A question that I am often asked by clients is whether their auto insurance rates will go up even if they are not at fault for an accident.
While the answer to this question is dependent upon the state, in Arizona, the answer is NO. Insurance companies hike your rates when you cause an accident based on the assertion that the accident you caused demonstrates your risk as a driver.
Insurance companies cannot make the same assertion if you did not cause the accident.
Nonetheless, insurance companies often try to gain from any accident whether their insured caused the accident or not. They do this in some states by calling the increase a “surcharge.” Insurance companies are prohibited by law in Arizona from increasing your rates if you did not cause or significantly contribute to the accident.
The law states “No insurer shall increase the motor vehicle insurance premium of an insured as a result of an accident not caused or significantly contributed to by the actions of the insured.” A.R.S. Section 20-263(A).
If an insurance company increases your rates as a result of an accident, the law requires the insurance company to notify you of the reason for the increase.