"An accident drove up my insurance rates, but I wasn't at fault. What's up?"

Some auto insurers base their rates only on at-fault accidents, but others take into consideration all claim activity, whether you were the one at fault or not.

Insurers operate on the statistical principle  that people with current claim activity represent a higher future potential risk than those who have no claims.

Here's the good news: insurers compete against each other, and in Washington we have a particularly vibrant auto insurance market. And rates can vary considerably from company to company, even among similar policies. So -- as we say often -- it really can pay to shop around for alternatives.

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