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Cheap car insurance after an accident claim


Accident checklist - what to do following a motor vehicle collisionHere we’ll explain the best way to find cheap car insurance even after you’ve had an accident. You’ll also learn how much an accident will raise rates and how long it is until an accident is off your insurance record.

How can I get cheap car insurance after an accident?

The best way to still pay cheap car insurance rates after an accident is to comparison shop. CarInsurance.com’s rate research shows, as outlined below, that the average driver with a recent accident can save thousands of dollars by comparing car insurance quotes. Insurance companies assess risk differently, so after an accident claim, your current carrier may not be the most affordable. That's why shopping around for the best price should be on your list of what to do after a car accident.

Cheap car insurance companies for accidents

Based on CarInsurance.com’s rate analysis, Geico is the cheapest car insurance  company for drivers with a recent accident claim. Here is how car insurance companies rank on price for those with an accident on their record.

AccidentGeicoMid-CenturyProgressiveFarmersNationwideAlliedAllstateVictoriaForemost
Property damage under $2K$1,570$1,815$1,789$2,050$2,005$1,830$2,678$3,138$4,024
Property damage over $2K$1,578$1,815$1,816$2,050$2,450$2,523$2,631$3,138$4,024
Bodily injury$1,593$1,815$1,827$2,050$2,329$2,523$2,861$3,138$4,974
2 property damage accidents over $2k$2,507$2,374$3,743$2,626$3,391$3,195$4,235$5,902$5,299

By subtracting the lowest rate from the highest, you can see below how much you can potentially save by comparing rates after an accident, based on CarInsurance.com’s data.

  • At-fault bodily injury -- $3,381
  • At-fault property damage under $2,000 – $2,454
  • At-fault property damage over $2,000 -- $2,446
  • Two at-fault property damage over $2,000 -- $2,792

Victoria and Foremost cater to high-risk drivers, so it’s not surprising that rates are among the highest for those companies after an accident claim. If you were to calculate average savings for standard car insurance companies in the chart above, the saving would be as follows:

  • At-fault bodily injury – $1,268
  • At-fault property damage under $2,000 -- $1,108
  • At-fault property damage over $2,000 -- $1,053
  • Two at-fault property damage over $2,000 -- $1,861

How much does an accident raise insurance rates?

How much more you pay for coverage after an accident depends on your insurance company’s guidelines and your state laws. Many other factors also come into play, chief among them are the type of car you drive, your age, where you live and your credit history. Having said that, below you’ll see the national average increases for common accidents.

How much insurance goes up after an accident also varies by state. Drivers in Minnesota, California, Louisiana and Michigan get hit with the highest increases for one at-fault accident, while those in New York, Hawaii, South Carolina and Alaska see the lowest, compared to the rest of the country.

Accident claimAverage rateAverage rate after claimDollar increasePercentage increase
1 At-fault property damage accident under $2K$1,430$1,796$36626%
1 At-fault property damage accident over $2K$1,430$1,880$45032%
At-fault bodily injury accident$1,430$1,889$45932%
2 At-fault property damage accident over $2k$1,430$3,002$1,572110%

Car insurance rate comparison for accident claims

You’ll see below how much rates differ among insurers for various accident claims. CarInsurance.com analyzed rates from up to six major insurers, and their subsidiaries, for 10 ZIP codes in each state for a full coverage policy.

At-fault bodily injury accident
CompanyAverage rateAverage rate after claimDollar increasePercentage increase
Geico$1,109$1,593$48444%
Mid-Century$1,379$1,815$43532%
Progressive$1,483$1,827$34424%
Farmers$1,537$2,050$51332%
Nationwide$1,629$2,329$70145%
Allied$1,541$2,523$98268%
Allstate$1,868$2,861$99353%
Victoria$1,591$3,138$1,54897%
Foremost$3,385$4,974$1,59847%
At-fault property damage accident over $2,000
CompanyAverage rateAverage rate after claimDollar increasePercentage increase
Geico$1,109$1,578$46943%
Mid-Century$1,379$1,815$43532%
Progressive$1,483$1,816$33325%
Farmers$1,537$2,050$51332%
Nationwide$1,629$2,450$82151%
Allied$1,541$2,523$98268%
Allstate$1,868$2,631$76241%
Victoria$1,591$3,138$1,54897%
Foremost$3,385$4,024$63919%
At-fault property damage accident under $2,000
CompanyAverage rateAverage rate after claimDollar increasePercentage increase
Geico$1,109$1,570$46142%
Progressive$1,483$1,789$306$20
Mid-Century$1,379$1,815$43532%
Allied$1,541$1,830$28917%
Nationwide$1,629$2,005$36721%
Farmers$1,537$2,050$51332%
Allstate$1,868$2,678$81043%
Victoria$1,591$3,138$1,54897%
Foremost$3,385$4,024$63919%
Two at-fault property damage accidents over $2,000
CompanyAverage rateAverage rate after claimDollar increasePercentage increase
Mid-Century$1,379$2,374$99572%
Geico$1,109$2,507$1,398129%
Farmers$1,537$2,626$1,08972%
Allied$1,541$3,195$1,653111%
Nationwide$1,629$3,391$1,762109%
Progressive$1,483$3,743$2,260156%
Allstate$1,868$4,235$2,367127%
Foremost$3,385$5,299$1,91357%
Victoria$1,591$5,902$4,311271%

How long until an accident is off your insurance record?

It varies by state. In some states, accidents don’t even go on your driving record, or only appear if you were deemed at fault and ticketed for a traffic infraction.  In other states, accidents go on your record and stay anywhere from one to five years. You’ll have to contact your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles to find out if the accident will go on your record and how long it will stay there.

How long will I pay the increased rate after an accident?

You typically pay the higher rate for three to five years, says Penny Gusner, CarInsurance.com consumer analyst. "In some cases, the surcharge lessens over time until it's gone," she says. "In other cases, it stays the same amount for the duration -- it depends on state laws and insurer's internal guidelines."

Non-accident claims filed under comprehensive insurance

Note that comprehensive insurance, which pays for damage to your car from hail, flooding, vandalism, animal collisions and fire, is optional. So, naturally, you must have comprehensive coverage to make a comprehensive claim. In many cases, you won’t see an increase at all for a comprehensive claim because most insurers consider damage that isn’t accident-related to be beyond your control. But in some cases a comprehensive claim will trigger a minor increase.

CarInsurance.com's rate research showed that a comprehensive claim over $2,000 may result in a minor hike to your rates, about three percent, or $39 more, annually. Two comprehensive claims brings it up to nine percent, or about $120 a year.

Expert tips for saving on car insurance after other circumstances change

We've established that doing a car insurance comparison after an accident can save you money, but Gusner says there are other times you should compare car insurance quotes to get the cheapest car insurance for your particular situation. Your rate may go up, or down, depending on certain life circumstances. These are the other times to shop your policy, since these are life events that tend to impact your rates significantly.

  • After a marriage or divorce
  • After you move
  • If you want to add or drop drivers from your policy
  • Have a change in your credit history or score
  • Buy a house
  • Buy a car
  • Get a ticket for a moving violation

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