How much your insurance goes up after an accident depends on many factors like your insurance company, age, the state you live in and whether you’ve had prior accidents or moving violations. It’s hard to estimate the exact amount your insurance premium will increase after an accident. But, you can expect an increase between 15%-34%.
How an Accident Affects Your Car Insurance Rates
Getting into a car accident causes your insurance company to perceive you as a high-risk driver. This means that they will increase your rates to cover the risk of getting into another accident and making a claim. For this reason, the more accidents you have, the more your car insurance rates increase.
What If The Accident Wasn't Your Fault?
If the accident wasn’t your fault, states like California and Oklahoma don’t allow insurers to increase your rates. Companies like USAA also don’t raise premium rates for no-fault accidents.
If you live in a no-fault state, you are more likely to get a premium rate increase even if you are not at fault. A no-fault state is a state that enforces the no-fault insurance cover policy. No-fault insurance requires all parties involved in an accident to file claims to their insurers for injuries. It doesn’t matter who’s responsible for the accident. There are 12 no-fault states: Michigan, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, New York, Florida, New Jersey, Minnesota, Hawaii, Utah, North Dakota, Puerto Rico, and Massachusetts.
You may also get a free pass if your insurance policy has accident forgiveness and it was your first time getting involved in an accident. Many insurance companies offer an accident forgiveness benefit in their car insurance policies—but you should ask your agent to make sure you are eligible for this feature.
Accident forgiveness protects you from a premium increase during renewal in the event you cause an accident. However, it may cost you more to add the feature to your regular policy. You must also have a clean driving record for several years to get the accident forgiveness feature.
How Long Does A Car Accident Stay On My Insurance?
A car accident may stay on your insurance for between three to five years. The more time passes from the time you made a claim, the less it affects your premium rates. If the accident was your fault and you make a liability claim, your rates will increase at your policy renewal. Then, it decreases and should go back to normal after about four years.
Situations an Accident Might Not Increase Car Insurance Rates
Trying to prove that you are not responsible for an accident can be difficult. However, this does not prevent insurance companies from considering the driver’s fault. Some insurance companies will check whether you are at least 50% at fault in the accident. If you are not, they are more likely not to increase your insurance rates. However, if you are a new customer, some insurers won’t follow this rule.
For example, State Farm insurance wouldn’t consider an accident your (the driver’s) fault if:
- You parked lawfully
- You got hit by a hit-and-run driver, then reported the accident within 24 hours
- The other driver is convicted of a moving traffic violation connected to the accident, and you aren’t
- You get reimbursed by, or on behalf of, the person who caused the accident
- The accident was caused by animals, birds, and falling objects (including missiles)
- You got rear-ended and don’t have a moving traffic violation connected to the accident
How To Lower Your Car Insurance Rate After An Accident
After getting involved in an accident that’s your fault and can’t get accident forgiveness, there are a few other things you can do to lower your car insurance rate. You can:
- Raise your deductible
- Improve your credit score
- Get discounts
- Reduce your coverage
- Shop around
Can you get insurance after an accident?
Yes, in most cases. You may have to pay more unless your insurer has accident forgiveness and you qualify.
Will my insurance go up if I file a claim?
Yes. If you file a claim above a specific amount and the accident is your fault, your insurance premium will likely go up.
Do insurance rates go up after a no-fault accident?
No. However, in some states and with some insurance companies, your car insurance premium rate may increase even after a no-fault accident. The Consumer Federation of America did a study and found that some insurance companies can raise car insurance rates up to 10% or more in no-fault accidents.