Does Insurance Cover a Crashed Car and Will My Rates Go Up?

Does Insurance Cover a Crashed Car and Will My Rates Go Up?

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Causing a car accident can raise your auto insurance rates in a big way. On average, car insurance rates go up 46% if you cause an accident that caused an injury.

However, your rates typically won't go up if you didn't cause the accident or you have accident forgiveness. And not every car insurance company or state handles an accident on your driving record the same way.

How much will your car insurance rates increase after an accident?

If you get into an at-fault car accident and someone was injured, your car insurance rates could go up $1,157 on average, an increase of 46%.

That rate hike is most pronounced in Michigan, where an accident more than doubles annual costs. In contrast, an accident in Kansas only raised rates 8%.

Rates increase even more when an accident involves property damage of $2,000 or more. Car insurance premiums increased 56% with an accident that causes property damage, while rates only increased 47% in an accident with a bodily injury claim.

This graph lists insurance rates with and without accidents in four states

Find Cheap Auto Insurance Quotes After an Accident

Currently insured?
State
Annual policy cost
With accident
Difference
Michigan$6,882$14,131105%
California$1,932$3,55084%
Louisiana$3,082$5,22670%
Texas$2,497$4,19468%
North Carolina$1,379$2,30967%
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Find the Cheapest Insurers After an Accident in Each State

It's important to note that if you are not found at fault for an accident, your insurance rates will likely not go up. But that's not true in all cases, as some companies raise rates slightly even if you're not at fault.

After an accident, your state's laws and your insurer heavily influence the impact to your rates. That's why it's important to compare quotes after your driving record changes. The same driver looking for car insurance after an accident might get a better deal with a different insurance company.

Which companies have the best car insurance after an accident?

After an accident, your insurance company will decide how much your rates go up. Across the largest car insurance companies, State Farm had the smallest rate increase for an at-fault accident, only 24%. Allstate, Progressive and Geico rates for full-coverage auto insurance went up at least 50% on average.

Company
Annual policy cost
With accident
Increase
State Farm$1,623$2,02024%
USAA$1,288$1,82442%
Allstate$3,585$5,48853%
Progressive$2,321$3,56954%
Geico$2,017$3,19458%

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 or more without getting in an accident.

Each company also sets certain thresholds on what is considered an accident when it comes to 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.

When does an accident stop affecting my car insurance rates?

The longer ago you made a claim on your insurance, the less of an impact it will have on your rates. Your rates will go up the most in your first renewal period after the crash, then return to normal after between three and 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.

How insurance rates change over time after a crash
Time since at-fault crash
Annual cost of insurance
Rate increase
6 months$1,01059.4%
1 year$96251.8%
2 years$93347.3%
3 years$71312.6%
4 years$6492.4%
No recent crash$634

Prices are 12-month quotes for minimum coverage in Illinois. Policyholder made an at-fault property damage liability claim of $2,000.

Car insurers have found that drivers who have been responsible for a crash recently are more likely to make another claim. That's why insurers charge these drivers more. However, the longer ago that incident was, the less it will affect your insurance rates.

When an accident might not increase car insurance rates

Defining what isn't an accident is more complicated than defining what is. But most insurance companies consider the driver's fault in an accident.

Some insurers check whether the policyholder is at least 50% at fault. If you don't meet this threshold, then your insurer often won't increase your rates. But there are exceptions. For example, some insurers don't follow this rule for new customers. But proving fault in an accident can be difficult.

According to State Farm, the policyholder isn't at fault if they were:

  • Lawfully parked
  • Reimbursed by, or on behalf of, a person responsible for the accident
  • Rear-ended and not convicted of a moving traffic violation in connection with the accident
  • Hit by a hit-and-run driver, as long as the accident is reported to the police within 24 hours
  • Not convicted of a moving traffic violation in connection with the accident, but the other driver is
  • Reported damage caused by birds, animals or falling objects

How to save on car insurance rates after an accident

If you are at fault in an accident and your car insurance rate increased, you can still find ways to reduce your car insurance cost.

  • Find discounts: Insurers offer a wide range of discounts, including discounts for good students, for having multiple policies and for good driving tracked by an app.
  • Raise your deductible: There is risk inherent in this approach because it means more out-of-pocket expenses if you are at fault in another accident. However, a higher deductible will lower your premium.
  • Reduce your coverage: Although not an ideal choice, getting less coverage is a way to reduce your rates. You will still need to have the minimum coverage required in your state.
  • Improve your credit score: Most states factor in credit scores for insurance costs. Paying off debt, not missing payments and addressing any issues on your credit report can all help lower rates.
  • Shop around: When in doubt, there's always value in seeing who is offering the best rates for you. Different insurers might treat your situation differently, so comparing quotes is always a good idea.

Frequently asked questions

How much does insurance go up after an accident?

Car insurance premiums increase an average of 46% after an accident with a bodily injury claim, according to an analysis of national rate data. Accidents with extensive property damage — $2,000 or more — can raise rates even more than that.

Can you get car insurance after an accident?

In the vast majority of cases, yes, 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 non-standard 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 and the severity of the accident. If your claim is close to your deductible, it usually makes sense to pay for repairs out of pocket to avoid any potential increases in rates. Some policies require you to report any accidents to your insurer.

How long does an accident affect your insurance?

Insurers most often focus on the past three years of your driving record when setting rates. An accident usually affects rates for at least that long, though some insurers 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?

In most situations, your rate will not go up after an accident in which you are not at fault. However, some companies may raise your rates even if you're not the at-fault party.

Methodology

Rates for accidents with bodily injuries were based on rates gathered from every state. Rates for accidents with property damage were based on drivers in Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Texas and Alabama. A 30-year-old man with a 2015 Honda Civic with coverage limits of:

Coverage type
Limits
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

We used Quadrant Information Services to compile the analysis and insurance rate data. The data is publicly sourced from insurer filings. Rates should be used for comparative purposes only, as your quote may be different.

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.


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