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Auto Insurance Claims/steep rate increase


My wife and I have had a good driver discount with 21st Century Auto Insurance for about 25 years. We never had any accidents until about six months ago, when my wife accidentally scraped the side of her car on a curved driveway wall, and it was her fault. The company covered the repair costs (about $4000). The company has now dropped the good driver discount and has raised our annual premium to $2800 from the prior annual premium of about $1700. We had expected a rate increase because of the accident, but not such a steep one. Is this legal? Do we have any recourse of action, such as the Insurance Commissioner? Being good customers for 25 years, we had hoped there would be some forgiveness but it almost seems like they want us to pay for the repairs via the rate increase. Please advise us if there is any way we can get back to our original premium, or close to it. Also, any suggestion (if you can) on an alternative company would be appreciated. Thanks.

Hi David,

The reason for the large increase is 2 fold; 1) you have lost the safe driver discount and 2) there is a sur-charge for having an at fault accident. These 2 things combined is what lead to the large increase.

Yes it is legal. All insurance companies file their rates and underwriting guideline with the department of insurance in each state.

There is nothing that can be done other than shop around. I'm not sure what state you're in so I cant make a recommendation.  But if you call several companies you may be able to save some money.

I hope this helps
Richard Hixenbaugh

Auto Insurance Claims

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Richard Hixenbaugh


Auto insurance claims procedure, auto coverage, liability issues, auto damage questions, how to deal with the insurance company, loss of use and diminished value.


I have been involved in the insurance industry for over 25 years. I have experience in underwriting, sales, claims adjusting, auto damage estimating, auto value appraising and diminished value appraising. I have testified as an expert witness over 35 times.

Society of Certified Auto Appraisers

Completed all required courses for the Florida Property-Casualty agents license and the Florida claims adjusters license. I have attended various courses on auto damage estmating, vehicle appraising and am ASE certified in collision damage analysis.

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My company has done work for consumers nationwide.

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