How Much Does Your Insurance Go Up After an Accident?

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Rachel Bodine graduated from college with a BA in English. She has since worked as a Feature Writer in the insurance industry and gained a deep knowledge of state and countrywide insurance laws and rates. Her research and writing focus on helping readers understand their insurance coverage and how to find savings. Her expert advice on insurance has been featured on sites like PhotoEnforced, All...

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Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insurance...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers CSR for 4 Years

UPDATED: Jul 18, 2021

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What You Should Know

  • Anything that can be proven as negligent on your part is likely to cause the most significant rise in what you pay per month
  • A poor driving history will have a negative impact on how much cash you have to dish out per month to insure your vehicle
  • Rates increases vary by the insurance company

After you’re in a car accident, consequences begin to settle. You’ll need to discern who is at fault (if there were multiple drivers involved), how much repairs will cost, and where your insurance company is going to provide coverage. This needs to be squared away to help determine the typical car settlement amounts

Unfortunately, after an accident, your car insurance is probably going to go up. 

So, how much does insurance go up after an accident, and how can you prepare for it? Does your insurance premium/car insurance rate go up even if it wasn’t an at fault accident on the insurance claim? Does an auto insurance company have accident forgiveness coverage and cover medical bills? Additionally, what factors contribute to how much the needle moves? 

To answer these questions about what to do after a minor car accident (or major) and more, the experts here at built you a guide. Here’s an overview of what’s to come:

  • At-Fault, or Not-At-Fault? That is The Question. 
  • Are you a first-timer or a repeat offender? 
  • How Insurance Rate Increases Differ by State
  • Tips for Reducing Your Monthly Premium After an Accident
  • When is it Time to Consider a New Insurance Plan? 

At-Fault, or Not-At-Fault? That is The Question.

Were you at-fault in your accident? Or was another party at fault for the bodily injury or property damage to your car in the auto accident? For the sake of an explanation, let’s say this was an isolated instance that involved no one else but you. 

So what’s the average increase after an at-fault accident? 

About 45%.1

How do you know if you’re at fault? This can sometimes be tough to pinpoint. And other times, you’re only partially at fault. 

At-Fault Accidents

Here’s a list of a few scenarios that could result in an at-fault accident:

  • Texting while driving
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Disregarding traffic signals
  • Tailing another drive too closely

Anything that can be proven as negligent on your part is likely to cause the most significant rise in what you pay per month. When it comes to your premium raising, it’s circumstantial. 

Not-At-Fault Accidents

Negligent Nancy was trying to perfect the art of driving while applying mascara. She didn’t see that you had come to a stop at the traffic light and rear-ended you at full speed. 

Bad news for Nancy: she just became one of those at-fault drivers mentioned above. 

Good news for you: You’re not to blame, and your insurance company probably understands that this was a no-fault accident on your end. 

Nevertheless, here are a couple of important things you might want to note about not-at-fault accidents for your accident claim:

  • If Nancy drives off without giving you her insurance information, there’s a possibility that your insurance rates will still go up (for not-at-fault accidents like these, insurance rates can go up about 12%2 on average).
  • If Nancy cooperates and you both make a claim to your insurance providers, you could still end up seeing an increase in your monthly premium. You’ll want to have a chat about this with your insurance company and, perhaps, consider taking your business elsewhere if they’re unwilling to provide recourse.  

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Is This Your First Time in an Accident? 

Generally speaking, a poor driving history will have a negative impact on how much cash you have to dish out per month to insure your vehicle. 

The higher the risk for the insurance company, the lower the reward for you. 

Be warned: If getting into major or minor collisions turns into a yearly occurrence, you may run the risk of not getting renewed for another year of coverage. If you’ve been accident-free since you first got your license, your first at-fault offense could raise your premium by 50% per year. 3

That kind of increase doesn’t seem all too forgiving, does it? 

If you’re confident that this was a one-time mistake, you might consider looking into what kind of accident forgiveness policies your insurer provides, if any. 

How Insurance Rate Increases Differ by State

Whether your vehicle has wound up in a ditch in California or in South Dakota, or you are stuck trying to figure out what happens if you total a leased car in your state, how much you can expect your insurance to go up could be vastly different. Insurance rates can be favorable (or disfavorable) depending on the state you live in. 

Here’s where an at-fault accident will cost you the most:

  • California (80%)
  • Massachusetts (76%)
  • North Carolina (71%)
  • Ohio (62%)
  • New Jersey (59%)

Inversely, these are the states where your at-fault accident will cost the least:

  • New York (31%)
  • Hawaii (34%)
  • Florida (37%)
  • Idaho (37%)
  • South Dakota (39%)

Tips for Reducing Your Monthly Premium After an Accident 

Regardless of the specifics of your case, you’ve accepted that your insurance rate is bound to go up. Whether you have a minor motor vehicle accident or a bodily injury claim, chances are you want to lower your auto insurance premium. Let’s take a look at a few tips that might be able to soften the blow of your increased premium. 

  • Pay a higher deductible – Once you’ve made a claim to your insurance company, you’re certain your rates will go up. However, you might be able to reduce the amount by which they go up if you are able to pay a higher deductible for damages. The more you can pay upfront for repairs, the more you’ll be able to save per month.
  • Ask for forgiveness – As we briefly mentioned above, some car insurance companies can be pretty understanding. Accidents happen, and just because you’ve caused one doesn’t mean you should be penalized for life. When researching car insurance plans, accident forgiveness clauses are likely something you’ll want to look into.
  • Go back to drivers education – You can take an online drivers education refresher course, which could be rewarded with a lower rate–maybe even up to 10%. 5 By showing your insurance company that you’re willing to put the time in to rectify your issue, you prove your trustworthiness.
  • Consider working on your credit – This isn’t necessarily a quick fix, but it’s a good one to think about. You know that having a good credit score is helpful when buying a house or taking out a loan, but it can have a positive effect on your car insurance rates, too.
  • Reduce your mileage  – If you’re able, consider alternative methods of getting around. If public transportation, biking, or carpooling is an option for you, the planet isn’t the only thing that could benefit from it. In some cases, driving less than 10,000 miles per year could end up resulting in a discounted premium. 

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When Is It Time To Consider Getting a New Insurance Policy? 

You’ve gotten past the initial stress of getting into an accident, and you’ve accepted that it will, indeed, have some sort of an impact on what you’re paying per month. Don’t forget that most insurance rate increases won’t go into effect until your policy renews! Hopefully, this will give you some time to prepare and make the necessary adjustments to your budget. 

If you’ve done the research or followed some of the tips mentioned in this article but you’re still not satisfied, it might be an opportunity to consider looking for coverage elsewhere. 

As you may have already guessed, rate increases do not happen in the same way across the board. Just as you’ve seen them differ from state to state, they can also vary by the insurance company. With some companies, like Geico, you can expect your premium to go up by 30%. With others, like State Farm, you may only see an increase of around 18%. 6

4AutoInsuranceQuote: Your Insurance Search, Simplified

With so much to consider when choosing a car insurance plan, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. And this is doubly so should you be expecting an accident-related rate increase. Here at, we’re committed to simplifying your search for auto insurance. 

With our easy-to-use insurance quote tool, we’ll match you with the most affordable policies in the country. That means no more sitting on hold waiting to speak to an insurance agent, no more confusion in how one quote compares to another, and no more research-induced headaches.

So, if it’s time to look for a new policy, you’re in the right place. And if you’re here because you recently got into an accident, we’re wishing you the best of luck on your path forward.


  1. WalletHub. If a car accident is not your fault, does your insurance go up?.,a%20claim%20in%20the%20future.
  2. NerdWallet. How Much Car Insurance Rates Go Up After an Accident.
  3. Car Insurance 101. How much does Driving School lower car insurance rates?.
  4. Money Under 30. How Much Does Your Insurance Go Up After An Accident? (And 6 Ways To Reduce It).
  5. Insurance Information Institute. What determines the price of an auto insurance policy?.
  6. ValuePenguin. Fault or No Fault Accidents: What it Means for Your Auto Insurance Claims.’re%20negligent%20in,the%20other%20driver’s%20BI%20insurance.

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