Surprise! Insurance rates increase if you have accidents!


I'm not sure why this is considered news. Any adult with common sense knows that when you make claims on your auto insurance policy, your rates are likely to increase. There's very simple logic behind it: Those who have more accidents and cost the insurance companies more should have to pay their fare share through higher rates.

Insurance companies have been gathering data for a zillion years. Every bit of information is tracked and they use it to determine who's a greater risk to them. If the chances are higher that you will cost the insurance company money, then you're going to pay a higher premium.

But here's a little known tidbit mentioned in the video below: Your auto insurance rates might go up even I you don't file a claim for an accident. If you contact your insurance company about an accident you've had, but decide not to file a claim, they might still record the information about the accident in their database. And when it comes time to renew your policy, that accident may affect your premiums.

Tracy L. Coenen, CPA, MBA, CFE performs fraud examinations and financial investigations for her company Sequence Inc. Forensic Accounting, and is the author of Essentials of Corporate Fraud.