How much more can you expect to pay after a car accident? CarInsurance.com data show that auto insurance rates increase about 56%, on average, after one at-fault accident with more than $2,000 in damage.
“The amount in which your insurance premiums will increase after an at-fault accident will vary based on the state you live in and the rules and guidelines that particular state has to follow, as well as the severity of the accident,” says Lauren McKenzie, an insurance broker for A Plus Insurance. “Some states can raise the renewal rate up to 50% or higher.”
Ben Michael, an attorney who often deals with auto insurance claims and related litigation, says that a single, at-fault accident will likely raise your insurance premiums by about 45%, depending on the circumstances of the accident.
- For one at-fault accident, your insurance rates will increase by about 56% or $1,114 annually.
- How much insurance rates increase after an accident depends on your car insurance company, state laws and driving record.
- Increasing your deductible can lower your monthly premium, but ensure you have enough money to pay out-of-pocket before your insurance kicks in.
- A second at-fault accident will increase your rate by 125% – an increase of $2,483.
- How much does insurance go up after an accident?
- How much will my insurance go up with an at-fault accident?
- How much does insurance go up for a teen after an accident?
- Why do insurers raise premiums following an at-fault accident?
- Average car insurance rate increases for accidents by state
- FAQ: Car insurance after an accident
- Final thoughts: Car insurance rates after an accident
How much does insurance go up after an accident?
An accident with damage greater than $2,000 will raise your car insurance rate $1,114 per year on average, according to 2022 CarInsurance.com data.
“I’ve found that two at-fault accidents within one year could raise your insurance premiums up to 98%,” McKenzie says.
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:
Car accident checklist: What should I do after an accident
How much will my insurance go up with an at-fault accident?
Most of the time, car insurance rates go up after an at-fault accident, but not always. An accident where you’re to blame makes pricier premiums much more likely, but not in every situation with every company, so you should shop for the best rates after an accident.
But even if the crash and resulting claim don’t increase your base rate, you may still pay higher insurance premiums due to losing a good driver discount.
How much do two at-fault accidents in one year affect car insurance rates?
Have a second at-fault accident and your premiums will probably skyrocket. It will increase your rate by 125%, according to 2022 data, going from $2,483 to $4,468.
“Two at-fault accidents within 12 months will almost always cause your rates to at least double,” Michael says.
How much does insurance go up for a teen after an accident?
Car insurance for adolescents is already exorbitantly expensive for many families. That’s because much of the high risk of getting in an accident is factored into your premium. But if your teenager is at fault for an accident, count on your rates heading higher.
“Rates tend to go up around 30% after a single at-fault accident by a teenager, but they may not go up at all if the teen was not at fault,” McKenzie adds.
Why do insurers raise premiums following an at-fault accident?
If your insurance carrier increases your premium following an accident, it’s not meant to be a punitive move to shame or reprimand you. They have determined that you are statistically more likely to cost them more money in the future.
“Remember that insurance carriers are in the business of managing risk,” Michael says. “Since people who cause one accident tend to be more likely to cause another, insurers need to charge these drivers more to account for that next accident.”
Mark Friedlander, director of corporate communications for the Insurance Information Institute, says that when you claim against your auto insurance policy above a specific amount due to an incident that is primarily your fault, your insurer will likely increase your premium by a certain percentage.
“The amounts, percentages and ceilings of these increases vary from company to company,” he says. “Increases due to an at-fault accident generally stay on your premium bill in the form of a surcharge for three to five years following the claim. It’s also important to note that all insurers have a proprietary underwriting system for determining the specific cost you will pay for coverage, which will impact how much more you will pay after an at-fault accident.”
Consider also that different insurers have different rules about what constitutes an unacceptably bad motor vehicle record. If your driving history worsens due to serious traffic violations or at-fault accidents, your insurer may decide not to renew your policy, Friedlander says.
Average car insurance rate increases for accidents by state
The average increase in the U.S. for insurance premium increase after one accident is 56% – an average increase of $920 per year.
Average car insurance rate increases for one at-fault accident by state
Residents of New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Texas pay the most after an at-fault accident – with rate increases of 92% in the Garden State and 71% in the other two. See the table below for how much one at-fault accident will likely increase your auto insurance rate in each state.
Average car insurance rate increases for two at-fault accidents by state
People in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Michigan pay the most after two at-fault accidents – 206%, 193% and 170% rate increases, respectively. See the table below for how much two at-fault accidents will likely increase your auto insurance rates in each state.
FAQ: Car insurance after an accident
Will an accident raise your rates if you’re not at fault?
In the 12 states that have no-fault insurance laws (Florida, Hawaii, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Pennsylvania and Utah), your premium may rise even if you did not cause the accident, according to Mark Friedlander with the Insurance Information Institute.
No-fault insurance requires every driver to file a claim with their insurance company after an accident, regardless of who was at fault.
How do insurers calculate an increase after an accident?
Insurance companies calculate premium increases based on your driving record. The more driving risk you have demonstrated in the past, the more you might have to pay for your auto insurance premiums now or in the future.
Usually, your carrier will re-evaluate your rates after claims or other driving incidents that are primarily your fault. Premium changes are applied during the next renewal of your policy.
How long does a car accident stay on my record?
An accident may remain on your motor vehicle record for three to five years. However, according to Mark Friedlander with the Insurance Information Institute, this length will vary from state to state.
When does car insurance go down after an accident?
After five years, an at-fault accident should drop off your driving record; after three years, a not-at-fault accident should be removed from your driving record, per insurance broker Lauren McKenzie. That’s when your rate should start to drop.
But be aware that, even after an accident falls off your driving record, your premium may remain higher than what you paid before the accident occurred. Also, the accident may not drop off your record immediately – you’ll have to wait till the next renewal.
How do you find cheap car insurance after an accident?
If your rates increase following an accident, you can shop around for coverage like any other driver. The Insurance Information Institute recommends obtaining at least three quotes from a mix of national and regional insurers to compare costs and coverages.
A new insurer may also tack on an accident surcharge to your premium but could provide other policy discounts to decrease costs.
What is accident forgiveness?
Accident forgiveness is an auto insurance benefit that may prevent insurance premiums from rising due to your first at-fault accident. Accident forgiveness can be added to your policy or awarded if you have a good driving record, depending on your carrier. Dozens of regional and national insurers offer some form of accident forgiveness.
Does State Farm have accident forgiveness?
Yes, State Farm offers an accident forgiveness benefit if you’ve been with them for nine years and maintain a clean driving record.
Final thoughts: Car insurance rates after an accident
The bottom line? Anticipate your auto insurance premiums spiking after an accident, especially when you are at fault. This rate will increase when it’s time to renew the policy.
At that time, you can always shop around and compare rates and policies among different carriers to save money.
If you have not been involved in an at-fault accident for several years, consider adding accident forgiveness to your policy if your carrier offers it. This can safeguard you from premiums rising following a collision.
– Michelle Megna contributed to this story.
Resources & Methodology
CarInsurance.com commissioned 2022 data from Quadrant Information Services for a 40-year-old male driver with a good driving record and full coverage insurance on a Honda Accord LX for drivers with one or two at-fault property damage accidents over $2K.