The sad truth is that car accidents often lead to serious injuries for either or both parties, as well as costly auto repairs. But even if no one is hurt or no property damage occurs, you will almost certainly lose precious hours of your day resolving the issue with the police and insurance companies.
In fact, one of the most lasting effects of any car accident is rising car insurance premiums. Even if you have a pristine driving record, it is likely that your insurer will try to recoup its losses by jacking up your monthly premiums one way or another.
At The Gilbert Law Firm, we’ve been helping Washington clients recover from car accidents for years — including helping them with issues with their insurance company.
Car Insurance Basics in Washington
According to Washington law, all motor vehicle drivers must have liability insurance unless they have a certificate of deposit to guarantee financial responsibility for an accident, or have a liability bond of at least $60,000.
In all other cases, Washington drivers must have liability insurance limits of at least:
- $25,000 for injuries or death to one person
- $50,000 for total injuries or death to all people
- $10,000 for damage to anyone else’s property
Auto insurance helps pay for major expenses following an accident.
These may include:
- Vehicle repairs
- Medical bills
- Rental fees
- Property damage
- Personal injury liability
Without the coverage that your auto insurance provides, you could lose your savings and any assets you own following a serious accident.
But it’s important to note your insurance company will pay out following an accident only if your auto insurance policy is in force. That means you have to be up to date on your monthly or quarterly insurance premium payments.
What Factors Increase a Premium?
There are many reasons why your premium may be different from your neighbor’s.
Some of these include:
- Coverage types—if you include more expenses in your auto insurance policy (like auto rental or full coverage), then the cost of the policy will go up
- Driving record—if you have been involved in more accidents or have a history of unsafe driving, then your insurer will expect you to pay more to cover future costs.
- Location—your insurer will analyze the driving conditions in your area to provide a broad framework of accident likelihood.
- Type of vehicle—if your automobile is more costly, then it will cost more to insure it against damage.
- Deductible amount—if you must pay more out of pocket following an accident, then your insurer is responsible for less and your premium will go down.
- Age of driver—typically, insurers will charge more for younger drivers because they have less experience and are more likely to drive recklessly.
As you can guess from the many variables that go into determining the amount you have to pay to maintain an auto insurance policy, there is a wide variation in premiums both before and after an accident.
But if you believe your insurance company is treating you unfairly after an accident, it’s important to contact a Washington car accident attorney as soon as you can.
Contact The Gilbert Law Firm today
You don’t have to accept the decision of your auto insurance company. Hire the Gilbert Law Firm to protect your rights following an auto collision. As one of Spokane’s leading personal injury firms, the Gilbert Law Firm will fight for every dollar you are owed. Contact us to schedule a free consultation today.