If you get in a car accident and make an insurance claim, your rate will likely go up, but in Maryland the post-claim rate hike is the smallest in the nation, according to InsuranceQuotes.com.
On average, U.S. drivers see their insurance rates go up 38.2 percent after making a single claim. The post-claim hike in Maryland is 20.5 percent.
Virginia drivers see rates go up an average of 32 percent after one claim, while in the District, the post-claim rate hike averages 25 percent.
The hardest-hit drivers are in Massachusetts, where one claim drives up insurance premiums by an average of 67.4 percent. California and New Jersey also rank high for post-claim rate hikes.
"The biggest lesson for consumers is not to file a claim unless absolutely necessary," says InsuranceQuotes.com senior analyst Laura Adams. "Making a claim for a few hundred dollars doesn't make sense if your premium is going to skyrocket as a result."
D.C. drivers still pay the most for auto insurance, with annual premiums averaging $1,134. Maryland drivers pay an average $948 a year for auto insurance. In Virginia, the average is just $674 annually.
© 2013 American City Business Journals, Inc.