What Car Insurance Coverage Do I Need?

Decide how much liability coverage is enough for similar type of drivers.

How Much Does Car Insurance Go Up After an Accident

Many auto insurance premiums seem very high today, but particularly worrisome to drivers are the effects an accident can have on their monthly payments. Most people have not familiarized themselves with their insurance carrier's policies, and that can translate into serious anxiety, especially if a wreck actually occurs. Talk to your agent about your policy for specifics, but here are few general principles that most companies abide by.

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

First of all, if you were not at fault in the accident, you need not worry about a rate hike. Most companies will not raise premiums for drivers not cited as at-fault in the police report, or who had an accident as a result of road debris or other extenuating circumstances. Also, accidents without human injury and only involving several hundred dollars' worths of damages will not likely raise your premiums. Your insurance company will investigate the details of your situation to determine if a good driver under reasonable circumstances would have gotten into the same accident. If so, you're clear. That is unless you are involved in an unusually high number of incidents in a short amount of time.

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

If you are at fault, rates may rise moderately or dramatically, depending on the severity of the accident. If significant property damage occurred, your premiums-regardless of type-could rise anywhere from 10% to 30%. Premiums may go even higher if there was a human injury. In this case, you could see your premiums go up even 50%. Even more dramatic increases occur as you get into repeat accidents or those that involve illegal use of controlled substances. Complications like DUIs can mark you as an extremely high-risk driver to your insurance company, so it can easily double your rate under certain circumstances.

More details about high-risk drivers read in the article Car Insurance for High Risk Drivers

If you are repeatedly involved in severe accidents over a period of time, your insurance carrier may eventually deny you service or refuse a renewal. When this occurs, most other insurance companies will also not grant you a policy without a dramatic increase over regular premiums. Consistently reckless behavior on the road has left some drivers practically uninsurable.

Examples of insurance surcharges after accidents

Company After one accident After two accidents
AAA 30% 150%
Progressive 29.5% 56.2%
State Farm 10% 45%

Note also some backdoor rate increases used by some companies. An accident may also negate some common discounts, like those for good drivers or those with unblemished histories. Losing these discounts can and will result in de facto rate increases above the stated penalty.

Quotes nationwide for drivers with one at-fault crash

National ranking (smallest to biggest price increase)StateAverage annual rate increase compared to drivers with clean records
1New York$80
4New Hampshire$157
9 (tie)North Dakota$277
9 (tie)Pennsylvania$277
20West Virginia$339
23South Dakota $355
24Rhode Island$356
32South Carolina $425
36North Carolina$500
44New Mexico$759
47New Jersey$835
50Kentucky $893
51District of Columbia$1,041
Average increase by state$446

Source: https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/insurance/how-much-car-insurance-quotes-rise-after-an-accident-or-violation/

What is accident forgiveness?

There is no certain rule or regulation about the matter that how much your car insurance rates will go or rise after having an accident. The level of changing rates varies from one insurance company to another and from one state to another, whether you are fault or victim of the accident. If you are faulty in an accident you need to pay pricier premiums.

In such cases, you are worried that what to do and what not, one of your solutions is surely the accident forgiveness.

  • Accident forgiveness is actually a certain feature of your car insurance policy that can protect the driving record from the influence of the rating system of your insurance company in an at-fault accident. It may prevent the premium level from gearing up but you need to apply for the coverage previously to get the facility and your driving record should be clean.
  • Every car insurance policy has different procedures and rules for accident forgiveness. Everyone is not eligible for accident forgiveness also. Some of the insurance companies offer that with your auto insurance policy and for some companies you have to buy it as an endorsement with a policy.
  • Accident forgiveness is available only in some selected states and it can be helpful for you only on the first at-fault car accident of your policy.
  • With the policy, you are able to save your money for the long term and it can save you from the sufferings after an accident. Accident forgiveness and its clauses depend on some factors like the driver’s age, your location. Additional increases in policy rates can make your coverage harder to fit into a certain budget and accident forgiveness is your only way to control such costs.

Accidents on the road

Article rating:

5.0/5.0 (17 user votes)

Add new comment

This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

Enter your zip code to get insurance quotes in your area

Wrong zip code
GET a quote online