March 23, 2023

If you happen to’re studying this text, you could have gotten right into a automobile accident just lately. We hate to offer you extra dangerous information, however even for those who weren’t injured, chances are you’ll really feel some ache in your pocket the subsequent time your automobile insurance coverage is up for renewal.

How a lot does automobile insurance coverage go up after an accident?

Automotive insurance coverage corporations usually increase premiums for drivers who’ve just lately been in an accident — however not at all times.

“If the accident is just not your fault, it’s the primary through which you’ve been concerned, and your driving historical past is freed from shifting violations and/or insurance coverage claims, you could have no premium enhance in any respect,” says Loretta Worters, vice-president of the Insurance Information Institute.

Nevertheless, for those who’re accountable, or your insurance coverage firm feels that you just’ve simply been in too many accidents (even when none have been your fault), your premium will doubtless enhance. In actual fact, it might even double. A latest Forbes Advisor evaluation studies an average premium increase of 45{5d900b5cef8a1d0ddf57da84d6aa2b178a5cc18a9524d574352760010a41eed0} for accidents with property harm and 47{5d900b5cef8a1d0ddf57da84d6aa2b178a5cc18a9524d574352760010a41eed0} for these with accidents.

Equally, a 2022 evaluation by Insurance revealed a national average rate increase of 52{5d900b5cef8a1d0ddf57da84d6aa2b178a5cc18a9524d574352760010a41eed0} after an at-fault accident. These premium hikes usually stick round for 3 years.

Earlier than you panic, right here’s some recommendation on how one can put the brakes on any premium will increase after you’ve been concerned in a automobile accident.

Tip #1: Speak to your insurer first

Automotive insurance coverage premiums rely upon a variety of private particulars like your age and driving historical past. Moreover, your distinctive surcharge, which is the price added to your premium following an at-fault accident (it might additionally comply with a ticket, late cost, and so forth.), can fluctuate based mostly on quite a lot of elements, akin to your particular insurer, the state you reside in, and the severity of the accident.

Because of this, after any sort of accident, irrespective of how small, it’s crucial that you just contact your insurance coverage agent instantly to see the way it will have an effect on your premium. This eliminates the stress of getting an unexpectedly excessive invoice within the mail and offers you — and your price range — time to regulate.

Tip #2: Search for the “accident forgiveness clause”


The auto business’s rule of thumb is that the majority drivers could have three to 4 accidents of their lifetime. As a result of some insurers have accepted that accidents are merely part of life, many are keen to disregard your first mishap and never increase your premium.

That’s the place an accident forgiveness clause is available in. It’s an add-on to your coverage that ensures your premium received’t go up after your first accident. The catch, after all, is that it must already be a part of your coverage — you may’t get into an accident after which ask so as to add it on. Nevertheless, there’s a chance chances are you’ll have already got an accident forgiveness clause and never even comprehend it.

“The main points fluctuate by firm,” says Worters. “Some might provide you with accident forgiveness instantly, whereas others will solely achieve this after you’ve been an accident-free policyholder for as many as three to 5 years. Additionally they might require no shifting violations for 3 years.”

Simply be mindful it’s not a 100{5d900b5cef8a1d0ddf57da84d6aa2b178a5cc18a9524d574352760010a41eed0} get-out-of-jail-free move. There are limits to accident forgiveness, such because it solely being good for one accident per coverage (not per driver on the coverage). Moreover, even when your insurance coverage premium doesn’t go up, the accident will stay in your driving document — which suggests future insurers may see it and set your price accordingly.

It’s additionally not supplied by each insurer, neither is it even obtainable in each state.

Tip #3: Store for a brand new coverage

If you happen to’re nonetheless not pleased together with your renewal price, use our assets to buy a brand new automobile insurance coverage coverage. In actual fact, it’s a good suggestion to browse competitor websites in quest of a decrease premium on occasion, whether or not you’ve been in an accident or not.

Learn extra: Why is my automobile insurance coverage so excessive? (And methods to decrease it)

Insurance coverage charges fluctuate on a regular basis, so staying with the identical firm yr after yr can forestall you from saving cash elsewhere. On the whole, you must examine quotes earlier than you renew your coverage and everytime you expertise a related life change (you buy a brand new automobile, add or take away a driver out of your coverage, transfer out of state, and so forth.). You received’t be penalized for swapping insurance policies on occasion, however analysis completely earlier than you make any adjustments. And make sure to ask about any cancellation charges.

Listed here are just a few suggestions to remember as you store round:

  • Bundle your house and automobile insurance coverage — Premiums fluctuate considerably from firm to firm, however if in case you have residence insurance coverage by means of one other supplier, embody it in your listing of potential automobile insurers. You will get a reduction by “bundling” your house and automobile insurance coverage with the identical firm.
  • Take note of the corporate’s fame — Understand that cash shouldn’t be the one issue when making your remaining determination. “Choose an insurance coverage firm that has a fame for good customer support and is financially steady,” says Worters. “Verify shopper publications and your state insurance coverage division for buyer satisfaction surveys and discover out if they’re financially steady by means of score corporations akin to AM Best.”
  • Use a coverage aggregator — Corporations like Policygenius and Credible may help you discover a new coverage as a result of they examine personalised quotes from a number of insurance coverage suppliers multi function location. No must hop round from web site to web site to seek out the most effective deal.
  • Ask about your insurer’s loyalty low cost — Earlier than you decide to a brand new coverage with a special insurance coverage supplier, ask in case your present insurer gives a loyalty low cost. Canceling your protection will clearly disqualify you from receiving this profit, so ensure you know what you’re saying goodbye to earlier than you make the change.
  • Ask a few cancellation price — Some auto insurance coverage suppliers, however not all, cost a price for those who cancel your protection earlier than the coverage expires. It’s extra doubtless that you just received’t be charged, but it surely’s at all times greatest to verify together with your supplier earlier than you make any adjustments.

As a remaining tip, wait till your at-fault declare is closed earlier than you think about switching insurance coverage suppliers, and be truthful about your driving historical past as you store. Potential insurers will ask you to report any accidents and shifting violations you’ve acquired over the previous few years. Don’t lie. They’ll uncover all reported accidents or tickets of their databases.

Use our type under to simply discover the most effective automobile insurance coverage suppliers working in your space.

Tip #4: Enhance your deductible

In case your insurance coverage firm does increase your premium, you may nonetheless decrease the quantity by rising your deductible (the quantity you’ll pay after you file a declare and your insurance coverage kicks in).

For instance, according to the Insurance Information Institute (III), rising your deductible from $200 to $500 may cut back your automobile insurance coverage protection value by 15{5d900b5cef8a1d0ddf57da84d6aa2b178a5cc18a9524d574352760010a41eed0} to 30{5d900b5cef8a1d0ddf57da84d6aa2b178a5cc18a9524d574352760010a41eed0}. And leaping to a $1,000 deductible can prevent 40{5d900b5cef8a1d0ddf57da84d6aa2b178a5cc18a9524d574352760010a41eed0} or extra.

However earlier than you do that, ensure you’ll even have the $500-$1,000 to spend for those who get into one other accident. (It is a good purpose to construct up your emergency fund).

Tip #5: Benefit from different reductions

Insurance coverage suppliers supply all kinds of reductions for his or her prospects, however if you wish to reap the benefits of these perks, it’s important to ask.


Listed here are a number of the most typical reductions supplied by auto insurance coverage corporations.

  • Low-usage low cost — If you’re an rare driver, you could possibly qualify for a low-mileage, low-usage low cost (be aware this kind of low cost usually requires you to join a driver monitoring know-how).
  • Loyalty low cost — Your insurance coverage supplier might decrease your price for those who’ve been a long-term buyer.
  • Affiliation low cost — If you’re a scholar, navy personnel, or senior citizen, chances are you’ll be eligible for sure reductions. Many insurance coverage suppliers even have affiliations or partnerships with sure universities or commerce organizations, so you could possibly obtain a reduction based mostly in your college or employer.
  • Multi-car low cost — You might be eligible for a multi-car low cost for those who personal a couple of automobile and insure your vehicles beneath the identical coverage.
  • Billing low cost — You’ll be able to obtain some auto insurance coverage reductions based mostly on the best way you pay on your protection, akin to for those who pay your coverage in full and/or join digital billing.
  • Security options low cost — The kind of automobile you personal and the options that include your automobile can even affect your premium. Ask your supplier if they provide reductions for any of the next: anti-theft gadgets, anti-lock brakes, security options like airbags and seat belts, and new autos.

Learn extra: 4 methods to avoid wasting on auto insurance coverage (with out switching suppliers)

Tip #6: Scale back your protection

Three out of every four drivers purchase collision and/or comprehensive coverage, however that doesn’t essentially imply three out of 4 drivers ought to.

Decreasing your protection is a straightforward solution to dramatically lower your premium, but it surely’s not a sensible transfer for each driver. Listed here are just a few causes you must think about dropping your collision and/or complete protection:

  • The price of the extra premium you pay for complete and collision protection exceeds 10{5d900b5cef8a1d0ddf57da84d6aa2b178a5cc18a9524d574352760010a41eed0} of the guide worth of your automobile.
  • You’ve got an older, paid-in-full automobile.
  • You’ve got saved sufficient cash to interchange your automobile within the occasion of an accident.
  • Primarily based on the place you reside, work, and drive, you aren’t involved concerning the following threats: weather-related damages, animal-related accidents, and auto-related crime.

Listed here are just a few causes you must think about holding your collision and/or complete protection:

  • In case your automobile is financed or leased (odds are your lender requires collision and/or complete protection).
  • You’ve got a brand new automobile that you could possibly not afford to interchange within the occasion of an accident.
  • Primarily based on the place you reside, work, and drive, you’re involved about a number of of the next threats: weather-related damages, animal-related accidents, and auto-related crime.
  • You reside in a state with a excessive proportion of uninsured drivers (FL, MS, NM, MI, TN, AL, WA, IN, AR, D.C.).

Learn extra: What’s full protection auto insurance coverage (and why must you care)?

Tip #7: Take a driving class


You in all probability thought you noticed the final of driver’s ed if you had been 16. However for those who mud off your previous notebooks and take a refresher driving course, your insurance coverage firm might even see this as an indication that you just’re trying to enhance your driving abilities — and so they might present mercy on you come renewal time.

“It received’t assist for those who had been caught driving recklessly or beneath the affect,” says Worters. “However in any other case, it’d assist cut back charges. Don’t wait on your insurance coverage firm to ask you to do that. Do it by yourself and inform them about it.”

Find a driver’s ed refresher course in your state.

Chargeable vs. unchargeable accident

Though a automobile accident will doubtless have an effect on your insurance coverage premium, it might not. The circumstances of your accident matter, and there are particular sorts of accidents that shouldn’t affect your insurance coverage charges.

The next incidents will doubtless end in an elevated premium:

  • You triggered the accident, which resulted in property harm.
  • You triggered the accident, which resulted in accidents.
  • You’ve got been concerned in extra automobile accidents earlier than (fault is usually irrelevant if in case you have a number of accidents in your document).

The next incidents doubtless will not affect your premium:

  • Your automobile was hit/broken whereas legally parked.
  • You had been rear-ended by one other automobile however didn’t obtain a site visitors violation.
  • Your automobile was broken in a hit-and-run accident for which you weren’t at fault.
  • You’ve got accident forgiveness (varies based mostly in your insurer and coverage).
  • The accident was minor, not your fault, and the primary in your document (varies based mostly in your insurer).

The state you reside in can even affect your premium after an accident. In some states, your premium can enhance even if you’re not the driving force at fault. In different states, your premium solely will increase if the declare exceeds a sure greenback quantity. Speak together with your insurer to seek out out the phrases of your particular coverage.


Automotive accidents will be worrying for a variety of causes. There could also be damages to your automobile and/or one other automobile. Maybe you’re coping with whiplash or worse. Sadly, chances are you’ll face one other irritating facet impact when it’s time to resume your insurance coverage protection: a premium hike.

Insurance coverage premiums usually spike after an accident, generally as a lot as double your authentic price. If you happen to’re the driving force at-fault, you may positively count on to pay extra on your coverage, however your charges might rise irrespective of who’s accountable for the fender bender.

Thankfully, there are a number of methods to avoid wasting in your premium. Ask your insurer about obtainable reductions. See how lowering your protection and/or rising your deductible may have an effect on your premium. Moreover, you may (and may) store round for a greater deal a minimum of as soon as a time period, however ensure you’re trustworthy about your accident(s) when requesting quotes from opponents.

Featured picture: Monkey Business Images/

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