Your gut instinct is spot on: If you've filed a State Farm auto insurance claim, you should expect your premium to increase, especially if you've been involved in an at-fault accident. How much your increase will amount to depends on myriad factors, including your driving history and State Farm claims history. In the meantime, you might be able to come up with a good estimate or range.
But make no mistake: Even a good estimate is no substitute for calling your agent and getting the exact number. Calling a friend or family member whose driving history mirrors your own is no substitute either. It's like trying to forge a medical prognosis from the experiences of other people. Similarities may exist between their case and yours, but an extenuating circumstance could make your case different. In fact, you should bank on it. This point should make even more sense once you understand some of the parameters of State Farm auto insurance.
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State Farm Accident Forgiveness Can Be a Good Deal
Although it may feel like a premium increase is a punishment for filing a claim, it's really not. It's the insurance company's response to how they now see the policyholder: as a riskier driver who is more likely to file claims in the future, the Insurance Information Institute says. You might even call it the cost of doing business – a cost that the company passes on to the policyholder.
Still, a premium increase is not a foregone conclusion. State Farm offers an accident forgiveness program to people who have been State Farm customers for at least nine years with no accidents and who live in certain states. Despite some limitations, the program does exactly what it infers: The company literally forgives an accident by allowing customers to avoid surcharges and to keep their accident-free discount (again depending on the state).
As Forbes Advisor notes, this is no small concession. Without accident forgiveness, an accident with property damage can cause premiums to increase a national average of 45%; accidents with injuries can bump average rates by 47%. This should give you one indication of how a claim might affect your premium,
Probe the Reasons Behind Rates
The news is better for State Farm customers: Forbes Advisor also found that State Farm passed on the lowest average premium increase to customers after an at-fault accident with property damage, or 21%. This was as of March 2022.
Claims stemming from other moving violations can cause insurance premiums to spike, and so can those related to nonmoving violations, which often involve parking violations or nonfunctioning equipment on a vehicle.
Here again, be careful not to jump to conclusions. Context and mitigating factors are important too. Take a speeding ticket, for example. Getting caught driving, say, less than 10 miles per hour over the speed limit may result in only the cost of the ticket. State Farm says that several factors may turn the outcome more dire, especially if the insured is:
Younger than age 25 and therefore part of the riskiest group of drivers on the road
The owner of a long, storied history of speeding offenses
Caught driving a large number of miles over the posted speed limit
To varying degrees, other violations work the same way, including:
without a license
turning right on a red light
found drunk asleep at the wheel
a burned-out headlight
Many Factors Affect State Farm Auto Insurance Rates
Fundamentally, State Farm makes it clear that the entire issue of whether premiums will increase after a claim springs from the policy choices made by the insured, who might well be you (or your child).
Since people often look for ways to reduce their insurance costs after filing a claim, it can be enlightening to see which factors you have control (or say-so) over and which you don't:
Who you are, including your age, gender, marital status, credit history and where you live
Your vehicle, including its safety history, size (larger vehicles generally are safer) and presence of any safety devices
How you drive your vehicle, especially with regard to regular commutes and any moving and nonmoving violations
Your policy, meaning the coverage amounts, deductibles and discounts
As many people soon discover, one simple inquiry to their insurance agent – "How much will my premium go up?" – takes far more into consideration than meets the eye. But your other gut instinct is spot on too: You're bound to learn a few new things about your State Farm policy along the way.