A car accident stays on your record for insurance for three to five years, depending on the state and insurance company. After that period, an accident no longer appears on a driver’s record for insurance purposes and will not affect car insurance premiums directly.
Just remember that even if the record of the accident goes away after three years, it could take as long as five years before a driver is able to once again qualify for good driver discounts. For example, Geico requires drivers to go five consecutive years without an at-fault accident in order to qualify, while drivers with State Farm can requalify for an accident-free discount after three years.
Overall, first-time car accidents increase premiums by an average of 50%, depending on the state and resulting damage. But it’s possible that an accident won’t affect your rates at all.
For example, hit-and-runs committed against you don’t usually affect your insurance costs. And if an accident is a first offense on an otherwise spotless record, your insurance company might offer accident forgiveness, which would prevent your rates from going up. However, not every company offers this perk, and some only offer it as an add-on coverage option.
On the other hand, if you commit a hit and run or cause an accident due to DUI, the accident could stay on your insurance record for up to 10 years or longer. It will also lead to a significant increase in the cost of insurance.
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