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Accident not your fault? Your insurance rates may still go up

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New York drivers may see their premiums rise after an accident, even if they were not at fault.

Most people know that if you cause a motor vehicle accident, you may see a spike in your insurance premiums. Insurance companies charge you more because they perceive you as higher risk, or more likely to cause another accident in the future.

But if the accident wasn't your fault, your rates should be safe - right? Not necessarily, according to a recent report by the Consumer Federation of America. Read on to learn more about what might happen to your insurance rates after an accident caused by someone else.

Innocent drivers forced to pay more

According to the New York Times, the Consumer Federation of America recently conducted a study on insurance premiums after car accidents. The group sought price quotes from five major insurers in 10 cities across the United States and found that most penalize at least some not-at-fault drivers after an accident. However, the frequency and degree to which they raise premiums can vary widely.

New York drivers among the most affected

In some states, such as California and Oklahoma, there are laws in place to protect drivers from insurance hikes after an accident that was not their fault. However, New York does not have any such laws.

In fact, the study found that drivers in New York City are among the most likely to see significant rate increases. In Queens, for example, annual premiums increased by up to $400 after a not-at-fault accident.

Protect your rights - and your wallet

Car insurance is a significant expense - and after an accident that wasn't your fault, you also have medical bills, lost wages and other losses to contend with. If you have any concerns about your legal rights or insurance after a vehicle accident, it's wise to contact an attorney with experience handling accident claims.

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