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

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.

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.