Skip to main content

How Much Does Car Insurance Go Up After an Accident?

Accidents happen, and that’s what insurance is for. You need to file a claim, and you’re wondering if your rates will go up as a result. The answer isn’t a simple yes or no. There are a few things that determine whether or not your rates will go up.

Do insurance rates go up after a no-fault accident?

While it’s possible your rates could go up in some states, a not-at-fault accident typically wouldn’t raise your rates as much as an at-fault accident would. This depends on the regulations in your state and the insurer.

On the contrary, an at-fault accident that your insurance company makes payments for will likely cause your rates to increase. The amount your insurance increases is typically very minimal compared to the cost of the claim. So although a rate increase can be frustrating, having insurance is certainly better than not. It can be hard to predict exactly how much your rates increase. The increase amount depends on the severity and type of claim(s) resulting from the accident. And even if you don’t file a claim, your rates could be impacted if you receive a moving violation for your actions in the accident. 

How long does an accident stay on your record?

Rate increases for accidents are removed after a period of time, which varies by state and insurance company. In general, insurance companies look back at several years of your claim history when determining your car insurance rate. 

If my state is a “no-fault” state, will my premium still go up for an accident?

Even if you live in a “no-fault” state, you can experience premium increases after an accident. There can be confusion around the concept of “no-fault.” Being in a no-fault state doesn’t have to do with whether or not you can be ruled at-fault for an accident. “No-fault” simply means drivers are responsible for their own medical expenses in the event of an accident, regardless of who causes the collision. In these states, drivers are required to have personal injury protection (PIP) insurance to cover their own medical bills and related expenses. Your insurer will still investigate the facts of the claim to determine who’s at fault and handle any other claims resulting from the accident accordingly. 

If I file a comprehensive (other-than-collision) claim, will my premium go up?

Some examples of comprehensive claims include theft, vandalism, fire, weather damage, chipped or cracked glass, and more. These types of claims typically don’t involve another vehicle. In some states, hitting a deer or other animal falls under a comprehensive claim. If you do see an increase, it typically won’t be as much as an at-fault accident. 

What is accident forgiveness?

The exact circumstances of “accident forgiveness” may vary by insurance company. Typically, it’s a system that honors prior good driving experience in the event you eventually have an accident. An example of an accident forgiveness program is if you’ve had an otherwise clean driving record five years prior to an accident, you’ll be waived of any rate increases associated with the accident. There are also types of accident forgiveness that you can purchase. This means you pay slightly more in premium over time in order to waive or partially waive the associated rate increase should you have an accident. The exact circumstances and offerings of accident forgiveness vary by insurance company and state. 

How to lower your insurance after an accident

While you can’t remove a rate increase due to an accident, there are other ways to lower your premium in order to lessen the impact of the increase. One of the best ways to lower your insurance premium is to make sure you’re getting all discounts you’re qualified for. Many discounts are automatically applied, however, some require action on your part. For example, if you’ve taken a defensive driver course but haven’t submitted proof to your insurance company, you could be missing out on a discount if your state offers it. There are oftentimes discounts associated with selecting certain payment options. If you enroll in automatic payments, pay in full or go paperless, you may be eligible for discounts depending on your state and insurance company.

Adjusting coverages and deductibles is another way to reduce premium. While Amica doesn’t recommend reducing liability limits, where you may be able to adjust your coverage is the physical damage coverage on your vehicles. As a vehicle gets older, sometimes insureds elect to remove physical damage coverage (collision or comprehensive). This is because you could be paying more for these coverages over time than you would receive in the case of a total loss. However, it’s always best to have the coverage you need than try to cut corners to save premium. Additionally, if you feel a higher deductible is within your budget, it usually helps lower premiums. 

Get the help you need

Experiencing a claim can be stressful, but we’re here to make the process as easy as possible. While it’s best to notify your insurer about any loss, talking to us about an accident doesn’t mean your rates will go up. We’re happy to discuss any questions you may have about the process. 

Get an auto insurance quote

or call 833-513-3881

Your Policy, Policy Declarations or Amended Declarations in effect on the date of loss is the primary source of reference for your coverage, coverage limits and deductible amounts.

This inclusion of non-Amica companies, products, services or statement herein (“Third-Party Content”) is for general informational purposes only and does not constitute a recommendation or endorsement by Amica Insurance. Policies, views, opinions or positions of Third-Party Content expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the policies, views, opinions or positions of Amica Insurance. Amica Insurance makes no warranties, express or implies, as to the accuracy and reliability of Third-Party Content.

This content may contain helpful tips, explanation and advice. Your use of this information is voluntary and may not be effective in every circumstance. Amica encourages you to use good judgement and put safety first.

For more information on our editorial process and content standard, take a look at our editorial guidelines.