How much does insurance go up after an accident detail guide (2023)

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  • How much will my insurance go up after an accident?
  • How much does an at-fault accident raise your rates?
  • Average car insurance rate increases for one at-fault accident in every state
  • Will an accident raise your rates if you’re not at-fault?
  • How do insurers calculate an increase after an accident?
  • When does car insurance go down after an accident?
  • How to lower auto insurance after an accident
  • How long does a car accident stay on my record?
  • How to find cheap car insurance after an accident?
  • Accident forgiveness
  • When not to file a claim
  • The verdict on car insurance rates after an accident

How much does insurance go up after an accident detail guide (1)

Michelle Megna | Updated on:

How much does insurance go up after an accident detail guide (2)EXPERT REVIEWEDby Ashlee Tilford

Ashlee is a dynamic business writer with a special focus on finance. With an MBA and more than twelve years in the finance industry, Ashlee brings a practical and relatable perspective to the area of business writing. She is passionate about personal finance and empowering others with the knowledge to succeed. When she isn’t writing, Ashlee manages a team of supply chain professionals at a university and enjoys spending free time with her partner and dog on their farm in Kentucky.

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(Video) 7 Tips to Reduce Car Insurance Rates After an At-Fault Accident

The last thing you want to have happened after an accident is for your insurance rates to go up. There are a few things that can happen with your insurance rates after an accident they will either stay the same or go up.

Insurance companies take many factors into consideration when determining how much more they will charge you for insurance after an accident.

Keep reading to know how much does insurance go up after an accident and what you can do to lower your auto insurance rates.

Key Highlights

  • How much insurance rates go up after an accident depends on your car insurance company and state laws, as well as your driving record.
  • For your first at-fault accident your insurance rates could go up anywhere from 12% to 80%, depending on the seriousness.
  • Most auto insurance companies follow standards that are set by the Insurance Services Office (ISO), which allow the insurer to increase your rates by 20 to 40% after an accident claim.
  • Increasing your deductible can lower your monthly premium, but make sure you have enough money to pay out-of-pocket before your insurance kicks in.

How much will my insurance go up after an accident?

Car insurance rates go up 31%, on average, after one at-fault accident with more than $2,000 in damage, or by $450 a year, rate data show. It's just a bit more for an at-fault bodily injury accident.

Here's how much car insurance goes up for common accident claims, as well as for comprehensive claims for damage to your car from hail, flooding, vandalism, fire and animal collisions:

Average increase in car insurance rates for common accident claims
Accident or Comp Claim% Increase$ Increase
1 At-fault bodily injury accident32%$459
1 At-fault property damage accident over $2K31%$450
1 At-fault property damage accident under $2K26%$366
1 comprehensive claim for over $2k3%$39
1 comprehensive claim for under $2k3%$39
2 At-fault property damage accident over $2k110%$1,572
2 comprehensive claims for over $2k8%$121

However, there are many factors that come into play, so like with most car insurance situations, your rate after an accident may be a bit higher or lower, depending on your particular situation.

Whether you’re at fault or not at fault in an accident, changes in your car insurance rates vary by insurance company and by state, says Penny Gusner, consumer analyst for

(Video) 7 Dirty Tricks Insurance Companies Will Play After an Auto Accident | Denmon Pearlman Law

In addition to worrying if your car insurance rate will increase, you may also wonder what to do after an accident.

It’s wise to exchange the following information with the other driver: name, name of car owner, names of passengers, vehicle make, model and license plate number and the insurance company name, policy number and number for claims filing. Call the police, and if possible, get a police report.

How much does an at-fault accident raise your rates?

Most of the time, car insurance rates go up after an at-fault accident, but not always.

An accident where you're blamed makes pricier premiums much more likely, but not in every situation with every company, Gusner says, which is why it’s prudent to shop for the best rates by doing a car insurance comparison.

"One at-fault accident could raise your rates anywhere from 12% to 80%, depending on the severity -- or not at all," she says. "Some insurers will let one minor accident slide.

However, if the crash and resulting claim aren't being surcharged (where your base rate is raised), you may still pay higher rates due to losing any good driver discount you received for keeping a record clean of violations or accidents."

How much does two at-fault accidents in one year affect car insurance rates?

Have a second at-fault accident and your premiums will probably skyrocket.

"That most certainly will hike up your rates," Gusner says. "How much varies greatly, again, but our rate data show that policy-holders can expect an average jump anywhere from 69% to 180%."

How much does insurance go up after an accident, for a teenager?

Although insurance rates for teens are usually significantly higher than other age groups, surcharges after an accident are the same for teens as for anyone else. If your teen has an at-fault accident, insurance surcharges will likely cause the rates to increase by anywhere from 12% to 80%, the same they would if you were the one who had the accident.

Average car insurance rate increases for one at-fault accident in every state

Enter your state in the search field in the table below to see the hike after a claim for one at-fault accident over $2,000 for your state.

When ranked by the percentage increase, drivers in Minnesota, California, Louisiana and Michigan get hit with the highest percentage increases, while those in New York, Hawaii, South Carolina and Alaska see the lowest, compared to the rest of the country.

Average car insurance rate increases for one at-fault accident in every state
State Average Rate Rate After Accident % Increase $ Increase
North Carolina$1,170$1,64741%$477
West Virginia$1,467$1,93432%$467
South Dakota$1,250$1,63431%$384
New Hampshire$1,156$1,49329%$337
Rhode Island$2,011$2,59129%$580
New Mexico$1,498$1,85224%$354
New Jersey$1,419$1,69720%$278
North Dakota$1,123$1,33819%$215
South Carolina$1,353$1,55915%$206
New York$1,214$1,36012%$146

Will an accident raise your rates if you’re not at-fault?

A crash doesn't always equal more expensive coverage. Gusner says many insurers may be lenient if it's your first accident and not your fault.

"Whether your rates go up after a not-at-fault accident really varies by the auto insurance company and by state," she explains. "One accident may not cause your rates to rise, but if you have been in multiple accidents, even if you were not-at-fault for each, your insurer may increase your premiums or not renew your policy."

How do insurers calculate an increase after an accident?

When an insurance company does raise rates following an accident claim, it employs a "surcharge schedule." This schedule determines how much the hike will be and can also come into play after you've been ticketed for moving violations.

Many auto insurance companies use standards set by the Insurance Services Office (ISO), which allows an increase of 20 to 40% of the insurer's base rate after an accident claim.

(Video) The biggest mistakes people make after a car accident

This base rate is the average rate charged in the state before discounts and other adjustments, plus the insurance company's claims-processing fee. The surcharge for multi-car policies is 20% of the base rate for the first two vehicles on a policy; it's 40% for a single-car policy, according to the ISO.

Here's an example of what you might expect under the ISO standard:

Let's say your auto insurance policy is for two cars with a $300 premium for each, and your insurer's base rate is $400. On your insurance after an accident, you could be hit with an $80 surcharge -- which is 20% of the $400 base rate -- on both. That would bring your total surcharge to $160, about a 27% jump in your rates after an accident.

Ultimately, though, each company sets its own surcharge schedule, as long as it's approved by state regulators. The amounts and circumstances, Gusner points out, may change from state to state even within the same insurance company.

"Some states have very specific rules about what can be surcharged, such as North Carolina, which has its own surcharge schedule insurers must use, and New York, which has strict guidelines about what can hike up rates," she explains. "In other states, it's totally up to the insurer's internal rules; however, they must be approved by the state."

Compare auto insurance for bad credit, tickets and different coverage levels in your state by researching our car insurance comparison guide.

When does car insurance go down after an accident?

According to the Insurance Information Institute, car insurance rates can remain increased for an average of three years after an at-fault accident, even though insurance surcharges may decrease yearly during that time. However, this varies by car insurance company and state, so be sure to check with yours.

How to lower auto insurance after an accident

What's done is done and now it's time to focus on how to move forward and get lower insurance rates. Here are some expert tips on how to offset insurance rate increases after an accident:

  • Work on improving your credit score: in most states, credConsider a higher deductible: increasing your deductible cait score has a significant impact on insurance scores, which affect rates.
  • n decrease your premium. If you increase your deductible, make sure you can pay that money out-of-pocket in the event you need to file a claim.
  • Avoid filing more claims: some claims are unavoidable, but you should try to avoid filing claims for anything small that you can take care of yourself.
  • Look for car insurance discounts.
  • Shop around: we recommend comparing quotes and shopping around at least once a year to make sure you've got the best auto insurance policy with the best auto insurance company.

How long does a car accident stay on my record?

A car accident can stay on your record for at least three to five years if the damages to your car exceed over a certain amount. Although, the increase depends on your car insurance company, your vehicle type and other factors.

Read more How long does an accident stay on your record in California

How to find cheap car insurance after an accident?

Car insurance rates vary among insurers. If you see an increase in your auto insurance rates after a car accident, there may be other companies that could offer lower rates for the same coverage. You can start looking for a new insurance company but make sure you compare quotes from at least 3 insurers to get the best deal.

Accident forgiveness

"Accident forgiveness" is a frequently promoted policy option or loyalty reward that most of the major car insurance companies -- including Allstate, GEICO, The Hartford, Liberty Mutual, Nationwide, Progressive and State Farm, among others -- offer as a way to avoid rate increases after mishaps. They're usually for the best customers, those without past accidents and moving violations.

In general, accident forgiveness works this way:

If you have a clean driving record, the car insurance company will ignore the first accident and not raise your premium. Some insurers may also cut the deductible by as much as $100 for each year you maintain a spotless record after the crash.

The details vary from company to company. Some may give you accident forgiveness immediately, while others will only do so after you've been an accident-free policyholder for as many as five years.

Still, others may forgive one mishap per policy in a three-year time frame, some will forgive one every six years, and some will waive one per driver listed on the policy every three years. You may also be required to have had no moving violations for three years.

Also, the feature usually comes with a price tag. At Allstate, for example, you get accident forgiveness by upgrading to either a Gold Protection or Platinum Protection package under its Your Choice Auto plan, which can add about 8% to 15% to the cost of a standard policy.


Progressive offers a forgiveness plan under its loyalty rewards program to customers who have been with the company for at least five years.

However, remaining with one auto insurance company for several years may not be the best way to go -- the Insurance Information Institute, a trade group, says consumers should be willing to switch if they find a competing auto insurance company that offers the best options at the best price.

Does State Farm have accident forgiveness?

Yes. State Farm offers accident forgiveness as do many other major insurers like Progressive, Allstate, GEICO, The Hartford, Liberty Mutual and Nationwide. Progressive accident forgiveness differs from the others in that they have two different levels of forgiveness that are determined by claim amount and customer loyalty.

When not to file a claim

Gusner and most industry experts agree that filing a claim is probably a mistake if the vehicle repair costs are under or just above your deductible. Instead, it's smarter to pay out-of-pocket and avoid any surcharges generated by the claim.

"Keeping small claims to yourself, and away from your insurer and claims history, can help you keep future rates down," Gusner says.

But, she adds: "One caveat is that your policy may require you to report any accidents. This may be noted in your file somewhere - be sure to ask if it will be so it's clear you are not yet making a claim but are prepared to pay for repair costs at this juncture."

The verdict on car insurance rates after an accident

Car accidents can be stressful and damaging, but not just to the vehicles and people involved.

At-fault car accidents result in an average premium increase of up to 31%, depending on the amount of damage. The good news is if you don't file more claims and keep a clean driving record, the rate increase will be temporary.

In the meantime, if you focus on safe driving habits, work to improve or maintain good credit and shop around for the best discounts and policy, you may be able to offset some of the rate increase.

Rates are from six insurance companies for 10 different ZIP codes in each state.

Averages are based on insurance for a single 40-year-old male driving a 2017 Honda Accord, with policy limits of 100/300/100 ($100,000 for injury liability for one person, $300,000 for all injuries and $100,000 for property damage in an accident) and a $500 deductible on collision and comprehensive coverage. This hypothetical driver has a clean record and good credit.

Average rates are for comparative purposes. Your own rate will depend on your personal factors and vehicle.


How much do your premiums go up after an accident? ›

If you have claimed on your car insurance, you can expect to pay 20% to 50% more for cover in the future. However, the amount varies depending on who is to blame for the claim, the severity and expense of the accident, and your overall driving record.

How much will my insurance go up after a non fault accident? ›

some providers can raise your premiums by up to 30% for one non-fault claim, and 50% for two non-fault claims. insurers will usually ask for your claims history, this can be for around three to five years. a non-fault claim will have less of an impact as time goes on and you start to rebuild your no-claims bonus.

How much will my insurance go up with 6 points? ›

It's thought that having six penalty points can increase your car insurance premium by anywhere up to 25%, with three points only increasing it by around 5% and twelve points potentially increasing it by a whopping 90%.

Does car insurance go up after a claim? ›

The short answer unfortunately is yes. Regardless of whose fault it was, making a claim will almost always lead to an increase in your car insurance premium.

Does insurance go up even if it wasnt your fault? ›

At-fault car accidents can have a major impact on your car insurance costs, but even accidents you didn't cause can trigger an increase in your premiums. However, the effect of a not-at-fault accident on your auto insurance rate tends to be smaller than the effect of an at-fault accident.

Is it worth claiming on car insurance for a dent? ›

In a nutshell, small dents/scratches on your car's surface does not require a car insurance claim. In fact, it is best to refrain from raising a claim in such a scenario, as you may otherwise lose a lot of money.

Do you have to declare accidents on car insurance? ›

Do I have to tell my car insurance company about an accident? Yes, you do. You must declare all accidents to your insurer, even if you didn't make a claim.

How much difference does 3 points make to insurance? ›

It's impossible to predict exactly how much three penalty points will impact your insurance premiums. But you should be prepared to pay at least 5 to 10% more with three points on your licence than before.

How much will my insurance go up with 12 points? ›

If you have more than 12 points on your record, the annual cost of your insurance could rise by 89%. However, insurers often charge more if drivers have speeding-related offences, even if they have fewer points. This is because the risk factor assumes those speeding are more likely to cause an accident.

Does 3 points affect car insurance? ›

Yes, all penalty points can potentially increase your insurance premium. When getting a car insurance quote you must be honest about any previous claims or motoring offences as it could affect your cover.

Is it better to go through insurance or pay out of pocket? ›

If the cost to repair your car will cost less than your deductible, or even just slightly more, you should handle the repairs out of pocket. For example, if the damage to your car costs $300 to fix and the deductible is $200, you would save $100 by filing a claim.

How long does a claim last on your car insurance? ›

How long do car insurance claims stay on my record? Any claim you make will be automatically recorded with the Claims and Underwriting Exchange (CUE). This data will be held on file for six years.

What happens if you don't tell your insurance about an accident? ›

Almost every insurance provider will have a clause in their policy requiring you to declare any incidents you've been involved in while driving in the past 5 years. If you don't report something and your insurance provider finds out about it later, they could invalidate your policy.

How insurance companies decide who is at fault? ›

Insurance company adjusters determine fault in an auto accident after reviewing the police report and other evidence. They may also ask you and the other driver questions about the collision to try to piece together a reliable narrative of what happened.

Why do insurance companies tell you not to admit fault? ›

Do Not Admit Fault in a Car Accident. Even if the accident does seem like your fault, never admit fault after you have been involved in a car accident. Admitting fault puts you at risk to not receive any compensation that you may have otherwise been entitled to.

Should I tell my insurance company it was my fault? ›

Yes. Regardless of fault, it is important to call your insurance company and report any accident that involved injuries or property damage. A common myth is that you do not need to contact your insurance company if you were not at fault.

At what point is it worth claiming on insurance? ›

So, is it worth claiming on my car insurance? Unfortunately there is no hard and fast rule here, it's all about weighing up the odds and costs. If you have an accident and the cost of repairing your car or another person's vehicle is cheaper if you claim on your insurance, it's probably the best idea.

At what point is collision insurance not worth it? ›

Your collision premiums cost more than your car's actual cash value. Cars depreciate as soon as you drive them off the lot. Knowing your car's cash value is essential. For example, if it's an older model and only worth $1,750, but you're paying over $2,000 in premiums, you might consider dropping collision coverage.

What happens if someone scratches your car while parked and left? ›

What should I do if someone hits my parked car?
  1. Don't leave the scene or move your car.
  2. Locate the person who hit your car and exchange information (if possible)
  3. Take photos and contact the authorities to file a police report.
  4. Contact your insurer and file a claim if necessary.

Should I claim insurance for minor damage? ›

Thus, avoid raising claims for minor damages and only do so if the repair cost is substantial. For example, your car's mirror is broken, and the repair cost is Rs. 2,000. Here, it is wise not to raise a claim for such minor damages (considering your Deductible amount is 1,500) as it will impact your NCB.

What insurance details do you give in an accident? ›

Details of the accident. Registration number of the cars involved. Driver's name, address and phone number of each car involved. Each driver's insurance details if you have them.

What details do you exchange after a car accident? ›

Record details of the accident

Make sure you note down: The time and date of the accident. The details of the vehicles involved, including the make, model, colour and number plates. The driving conditions, including the weather, lighting and road quality.

How long will 3 points stay on my licence? ›

How Long Do Points Stay On Your Licence? Points can stay on your driving record for 4-11 years.

Do insurance companies know how many points you have? ›

Can insurers check for driving convictions? Yes, but only with your permission. If you enter your driving licence details on an insurance application, the insurer can quickly get the most up-to-date information from the DVLA database. This shows them all details of motoring convictions or endorsements on your licence.

Do you have to tell insurance about 3 points straight away? ›

Most insurers don't require you to tell them about penalty points straight away. But they do expect you to tell them about points you've accumulated when you renew your car insurance.

What is a high insurance score? ›

The higher your insurance score, the better an insurer will rate your level of risk in states where insurance scores are a rating factor. According to Progressive, insurance scores range from 200 to 997, with everything below 500 considered a poor score, and everything from 776 to 997 considered a good score.

What happens when you get to 12 points? ›

If you reach 12 points on your licence, this is classed as “totting up”. When you tot up to 12 or more points on your licence, you automatically fall to be disqualified for 6 months. You will have to go to court for this offence.

How long does 6 points stay on your licence? ›

How long do points stay on your licence? Penalty points will remain on your licence for 3 years from the date they were added.

Can you avoid points for no insurance? ›

Using a vehicle without insurance, even if you're not driving and it's just parked on the road. In these cases, the Court has to impose at least six penalty points, unless you there are “Special Reasons” for not doing so.

How many points is a ban? ›

The court will decide how long the disqualification will last, based on how serious they think the offence is. You can be banned from driving if you already have 12 or more penalty points on your licence. Your ban can last: 6 months, if you get 12 or more penalty points within 3 years.

Can insurance companies give you points? ›

Most insurance companies have implemented surcharges for those same moving violations and at-fault accidents, which some call “insurance points,” according to Flannagan. Insurance points may also be known as “accident- or violation-related premium increases or surcharges,” she says.

When should you not file an insurance claim? ›

Example of when not to file an auto insurance claim:
  1. It's a minor self-accident.
  2. No one is injured.
  3. No one else's property is damaged.
  4. Repair costs are less than your deductible.

Does insurance pay 100 after out of pocket maximum? ›

The most you have to pay for covered services in a plan year. After you spend this amount on deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance for in-network care and services, your health plan pays 100% of the costs of covered benefits.

How can I avoid paying high insurance? ›

  1. Increase your deductible. ...
  2. Double check what discounts you qualify for. ...
  3. Shop around for car insurance. ...
  4. Maintain a good driving record. ...
  5. Sign up for our safe driving program. ...
  6. Take an accident prevention course. ...
  7. Explore payment options. ...
  8. Improve your credit score.

How long does an insurance company have to investigate a claim? ›

In general, the insurer must complete an investigation within 30 days of receiving your claim. If they cannot complete their investigation within 30 days, they will need to explain in writing why they need more time. The insurance company will need to send you a case update every 45 days after this initial letter.

Do insurance companies share claims history? ›

Do auto and homeowners insurance companies share my information about claims and policies? Yes. There are specialty consumer reporting agencies that collect information about the insurance claims you have made on your property and casualty insurance policies, such as your homeowners and auto policies.

Can I refuse my car being written off? ›

Can I refuse to write-off my car? Yes. As we mentioned, the insurance company will judge your car's damage and its repair based on value (unless your car is deemed totally unsafe). So, if your car just has a scratch along the bonnet but has a low market value, chances are insurance will be quick to write it off.

Can you lie about past accidents on insurance? ›

If you lie to your insurance company about the cause, injuries, and other details of your car wreck, you risk losing your policy completely. Insurance companies do not want to work with individuals who lie and try to take their money.

Do insurance companies check accidents? ›

When you buy car insurance (or just get a quote), your insurer will ask a lot of questions about your driving history. One of the things they'll ask about is the accidents you've had, and the claims you've made.

Do I need to tell insurance about minor accident? ›

Always notify your insurers if you are involved in an accident, however minor it may be and regardless of whether there is any damage. If you are involved in an accident and do not wish to make a claim on your policy you can simply advise your insurers about the accident 'For notification purposes only'.

What can I claim for in a non-fault car accident? ›

After a non-fault accident, courtesy car providers will likely want to acquire compensation of their own for damage to the vehicle, and any loss of revenue whilst the vehicle is out of service. You will be claiming any personal injury and any financial loss that you have suffered personally as a result of the accident.

Should I claim on my car insurance if not my fault? ›

If the accident wasn't your fault, you can use a credit hire company instead of making a claim through your insurance company. A credit hire company pays for the cost of you hiring a replacement vehicle while yours is being fixed, and pays for the cost of repairs.

How do insurers decide fault? ›

The claims handlers at both insurers will try to build up a picture of the accident with evidence to support their policyholder's version of events. Where the drivers' stories are disputed, the quality of that evidence can help to resolve differences and determine liability.

When can I get a courtesy car after an accident? ›

As long as you have comprehensive car insurance, you will likely get a courtesy car whether the accident was your fault or the fault of another driver. Most insurance companies believe that, regardless of blame, you should still have access to a vehicle to get you around while yours is being repaired.

Who is the third party in an accident? ›

The term 'third party' refers to a person involved with a car insurance claim who is not you – (the holder of the policy or the driver). So this is usually the other driver involved in an accident.

How much is a no claims bonus worth? ›

Maximum No Claims Discount

The amount of discount earned increases with each year of claim-free driving. So after one year you might get 30%, with the percentage increasing each year until you get 70% NCD after five years. Most firms offer a maximum NCD of 70%, although some offer 75% or 80%.

Do I lose my no claims if someone hits me? ›

Non-fault accidents

If they do, it will affect your no-claims bonus until your insurer can work out who's liable. If you decide to claim for any damage, it will affect your no-claims bonus until your insurer can recover the costs from the other driver's insurer.

Is it better not to claim on insurance? ›

You don't have to make a claim on your insurance policy, even if you're entitled to do so. In some cases, if the amount is quite small, you may not want to make a claim because if you do so your future premiums could increase by more than the amount you have claimed.


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