Insurance claims my fault and warns they may surcharge my full-coverage policy up to 3 yrs, increase my rates and possibly not renew – legal?

Free Insurance Quote Comparison

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

Full Bio →

Written by

UPDATED: Feb 16, 2012

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about legal topics and insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything legal and insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by experts.

Insurance Question from Sparta, MI

Asked on 02/16/2012

Insurance claims my fault and warns they may surcharge my full-coverage policy up to 3 yrs, increase my rates and possibly not renew – legal? My agent writes, "I have to forewarn you here...if you file a claim [insurance] will consider this at-fault and may surcharge your rates for up to 3 years. Also if you were to have another claim they may even non-renew your policy." No other vehicles were involved and no tickets issued in this Michigan accident. I have never filed a claim. I pay for full-coverage already, can they legally surcharge for up to 3 years? Can I dispute their claim that I am at fault?

Answer given on February 19, 2012

If you had a single car accident, it is hard to defend that the accident was not your fault, unless there were weather conditions that could have caused the accident. Even then, you could be considered at fault for driving unsafely for conditions.Each insurance company files their rates with the state and most include a surcharge for an at fault accident. The surcharge generally remains on your record for three years, and with some insurance companies, even longer. Non-renewal can be applied if there are multiple tickets and/or accidents in a three year period, but if you have been a long time client you may not face such a threat unless there are numerous incidents.I think the agent is trying to make you aware of what could happen if their are future claims. If the damages in this incident are minor he may want you to consider repairing the car yourself. Consider your deductible and the total damages to see if you can afford to fix your car without submitting a claim.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: These answers are for general information purposes only and are provided by the person answering and FreeAdvice.com AS IS. It has not necessarily been reviewed by the management staff of FreeAdvice.com nor is it binding any insurance agent, broker, or other insurance professional or any attorney or insurance company. Insurance laws, regulations and practices vary from state to state and insurance policies and practices differ from company to company, by type of policy, by state and locality and by type of insurance. Tiny variations in the facts, policy language or a detail not set forth in a question often can change the outcome or a professional's conclusion. Although FreeAdvice.com has confirmed that the answer(s) was/were provided for the account of an experienced insurance professional, that professional may not be licensed in the state referred to in the question, and may not be experienced or up to date in the subject area. Unlike the answers provided here, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you consult a licensed insurance professional in your area or retain a licensed attorney listed on AttorneyPages.com to represent you.

Free Insurance Quote Comparison

Enter your ZIP code below to compare cheap insurance rates.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption