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Can insurance rates go up after car accidents that aren't your fault?

If you're injured by other driver, you can face large medical costs, damage to your car and lost wages at work while you recover. Unfortunately, the costs of a car accident may not end there.

A new study by a consumer advocacy group found that drivers may have to pay more for car insurance even after an accident that wasn't their fault, the Associated Press reports.

The Consumer Federation of America studied car insurance premium quotes from five of the biggest insurance companies in 10 cities across the country. Only one of the companies - State Farm - never seemed to raise premiums for drivers who'd been involved in accidents that were not their fault. All of the other four companies at least occasionally charged drivers more for their insurance following accident caused by others.

If that isn't bad enough, another unsettling finding was that premium rate increases for accident victims were higher for drivers with moderate incomes than for drivers with high incomes.

Why are insurers raising the rates for people who didn't do anything wrong? It may be that insurers don't really believe that these drivers are actually blameless for the accident, or some of these increases could be due to subrogation issues.

In any case, the study is a reminder that insurance companies aren't always on your side. Even when an accident isn't your fault at all, it's important to have an attorney who can fight for fair compensation for all the costs related to your accident - and fair treatment by your insurance company.

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