Car insurance rates go up by an average of 49% if you cause an accident.
Your rates usually won't go up if the accident wasn't your fault or if you have accident forgiveness. And not every car insurance company or state handles an accident on your driving record the same way.
Best car insurance companies after an accident
Find Cheap Auto Insurance Quotes After an Accident
How much does insurance increase after an accident?
If you cause a car accident, your car insurance rates will go up by $72 per month for full coverage, on average.
That rate hike is the largest in California, where an accident more than doubles insurance rates. In contrast, an accident in Rhode Island only increases rates by 26%.
Your state's laws and your insurance company heavily influence how an accident affects your rates. That's why it's important to compare quotes after your driving record changes.
Monthly cost of full coverage car insurance after an accident by state
If you're in an accident that wasn't your fault, your insurance rates probably won't go up.
If you were in an accident caused by another driver, their insurance should pay for any damage or injuries. But that's not true in all cases — some companies raise rates slightly even if you're not at fault.
Which companies have the best car insurance after an accident?
State Farm has the smallest rate increase for an at-fault accident.
The company increases full coverage car insurance rates by around 26% after an accident. In comparison, Allstate, Progressive and Geico raise rates by at least 50%, on average.
Each company also sets certain limits on how much it will pay in claims before raising rates. For example, State Farm won't raise your rates for an accident claim if the total damage is less than $750 between liability and collision coverages. Geico and Progressive are similar, with a $500 threshold in most cases.
Many companies offer accident forgiveness, which means your first accident won't cause your rates to go up. Usually, accident forgiveness is either an add-on that costs more or a free perk offered after driving for three to five years or more without getting in an accident.
When does an accident stop affecting my car insurance rates?
The longer ago the accident was, the less it will affect your insurance rates.
Your rates will go up the most in your first renewal period after the crash, then return to normal after three to five years.
If you were responsible for a crash within the last six months and made a liability claim as a result, your rates will increase by about 60% the next time your policy renews. That increase will go away gradually over time, with rates lowering to about 47% higher than normal after two years and only 2% higher than normal after four years.
Monthly minimum coverage car insurance rates after an at-fault accident
Time since crash
|No recent crash||$53||—|
Car insurance companies have found that drivers who have caused a recent crash are more likely to make another claim. That's why these drivers pay more for car insurance.
When an accident might not increase car insurance rates
Find Cheap Auto Insurance Quotes After an Accident
Most insurance companies consider the driver's fault in an accident when determining if their rate will go up.
Some companies will only increase your rates if you're found to be 50% at fault or more. But proving fault in an accident can be difficult.
According to State Farm, the driver isn't at fault if they were:
- Lawfully parked
- Reimbursed by, or on behalf of, a person responsible for the accident
- Rear-ended and didn't get a ticket in connection with the accident
- Hit by a hit-and-run driver, if the accident is reported to the police within 24 hours
- Didn't get a ticket in connection with the accident, but the other driver did
- In an accident and reported damage caused by animals or falling objects
How to save on car insurance rates after an accident
If you caused an accident and your car insurance rate increased, you can still save on your car insurance costs by getting multiple quotes and looking for discounts.
- Shop around: There's always value in seeing which company is offering the best rates for you. Different companies might treat your situation differently, so comparing quotes is always a good idea.
- Find discounts: Insurance companies offer lots of ways to save on car insurance, including discounts for good students, for having multiple policies and for good driving tracked by an app.
- Raise your deductible: A higher deductible will lower your car insurance rates. However, this can be a risky approach because it means higher out-of-pocket expenses if you cause another accident.
- Reduce your coverage: Getting less coverage is another way to reduce your rates. Like raising your deductible, this approach could also lead to more money out of pocket after an accident.
- Improve your credit score: Most states allow insurance companies to use your credit scores to determine your insurance rates. Paying off debt, not missing payments and addressing any issues on your credit report can all help lower rates.
Frequently asked questions
How much does insurance go up after an accident?
Full coverage car insurance rates go up by 49% after an accident, on average. State Farm has the smallest rate increase after an accident, at only 26%.
Can you get car insurance after an accident?
Yes, most of the time you can get car insurance after an accident. If you have multiple at-fault accidents and other incidents and are having trouble finding a company to cover you, you might need to compare nonstandard companies like The General and Direct Auto. Expect to pay higher insurance rates either way.
Will my insurance go up if I file a claim?
Yes, but how much insurance rates go up after a claim varies based on your driving record, the severity of the accident and your insurance company. If your claim is close to your deductible, it usually makes sense to pay for repairs out of pocket to avoid a rate increase. However, some policies require you to report any accidents to your insurance company, even if you're not filing a claim.
How long does an accident affect your insurance?
Insurance companies focus on the past three years of your driving record when determining rates. An accident usually affects rates for at least that long, though some companies factor in an at-fault accident for up to five years or longer in rare cases.
Do insurance rates go up after a no-fault accident?
Your rates may increase after filing a no-fault insurance claim. However, it depends on your insurance company and the state you live in. For example, Washington prohibits insurance companies from raising your rates after an accident that's not your fault.
Will my insurance go up if someone hits me?
In most situations, your rate will not go up after an accident that wasn't your fault. However, some companies may raise your rates even if you're not the at-fault driver.
To compare rates for drivers with an at-fault accident, we gathered quotes from all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Quotes are for a 30-year-old man with good credit who drives a 2015 Honda Civic.
Rates are based on a full coverage policy with collision and comprehensive coverage plus liability limits above the state minimum.
|Bodily injury liability||$50,000 per person/$100,000 per accident|
|Property damage liability||$25,000 per accident|
|Uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury||$50,000 per person/$100,000 per accident|
|Comprehensive and collision||$500 deductible|
To determine the effect of an at-fault accident on rates over time, we gathered minimum coverage quotes from ZIP codes across Illinois. Rates are based on a driver with an at-fault property damage liability claim of $2,000.
We used Quadrant Information Services to compile and analyze the insurance rate data. The data was publicly sourced from insurer filings. Rates should be used for comparative purposes only, as your quote may be different.