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When an accident is not your fault, yet insurance premiums rise

Life is chaotic following a car accident due to the negligence of another driver. While you may deal with emotional trauma, physical pain and inconvenience, you feel lucky that you were not responsible for the collision, nor did you receive a ticket.

Depending on your insurance provider, confidence that your premiums will not be affected is apparently a misguided assumption, according to the Consumer Federation of America.

The consumer group found that drivers in accidents caused by others are seeing increases in premiums, some as high as $400. The CFA analyzed the quotes in 10 cities from five of the nation's largest auto insurance companies. Findings included:

  • Progressive surcharged drivers "not-at-fault" penalties in eight cities
  • EICO and Farmers raised rates ten percent or more in many states
  • Allstate imposed occasional penalties
  • State Farm had no increases for not-at-fault accidents

New York City and Baltimore-based drivers paid the most for being victims of accidents. In Baltimore, residents saw premium increases of more than $250 while New Yorkers were hit with rate increases of $400. Both Chicagoans and Kansas Citians experienced hikes of approximately $100.

The insurance industry clarified these policies by citing the complexity of automobile coverage rates. They noted various factors at play, including driving records, car model, vehicle mileage, and drivers' residences.

Additional data shows that not-at fault drivers with moderate incomes had larger premium increases (average of $208) than those enjoying higher incomes ($78).

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