SAN FRANCISCO: California drivers are experiencing insurance premium increases of 62% after just one claim.
On average, drivers pay an average of 38% more for car insurance after making a single claim, according to a new insuranceQuotes.com report.
The hike is steepest in Massachusetts, where just one claim leads to an average premium increase of 67%, followed by California with an increase of 62%.
A second claim puts an even deeper dent in Americans' wallets. A driver with two claims pays nearly twice as much for car insurance as a claim-free driver (+86%) according to the report.
"The biggest lesson for consumers is not to file a claim unless absolutely necessary," says Laura Adams, a senior analyst at insuranceQuotes.com.
"Making a claim for a few hundred dollars doesn't make sense if your premium is going to skyrocket as a result," she adds.
In addition to geography, increases are also affected by the type of claim. Bodily injury and property damage (including collision) claims are the most expensive (+42% and +41%, respectively). Comprehensive claims (for non-collision events such as theft) are the cheapest and only account for increases of 2%.
Highest and lowest post claim increases
Massachusetts has the highest post claim increase at an average of 67%, followed by California with an average increase of 62% and New Jersey at 59%.
Maryland has the lowest post-claim increase average at 20%, followed by Alabama at 22% and Michigan at 23%.
Click the link for the full study, as well as a helpful "Should I Make a Claim?" calculator.
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