SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- 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%.
California (+62%) and New Jersey (+59%) are not far behind. Maryland has the lowest post-claim increase (+20%), followed by Alabama (+22%) and Michigan (+23%).
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%).
"The biggest lesson for consumers is not to file a claim unless absolutely necessary," said 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."
In addition to geography, the 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, barely moving the needle at +2%.
The full study, as well as a helpful "Should I Make a Claim?" calculator, is available here:
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insuranceQuotes.com commissioned Quadrant Information Services to examine how claims affect car insurance premiums. Quadrant calculated rates using data from six large carriers in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Assumptions included a $2,000 claim and policy limits of $100,000 for injury liability for one person, $300,000 for all injuries and a $500 deductible on collision and comprehensive coverage.
insuranceQuotes.com provides consumers with a free, easy way to shop for and compare insurance quotes online, and delivers information about auto, home, health and life insurance and other types of insurance.
insuranceQuotes.com is part of Bankrate Insurance. Other Bankrate Insurance companies include NetQuote.com and InsureMe.com.
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Public Relations Manager, Bankrate, Inc.