Will filing a claim cause my insurance rates to go up? This is a very common
question. The short answer is: It depends on whether the accident was
primarily your fault.
With the passage of
on November 8, 1988, California began regulating the rates insurance companies
could charge for automobile policies. P roposition 103
(Section 1861.01 (a) of the California Insurance Code (CIC))
required that insurance companies reduce their rates by at least 20% for
all California auto policies. Another major provision of Proposition 103
requires automobile insurance rates be determined using the following
factors in decreasing order of importance -- the insured's driving
safety record, number of miles driven annually by the insured, and number
of years of driving experience the insured has.
Under Proposition 103, a person qualifies for the "good driver discount"
if he meets all of the following criteria --licensed to drive a motor
vehicle for the previous three years, has not had more than one violation
point during the previous three years, and was not a driver of a motor
vehicle involved in an accident which resulted in death or in total loss
or damage exceeding $500, and was principally at fault. Under Prop 103
states that an insurer cannot refuse to insure an applicant who qualifies
for the "good driver discount."
If you were primarily (meaning 51% or more) at fault for an accident, DMV
may assess 1 or more points on your driving record -- regardless of whether
or not you file a claim under your insurance policy. It is your driving
record, not whether you file a claim, which your insurance company uses
to determine whether you qualify for the "good driver discount."
If you have been involved in a car accident and have questions about whether
you or the other driver were at fault, feel free to
call my office anytime for a