How Much Does Your Insurance Go Up After an Accident?

After an at-fault accident, your insurance costs could increase by around 45% to 49%—which could go even higher if the accident was serious.
Written by Mary Cahill
Reviewed by Amy Bobinger
If you get into an at-fault accident, the cost of your auto insurance coverage could increase by around 45% to 49%. If the circumstances surrounding the at-fault accident were especially severe, it could have a lasting impact on your driving record, and your insurance premium could increase by nearly 80%.
Typically, you won’t see a rate increase until you renew your coverage. Still, the potential expense and mental stress from being in an accident are a lot to handle. If it’s your first at-fault accident and you’re carrying accident forgiveness
coverage, the aftermath of the crash won’t be as tough to swallow.  
When an insurance company increases your
car insurance
rate, the best thing you can do is shop for a more affordable insurance policy. When you browse policies with
Jerry
, the
trustworthy super app
designed to help you get a better rate, it’s possible to find affordable coverage after a moving violation. 
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How does a car accident impact car insurance rates?

That ultimately depends on who was at fault for the accident. If are not at fault for the collision and you put in an accident claim for property damage or bodily injury with the auto insurance company, you probably won’t see an increase in your auto insurance rate. 
If you are determined to be at fault, that’s another story entirely. Not only will the accident be a black mark on your driving history report, but you’ll also get a premium increase from the insurance adjuster. 
The reason for your insurance rate increase is pretty simple: car insurance companies have to pay a substantial amount of money if one of their insured drivers causes a crash. To make up for what they’re obligated to pay out, insurance providers will up the cost of your car insurance premium. 

Rate increases by state

The state where you live also plays a role in how much your insurance rate will go up after an accident. You could see your insurance costs rise by over $300 a month after an accident-related insurance claim—but that amount could go even higher if your at-fault accident was accompanied by more serious traffic violations like
driving uninsured
or
getting a DUI
—either of which will classify you as a high-risk driver
On the other hand, if it’s your first accident and the damages were not very severe, your record as being an otherwise good driver will be considered, and the premium increase may be less drastic. 
Take a look at the table below for more information on the states with the highest annual car insurance rate increases
States ranked by average % increase
Average rate before accident
average rate after accident
California
$1,398
$2,543
Massachusetts
$1,278
$1,940
North Carolina
$1,281
$4,653
Ohio
$923
$2,239
New Jersey
$1,950
$3,622
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How long does an accident impact your car insurance? 

On average, an at-fault accident will impact your insurance costs for three to five years. That said, the exact length of time in which you’ll see your insurance quote increase after an at-fault accident is contingent upon the circumstances of the collision
But, if you continue to rack up moving violations on your driving record, the amount of time you’ll face surcharges and increased premiums will drag out even longer. You could also face additional penalties that accompany a rate increase—such as
having your license suspended

Is accident forgiveness worth it?

Yes. As we mentioned before, if you have
accident forgiveness
coverage, you might be off the hook from your insurance provider flagging you as a higher-risk driver, and your coverage may not increase much, if at all. But, some car insurance companies require you to be accident-free for three to five years before you’re even eligible for this supplemental policy. 
If you don't carry accident forgiveness insurance but your driving record is stellar—meaning you’ve never filed a claim for an at-fault accident before—there’s a chance your insurance company could offer accident forgiveness protection. If you have this, your rates won’t be surcharged after your first at-fault accident. 
The truth is, even safe drivers find themselves in a car accident every once and a while. This protection could be critical, even if you’re a very careful driver. You can always contact your insurance agent to see if you qualify. 

Finding cheap car insurance (even with a bad driving record)

Maybe you’ve seen your insurance premium soar to discomforting heights after an accident and are feeling panicked—you might even find the amount of the increase unfair. Try not to take it too personally. Insurance companies are looking at statistics, so if you’re under 25, have multiple at-fault accidents on your record, or both, it’s understandable if you feel like finding
cheap car insurance
is going to be impossible. 
Policyholders with spotty driving records should definitely consider looking for cheaper coverage with another insurance provider in the hope of saving as much money as possible. 
According to Quadrant Information Services, some of the cheapest policies after an at-fault accident are with the following car insurance companies:
Let’s take it a step further and explore some of the other ways you could get your hands on a reasonably priced deal—despite having a driving record you’re not exactly proud of. 

Increase your deductible

The amount of your deductible—that’s the portion you pay out of pocket before your insurance company compensates for damages, is proportionate to how much you pay for your insurance coverage. 
Let’s say you have comprehensive coverage insurance with a very low deductible. The cost of your comprehensive policy will be more expensive, because if you make a claim after an accident, your insurer will be responsible for paying out a larger portion of the damages. 
If your rate has substantially increased due to an at-fault accident, one way to keep the costs more realistic for your budget is to increase your deductible. Although you will be responsible for paying a larger share of the damages if you get into another at-fault accident, the overall cost of your policy will be considerably lower. 
However, it’s important to note that you should only choose this option if you will be able to afford the higher deductible if you do need to file a claim.

Ask about discounts

You may already be getting insurance discounts from your current insurance provider, but it doesn't hurt to see if you could possibly qualify for more. 
You may want to look into a discount like bundling, which means you have more than one insurance policy with the same company to get lower rates on both. The most common bundling combination is home and auto, but some insurance companies, like
Allstate
, will allow you to bundle auto and life insurance policies.  
While you might not qualify for discounts that are earned for safe driving or accident-free motorists, you may be able to get a discounted rate for being a low-mileage driver or even a good student

Improve your credit score

You may be able to lower the price of your insurance policy by having a good credit score
Having strong credit could counterbalance how much your insurance costs go up because it demonstrates financial responsibility. And like we said before, insurance providers aren’t judging you as a person; they’re just looking at the numbers. 
If you can get your credit score to 700 or above, this could help keep your insurance costs manageable after an accident. 

Shop around for coverage

Insurance quotes fluctuate regularly, so it’s definitely beneficial to shop around to see if you can get a better deal with another provider. If think shopping for car insurance means spending hours hunched over your computer, tirelessly searching the internet, we’re here to tell you that insurance shopping is way easier than that when you download the
Jerry
app.
Jerry is a licensed broker and personal shopper, and we’ll deliver you a customized list of the most affordable quotes from over 55 top-rated insurers. You won’t need to fill out a bunch of long forms or wait on hold with insurance agents just to get a quote. When you choose a policy with Jerry’s expert assistance, in a matter of minutes, you could save hundreds on your annual coverage! 
“I have a really bad record, so all of my previous insurance quotes were pretty high. I started using
Jerry
and the fantastic app saved me $130 a month on my insurance.” —Jett A.
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If you are found at fault for a car accident, your insurance cost could increase by 45% to 49%. In more serious cases, your insurance could go up by as much as 80%.
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