a not-at-fault accident might affect your coverage.

Virginia Law on Insurance Rates and Fault

Virginia Code 38.2-1905 offers some protection for drivers who are not at fault in an accident. This law prohibits insurance companies from increasing your premiums or "charging points" solely because you were involved in an accident, as long as:

  • The accident was caused "wholly or partially" by someone else, including a driver in your household or someone who regularly operates your vehicle.

This means that even if the accident is caused by another person driving your car and not the other party involved in the accident, your insurance company is still not allowed to increase your rate. This law helps protect safe drivers like yourself from the price-gouging that the insurance industry is famous for. 

What if the Other Driver Does Not Have Insurance?

If the at-fault driver has no insurance, your uninsured motorist (UM) coverage can help cover your injuries and vehicle damage. Underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage can also come into play if the at-fault driver's insurance limits are insufficient to cover your damages.

While Virginia only mandates basic liability insurance coverage, IM and UIM coverage is standard on most insurance policies unless you go in and manually waive the coverage. For obvious reasons, we do not recommend doing so. Injuries and damages from a car accident can be expensive and a lawsuit can take time. It is always best to protect yourself and your assets in any way you can. 

Important Note: Virginia law requires all drivers to carry minimum amounts of liability insurance. However, drivers can still violate these requirements and drive without insurance. In cases like this, it’s safe to say that they will see a lot more trouble than you will, regardless of fault. 

Tips to Minimize Rate Increases

Even though Virginia law protects you to an extent, there's still a chance your insurance rate might increase slightly after a not-at-fault accident. Here are some tips to minimize potential increases:

  • Shop Around for Insurance: Get quotes from multiple insurance companies before renewing your policy. Explain the situation and see if they offer better rates for safe drivers with clean records.
  • Consider Accident Forgiveness Coverage: Some insurance companies offer accident forgiveness, which prevents your rate from increasing after your first accident (at-fault or not-at-fault). While this typically comes at an additional cost, it can be a worthwhile investment.
  • Maintain a Clean Driving Record: Continuing to practice safe driving habits and avoiding future accidents goes a long way in keeping your insurance rates low.

How Can a Qualified Attorney Help My Case?

While Virginia law protects you to some degree, insurance companies don't always follow the rules and often push the limits of what is legal and what is not if they know that no one will call them out on it.

In many cases, you can benefit immensely from working with an experienced personal injury attorney that you trust. Here's where a qualified car accident attorney can help:

  • Negotiating with Insurance Companies: An attorney can represent you in dealing with the insurance company, ensuring you receive fair compensation for your damages.
  • Understanding Your Coverage: They can explain the intricacies of your insurance policy, including UM and UIM coverage, and ensure you get the full benefits you deserve.
  • Fighting Unfair Rate Increases: If your insurance company attempts to raise your rates unfairly, an attorney can advocate on your behalf and challenge these increases.

Virginia Beach Law Office: Your Car Accident Ally

Being in an accident, even a not-at-fault one, can be a hassle. But don't face the insurance process alone. The Virginia Beach Law Office is here to help.

Contact us today at 757-802-4662 for a free consultation. We are ready to answer your questions, advise you on your legal options, and fight to ensure you receive fair compensation for your losses.

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