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How To Appeal An Auto Insurance Rate Increase

Auto insurance rate increases can happen for a variety of reasons. Auto insurance carriers may increase rates annually as a matter of policy. Rates may also increase due to substantial payouts because of natural disasters or other Acts of God that severely affect the insurance carrier’s profitability for that year. Rates can also increase due to an increase in federal or state taxes or overhead related to the carrier’s ability to continue providing comparable levels of coverage to new and existing coverage. Finally, auto insurance online or offline rates can increase after the driver is involved in an auto accident. With all but one of these reasons, there is no recourse for the insured to appeal an auto insurance rate increase, unless there is a consumer group that gets involved. In the case of an insurance rate increase that results from the driver’s involvement in an auto accident, however, there is an appeals process that can be followed to contest the rate increase.

When appealing a rate increase for auto insurance online or offline, it is very important to be aware of the terms of the policy contract as they stood when the policy first went into effect. Auto insurance online or offline policies will spell out how accidents are treated concerning increases in auto insurance rates. Some insurance carriers may have what is called “accident forgiveness” where the first accident may not come with any type of insurance rate increase. Other insurance carriers may not offer this policy. However, once the policy is set and agreed to, the only real leg the insured has to stand on is to attempt to obtain a reversal of an “at fault” ruling after the accident. Since all states follow a fault based system for damages to vehicles that are involved in an auto accident, the driver at fault is most often the individual who can expect to be hit with a rate increase following involvement in an auto accident.

Since insurance carriers are subject to each state’s set standards of fault, the way to appeal an auto insurance rate increase is to find out what the governing body is in the state in which the accident took place, and follow their appeals process to reverse a ruling of being at fault in the auto accident. Since this can take some time, it is important to continue paying premiums on time each month at whatever rate is being assessed in order to avoid losing coverage while the appeal is being processed. A thorough understanding of how the appeals process works in a specific state are helpful in planning ahead for policy increases during the waiting period.

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