Drivers see higher premiums after not-at-fault crashes

In this photo taken Feb. 9, 2016, a car involved in an accident sits in the road Virginia. (AP Photo/Jennifer C. Kerr)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Most drivers don’t expect to be hit with a rate hike on their auto insurance after a car accident that wasn’t their fault.

But a consumer group says it happens and often. And it’s a problem.

The Consumer Federation of America says it found premium hikes in some cases reaching $400. The group looked at premium quotes in 10 cities from five of the nation’s largest auto insurers and found that Progressive aggressively used a not-at-fault penalty, surcharging drivers in eight of the cities.

GEICO, Farmers and Allstate sometimes raised rates. State Farm was the exception, with no penalties for not-at-fault accidents.

The industry says some insurers may consider information from not-at-fault accidents. But not all do, and that is one of several factors that could cause premiums to rise.