|Getting rear-ended at a stoplight is not your fault. After all, another moving vehicle ran into the back of your stopped car. Still, even an accident that isn’t your fault might cause your auto insurance rates to rise. As unfair as it sounds, this is because you still represent a higher financial risk to the insurer following any type of vehicle accident.
It’s always better to avoid car accidents, including those for which you would have no culpability. Here are a few tips on avoiding the ramifications of being rear-ended.
How Getting Rear-Ended Can Increase Your Auto Insurance Rates
Any driver that is involved in a car wreck is probably going to have to file a claim against either their auto policy or the policy of the at-fault driver. Therefore, they are going to be a cost burden to the insurance company. As a result, the more accidents you have, the more you are going to cost your insurer. They might have to raise your rates after even one accident, even though it might not have been your fault.
There are multiple reasons for why you might see these increases in your insurance rates.
- When and where you drive could mean you're at a higher risk of an accident — either because you drive on more dangerous roads or at times of day when accidents are more common. An accident on your insurance record will be proof of this. Therefore, you might face a rate hike.
- If you have a history of at-fault accidents on your record, then the addition of a no-fault claim on your plan could still cause a rate hike. Even though one accident might not have been your fault, you remain a high coverage risk to the insurer.
- The other driver was at fault for rear-ending you, but they do not have liability insurance, or flee the scene of the accident, then you might have no choice but to file a claim on your own benefits. This is a cost to your insurer, which might increase your rates.
Still, not all insurers raise rates if you are the victim of being rear-ended, simply because they won’t want to penalize someone for something that wasn’t their fault.
All the same, you still don’t want to deal with the hassle of this type of accident. While you can’t be responsible for others, you can be responsible for yourself and your car. Therefore, to avoid the risk of being rear-ended, keep a few practical tips in mind:
- Always leave space between yourself and other vehicles.
- Make sure your turn signals and other rear lights always work appropriately.
- Never try to cut in front of someone at lights or intersections.
- Allow yourself plenty of stopping distance.
Even though being rear-ended likely won’t be your fault, it never hurts you to do what you can to keep yourself as safe as possible.