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Will a personal injury claim affect my car insurance premium?

If you injure another driver or a member of the public whilst driving, a personal injury claim could be made against you. But will this affect your car insurance premiums, whether you were at fault or not?

Typically, a car accident and a resulting personal injury claim will increase your car insurance premiums in the future. But the extent of the increase will depend on who was at fault in the accident and whether or not you were behind the wheel of your car at the time or were injured as a non-car road user. 

If you’re responsible for a car accident that injures someone, they’ll likely claim against your insurance for their injury. If your liability for the accident isn’t in dispute, your insurer will offer a settlement to that person. Depending on the extent of the victim's injuries, that payout could be very large. It could cover their loss of income, the costs of treatment and care, and even modifications to their home and vehicle to accommodate their injury or disability.

This costly payout means your insurer will regard you as riskier and more expensive to insure in the future. You should therefore expect to see a substantial rise in your premiums at your next renewal.

But what happens if you’re the party injured? You typically wouldn't claim on your own car insurance for an injury. Most motor insurance policies, even fully comprehensive policies, don’t include this cover. If another driver is responsible for the accident, you’ll file against their insurance for compensation. This personal injury claim won’t directly impact your insurance premiums as your insurer won’t be paying out. 

However, if you were driving your vehicle at the time of the accident, as opposed to being a passenger in another person’s vehicle, a pedestrian, or a cyclist, you’ll be required to report the accident to your insurer. They’ll likely then increase your premiums at your next renewal. 

This may seem unfair because you weren’t at fault in the accident. However, insurers’ data has revealed that drivers involved in one accident are more likely to be involved in another. The accident may indicate to them that you’re driving on roads and at times when accidents are more likely - such as on narrow country lanes or late at night or at rush hour. The next collision may be costly for your insurer so they’ll increase your premiums to account for their increased risk in covering you.

On the other hand, a personal injury claim you file against another motorist for an accident in which you were a pedestrian, cyclist, or a passenger in someone else's car shouldn't impact your car insurance costs in the future.

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