New research shows your car insurance premiums can go up after a crash – even if you were blameless

car accident - headlamp damage

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It’s common knowledge that if you are involved in a car crash that wasn’t your fault, then it won’t affect your renewal price. However, new research by Which? has shown your car insurance premium could increase by up to 39% following a crash – even if you were not to blame.

During July and August 2016, Which? got quotes from 12 major car insurers checking the difference in price if they included a minor scrape that wasn’t their fault on the quote application.

Esure increased the quote price by 39% after Which? added the blameless claim. More Than upped the price by 33% and Rias increased the quoted premium by 29%.

In the scenario whereby the vehicle repairs were paid for by the at-fault driver’s insurer, four of the 12 insurers increased the quoted premium – More Than (33%), Esure (17%), Axa (14%) and Admiral (11%).

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They also found that both Esure and Admiral increased the premium even when the proposer said they hadn’t made any form of claim for the accident that wasn’t their fault.

Car insurance claims – liability

The difference between a car accident you are at fault or liable for, and one you are not at fault for should be fairly straightforward – either you caused the crash or you didn’t.

However, insurers don’t see fault and liability in such a clear-cut manner. As the Which? study shows, if someone else damages your car then your premium can go up. Regardless of whose fault it was, you will be seen as ‘at fault’ by your insurer if they had to pay for it. For example, if your car was hit by an untraceable vehicle (i.e. when it was parked).

In essence a claim is only ever considered a ‘non-fault’ claim if your insurer has either incurred no costs, or is able to recoup all of their expenses from the other driver’s insurance company.

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