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Fault and Insurance Rate

by Mike Bush
(Sterling, VA, USA)

My son was driving home in his Ford Explorer on an icy street and his rear end began to swerve.

As he tried to regain control, he got about 45 degrees sideways and the car following behind him came up and hit him in the driver side front and rear doors with their right front bumper and quarter panel.

Who is at fault and if we submit an insurance claim to fix his car, will his insurance premium go up?

Thank you.


Hello Mike,

If your son lost control and the other vehicle came and hit him, then the other vehicle should be at fault (failure to maintain a proper distance).

Will this affect your son's rates. They should not, but most likely will. Insurance companies will try to use this against him. They argue that this shows that your son is more likely to be in an accident because

  1. he is out when the roads are bad; and

  2. he losses control of his own car

Clearly, the accident is not his fault (unless there are other facts that I am not hearing about) and he should not be penalized. The best thing for him to do is to get an insurance quote "before" filing, and then one after the claim is settled and damages are paid.

Compare the two and see if the rates are substantially different. If they are, you can contact your agent and show the discrepancy and have them fix it. If they do not, at the very least you know that there might be cheaper insurance out there.

We recommend to use an online broker, like this one:

There are a bunch online.

Good Luck,

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