After a car accident, insurance goes up by 49%, or around $348 per year on average. The exact amount that a driver’s insurance goes up after an accident depends on a few factors, including the driver’s insurance company, the state, the extent of the damage, and who was at fault. Additionally, drivers with accident forgiveness will not see their rates go up after their first accident, though the specific details vary between insurers.
Key Things to Know About Insurance Increases After an Accident
- Car insurance premiums go up by nearly 50% after an accident, on average.
- Your rate will not increase until you renew your policy.
- Geico, Grange and AAA offer the cheapest car insurance after an accident.
- A not-at-fault accident still raises your rates by an average of 4%.
- You can get cheap car insurance after an accident by shopping for quotes, altering your existing policy, attending traffic school, and practicing good habits on the road.
Insurance Increase After an Accident by State
Average Car Insurance Rate Increase After an Accident
|State||Dollar Increase||Percent Increase|
|District of Columbia||$262||38%|
Note: Data is representative of an at-fault accident; individual rates will be different.
Insurance Increase After an Accident by Company
|Company||Dollar Increase||Percent Increase|
How Does a Not-At-Fault Accident Affect Your Insurance?
On average, drivers see their rates go up by 4% after a not-at-fault accident, though it usually depends on the state and insurance company. For example, California and Oklahoma do not allow insurers to raise rates after not-at-fault accidents. And in 2017, the most recent year that data was available, drivers insured by State Farm didn’t see their rates go up at all if their accident was caused by another driver.
Even if you didn’t cause the car accident, your insurance company might still have to pay. If you live in a no-fault state, for instance, your insurer has to pay for your medical expenses no matter who was at fault for the accident. Similarly, if you’re hit by an uninsured motorist, your policy might pay for the damages, depending on what type of coverage you have. Your insurance company will take any such expenses into consideration when recalculating your premium.
Tips for Getting Cheap Car Insurance After an Accident
1. Shop around
Insurance companies use different methods to calculate premiums, so quotes for post-accident insurance will differ by provider. It’s a good idea to compare several quotes in search of the best deal.
Cheapest Car Insurance After an Accident
Note: Data is representative of drivers with one at-fault accident in California; individual rates will be different.
2. Consider altering your policy
You should always purchase as much car insurance as you can afford. But if an at-fault accident on your record is preventing you from finding affordable insurance, you can consider decreasing the amount of coverage that you have. You can also raise the deductible on your policy, which will give you a lower premium.
3. Take a defensive driving course
Many insurance companies offer discounts if you take an approved defensive or safe driver course. Not only can this lower your rate, but it can help to prevent at-fault accidents in the future.
Additionally, if you received points on your license after causing an accident, you may be able to remove the points by attending traffic school. The accident itself cannot be removed from your record, however. It may continue to affect your insurance rates for the duration of your insurer’s lookback period.
4. Practice safe driving habits
An at-fault accident only stays on your insurance record for 3-5 years. If you avoid any new accidents or moving violations during that time, your rate will eventually go back down.
5. Look into accident forgiveness
Accident forgiveness allows the policyholder to have one at-fault accident within a certain timeframe and not see any premium increases for it. Many insurers offer it as a reward for customer loyalty.
However, if you’ve recently had an at-fault accident and do not already have accident forgiveness, you may be able to switch to a different insurer and have them forgive your accident in exchange for your business. If they won’t forgive the accident for free, they may still allow you into an inexpensive accident forgiveness program instead.