No-fault liability would seemingly mean just that: no fault. But a new report from the Consumer Federation of America (released yesterday) found that annual premiums continue to rise in most major cities, some as much $400, and that insurance companies are doling out penalties for not-at-fault crashes.
In other words, insurers are jacking up your premiums or instituting a surcharge for something that was never your fault. The research group took a look at premium quotes form 10 different cities, including Chicago, from five of the country’s top auto insurance providers. The premiums that came under the most scrutiny belonged to Progressive, Farmers and GEICO insurance.
From the Associated Press: “The researchers found that Progressive aggressively used a not-at-fault penalty, surcharging drivers in eight of the 10 selected cities. Rates in Oklahoma City and Los Angeles did not change. Oklahoma and California prohibit not-at-fault penalties.
The group said GEICO and Farmers raised rates in some states by 10 percent or more. Allstate had occasional penalties.”
The lone insurer that isn’t penalizing for not-at-fault crashes? Illinois-based State Farm.
The report from the CFA underscores how insurers consistently look to mitigate and/or recoup as much money as is reasonably possible after someone files a claim. There are several methods to do so, including the highly suspect practice of “surcharging” not-at-fault drivers for simply being involved in a crash. They assess, re-assess and, in many cases, look for excuses to raise your rate by pinning circumstantial evidence on you.
Just as insurers analyze a crash for their own benefit, it’s important for an attorney to analyze the crash for your benefit. We help root out the technicalities and ensure that your rights (and your finances) are being protected.