You likely don’t spend much time thinking about your motor vehicle insurance except for when your premium comes due. Otherwise, it’s likely only something you think about if you need the protection you have paid for in your policy.

Quite a few drivers in Florida don’t really understand how motor vehicle liability insurance works, which leaves two people making questionable decisions while filing claims or when securing a policy to protect themselves. Some people will make the mistake of not filing an insurance claim for reimbursement after a motor vehicle crash that leaves them with injuries or dealing with expensive property damage.

Misinformation about how insurance operates contributes to people not seeking the benefits they deserve because they worry that any claim they make will increase the amount of premium they have to pay for coverage.

It is the fault in the crash, not the claim, that increases your costs

When someone causes a motor vehicle collision, their insurance company will have to cover any losses the other driver incurs as a result of the crash. As such, drivers who cause crashes represent a substantial source of financial liability for insurance companies.

Someone who has a history of causing crashes is more likely to cause one in the future than someone who has never received an allocation of fault after a crash. If the police report filed regarding your crash makes it clear that the other driver, not you, is responsible for the collision, your claim shouldn’t have any impact on how much you pay.

Even if you file the claim with your company, the responsible party pays

Many insurance providers will encourage their policyholders to file a claim with them directly after a crash. They do this primarily to simplify the process for their policy. The insurance company can make an immediate payout on the claim and then take action to receive compensation from the policy that protects the other driver.

This process, known as subrogation, allows insurance companies to meet their obligations to policyholders without incurring financial losses through the coverage of claims they don’t have a legal responsibility for. In other words, once you file the police report, you don’t need to worry about your insurance company charging you more if the records make it clear that the other driver is responsible.

For drivers who cause crashes, it is likely that they will experience increased insurance premiums for several years following the collision, as well as potential financial consequences if their insurance isn’t adequate to protect the victims in the crash they caused.