How Long Does A Car Accident Affect My Car Insurance Rates? (2023)

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  • If you're at fault for an accident, your car insurance premiums may increase.
  • Even if you aren't at fault, your rates might rise.
  • Most accidents will stay on your driving record for an average of three to five years.
  • See Insider's guide to the best car insurance companies.

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The point of auto insurance is to have protection in case an accident happens. We all hope it never will because we see our rates spike, almost immediately. But it can be much messier in the short and long-term if you don't have coverage. This includes coverage for you and any other drivers (like young teens) in your household. Much depends on the state you live in and whether you were "at fault."

(Video) How long does an accident stay on your insurance

Regardless, many drivers look at the big picture. Is the car still driveable, and how extensive is the damage? What state was the car in before the accident? This is just a small sampling of what insurers consider when setting your rates. However, if your deductible is $500 and the claim is $750, it just wouldn't be worth it for the average consumer.

How Long Does A Car Accident Affect My Auto Insurance Rates?

Felipe Teixeira, director of national auto product at COUNTRY Financial, told Insider that generally filing a claim for an accident when you're "at fault" suggests you are a riskier driver. He said a premium increase is data-backed and the amount of increase varies based on driver behavior.

Teixeira said much depends on the insurance carrier and your driving history.

Liability car insurance is required by law in all states except New Hampshire with varying details by state. New Hampshire residents have other options to prove "financial responsibility."

The Insurance Information Institute names four categories of liability insurance: no-fault, choice no-fault, tort liability, and add-on. The big differences are restrictions on the right to sue and which insurer pays for first-party benefits regardless of fault.

There are 12 "no-fault" states and Puerto Rico. In these states, "every driver [has] to file a claim with their own insurance company after an accident, regardless of who was at fault" according to the Insurance Information Institute. These states include: Florida, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania,Hawaii, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Dakota, and Utah. To be clear in these instances, fault will be determined later on. If you're only carrying liability coverage, you'll have to wait for the other party's insurance to pay out.

New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Kentucky have a "choice" no-fault law that allows drivers to reject the lawsuit threshold and keep the right to sue for auto injuries. If you're considering refusing in these states, Insider recommends speaking to a licensed attorney in your state.

If You Were Not At Fault, Will Your Auto Insurance Rates Increase?

Teixeira said if you were involved in a minor fender bender, chances are your rates won't increase. If it's small enough that you never file a claim or generate other reports, your auto insurer would have no reason to raise your rates. However, if you were not at fault, but have been in a bunch of accidents, it varies by carrier.

He said that your indication of risk to come will be a factor and you may be charged a higher premium, even if you were not at fault. Your state laws will also play a role, as some states have laws against increasing premiums for drivers who are not at fault.

If your car insurance company offers accident forgiveness, it may help you out. However, most require that you have been accident-free for at least five years to be eligible for accident forgiveness.

(Video) How Much Will Your Auto Insurance Rates Go Up After An Accident

How Long Will Accidents Stay on My Record?

Every state handles this differently, but typically three years is the average time an accident stays on your driving record. For example, the New York DMV keeps "accidents and most traffic convictions are only displayed until the end of the year in which the accident or conviction occurred, plus 3 additional years." However, "vehicular homicide, may be displayed permanently."

If you're charged with a DUI or caught driving without insurance, higher rates and restrictions will last longer. In some cases, the state will require an SR-22 for any driver convicted of a DUI. In some states, the state will also pursue uninsured drivers including occasional teen drivers driving their parents' car, requiring an SR-22. To be clear, insurers will automatically multiply your rates if the state requests this documentation.

In conventional terms, an accident will remain on your record (and insurance) for three to five years. However, some auto insurance companies have begun using predictive underwriting. Drivers under these plans may notice unexpected increases in their rates and policy non-renewals when the algorithm finds a higher likelihood of a claim being filed in the next renewal period. Data suggests your entire driving record could be factored into these predictive underwriting algorithms.

What Can I Do to Minimize The Impact of Auto Accidents on My Car Insurance Premiums?

If you're concerned about your auto insurance premiums, you can do a few things:

  • Balance the cost of filing a claim against the value you'll get out of it.
  • Always get a police report to protect yourself against false claims later on.
  • File your claim with the other party's insurance if not at fault in participating states.
  • Keep your insurance up-to-date and add any drivers who might use your car early.
Ronda Lee

Ronda Lee was formerly an associate editor for insurance at Personal Finance Insider covering life, auto, homeowners, and renters insurance for consumers. Before joining Business Insider, she was a contributing writer at HuffPost with featured articles in politics, education, style, black voices, and entrepreneurship. She was also a freelance writer for PolicyGenius. She worked as an attorney practicing insurance defense and commercial litigation.

Lina Roby

Insurance Editor, LIA, MLO

Lina Roby (she/her) is a Personal Finance Insurance editor at Insider. She covers pet, travel, auto, and other common insurance products. She is also a licensed property & casualty insurance agent. Her goal is to help readers make informed decisions for all their insurance needs and plan for the unexpected, especially in a constantly evolving insurance marketplace. As a licensed insurance agent, she worked closely with clients and insurance carriers to quote and bind homeowners, auto, liability, and other insurance plans for personal and business. As a licensed mortgage loan originator, she was also able to more effectively quote and bind homeowners insurance policies meeting mortgage lender requirements. With a love for writing, she has also assisted with marketing for her local insurance marketplace. You can reach Lina at Learn more about how Personal Finance Insider chooses, rates, and covers financial products and services

(Video) How much does your insurance go up after an accident

More on Car Insurance

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(Video) 3 Ways to MAXIMIZE your Auto Accident Insurance Claim

Minimum car insurance requirements by state

How does an accident impact car insurance rates?

What is collision car insurance?

What is liability car insurance?

How insurance can help if you have a car break-in


Does Progressive raise rates after 6 months? ›

Yes, Progressive does raise rates after 6 months in some cases. If you're a new Progressive customer, you'll see your auto insurance premium go up after your first 6-month policy period if you file a claim or traffic violations get added to your driving record during that time.

How much does a CarFax accident affect value? ›

When you see the CarFax or CarCheck research report you will know if your vehicle was in an accident and you will have to disclose the accident and repairs made when you sell your car. The loss of value is in many cases between 40 to 60 percent, money you will not get when you sell or trade it in.

How long does an at fault accident affect insurance in Texas? ›

In the state of Texas, car accidents stay on your record for 5 years. High risk drivers with multiple traffic violations, motor vehicle accidents, or any hit and runs, will experienced insurance premium. rate increases.

What determines the rate of your car insurance? ›

Some factors that may affect your auto insurance premiums are your car, your driving habits, demographic factors and the coverages, limits and deductibles you choose. These factors may include things such as your age, anti-theft features in your car and your driving record.

Does Progressive raise rates after claim? ›

If you qualify, we won't increase your rate because you had an accident — even if it's your fault. The longer you're with Progressive, the better the Accident Forgiveness benefit. Small accident forgiveness: Your rate won't go up if you have a small claim of $500 or less.

Is Progressive really cheaper? ›

Is Progressive good car insurance? Progressive's average car insurance premiums are just slightly below the national average. But compared with the other insurers in our list of the Best Car Insurance Companies of 2023, Progressive's average rates are relatively expensive.

How much does a car's value go down after an accident? ›

It could depreciate up to 25 percent faster than the average rate, depending on the vehicle's age, condition before the wreck, and condition after the wreck.

Does a car value go down after an accident? ›

After a car accident, your car's value can lower even more. This is called diminished value, which is the difference in your car's market value before and after the accident. Depending on the circumstances of the accident, a car insurance company might pay for the diminished value of your vehicle after a covered loss.

How long is insurance after accident? ›

tell your insurer about the accident straightaway, even if you don't want to make a claim. if someone is injured, show your insurance certificate or cover note to the police. If you can't do this at the scene take the documents to the police station within seven days.

Do insurance rates go up after no-fault accident Texas? ›

Generally, a no-fault accident won't cause your car insurance rates to rise. This is because the at-fault party's insurance provider will be responsible for your medical expenses and vehicle repairs. If your insurer doesn't need to fork out money, your premiums won't go up.

How far back does insurance check your driving record in Texas? ›

Still, bear in mind that the amount of time a ticket stays on your record in Texas might be different from how long the ticket will affect your car insurance rates. For instance, most car insurance companies check the past three years of your driving record when calculating premiums.

What things can get you a lower rate on your auto insurance? ›

Here are some ways to save on car insurance1
  • Increase your deductible.
  • Check for discounts you qualify for.
  • Compare auto insurance quotes.
  • Maintain a good driving record.
  • Participate in a safe driving program.
  • Take a defensive driving course.
  • Explore payment options.
  • Improve your credit score.

What is one thing that will raise your auto insurance rate? ›

Auto accidents and traffic violations are common explanations for an insurance rate increasing, but there are other reasons why car insurance premiums go up including an address change, new vehicle, and claims in your zip code.

How many claims before State Farm drops you? ›

Two at-fault claims caused by the same person within three years can be grounds for non-renewal by many of the top-tier insurance carriers. In most states, claims you file against another driver are not seen by your own insurance carrier because the claim is filed against the at-fault party's policy.

Does Progressive give fair settlements? ›

Filing suit basically tells Progressive that if they do not offer you a fair settlement, you will take them to court. Since they want to avoid this, Progressive's offers become far more reasonable once a lawsuit exists.
Maryland Progressive Auto Insurance Claims.
Medical BillsOffer
16 more rows

Can you negotiate with Progressive claim? ›

The first settlement offer you receive will often be much lower than what you might deserve. Before you accept the first offer, you should know that you can negotiate the amount.

Which is cheaper Geico or Progressive? ›

Both Geico and Progressive offer lower average premiums on policies for drivers and homeowners, but if cost is your primary consideration, Geico has the edge. Its average rates tend to be lower than the average rates offered by Progressive, and the company's extensive discount list may help you save even more.

Is State Farm good at paying claims? ›

State Farm is good at paying claims compared to the average insurance company, according to J.D. Power's latest claims satisfaction survey. State Farm scored 882 out of 1,000 for their claims process, compared to the industry average of 873 out of 1,000.

What is cheaper then Progressive? ›

Compared to Progressive, Geico is the more affordable insurer for most types of drivers. For those seeking minimum coverage car insurance, the costs are nearly the same.

Does Kelley Blue Book account for accidents? ›

Vehicle history reports detail a car's ownership, title status, accident history, and more.

Does Fender Bender show up Carfax? ›

Among the risks is that a vehicle was in an accident that wasn't reported to an insurance company. That fender-bender won't show up on a Carfax Vehicle History Report because there is no official record.

Is minor damage on Carfax bad? ›

It could include damage of all severities. The damage could be from incidents such as backing into a pole, having a tree limb fall on the car, or other events. When considering a damage report, it's important to remember that minor damage may be only cosmetic; it may be noted that way in the Carfax report.

At what percentage of value is a car totaled? ›

Generally, the cutoff is somewhere in the 70% to 75% range. In this case, the car is considered to be a total loss except for the value of scrap metal or potentially salvageable parts. An appraiser can check the damage done to a wrecked vehicle to determine the totaled car value.

What raises a car value? ›

The resale value of a car is a projection of its market value. Model type, age, and condition are primary factors determining market value, with mileage, rarity, and equipment levels also contributing. Age is the variable that most impacts the resale value of an automobile outside of the model type.

Should I sell my car before it loses value? ›

Car depreciation is the biggest factor to consider. That's how much the car's value decreases over time. According to Edmunds, there's a significant drop in the first 2-3 years, and another at the four-year mark. Selling in between those drops will generally net you the best value.

What is pre accident value of a car? ›

The value of a vehicle or property before the event giving rise to the claim (accident) occurred.

What is a settlement value in car insurance? ›

If your car is a total loss, it means it costs more to fix the damages than it's worth. If this happens, you can either accept a settlement with your auto insurance company for the actual cash value or keep the car and repair it yourself if your state allows it.

What are expensive repairs you want to avoid on your car? ›

Engine and transmission replacements are two of the most costly repairs. Suspension repairs can also be quite expensive. The best way to avoid these costly repairs is to do regular maintenance on your car and maintain a vehicle warranty.

What should you not say to your insurance company after an accident? ›

While you must notify the insurance company of the accident, you should not explain the details of the accident, your injuries, or other potential damages at this time. Your lawyer can do that for you.

What happens if I don t tell my insurance company about an accident? ›

What happens if I fail to report an accident to my insurers? Failure to report an accident can lead to your policy being declared void by your insurers which could result in you being uninsured in respect of vehicle damage in the event of a later accident.

How much does a non-fault claim affect my insurance? ›

some providers can raise your premiums by up to 30% for one non-fault claim, and 50% for two non-fault claims. insurers will usually ask for your claims history, this can be for around three to five years. a non-fault claim will have less of an impact as time goes on and you start to rebuild your no-claims bonus.

Is Texas a no fault accident state? ›

No, Texas is not a No Fault state.

Texas is an at-fault state. This means that the person responsible for the accident is also responsible for paying for damages. Texas' auto laws allow injured accident victims the ability to hold liable parties accountable for the damages they caused.

What affects car insurance rates in Texas? ›

Why Texas' Car Insurance Rates Can Be High
  • Higher-Than-Average Highway Density. ...
  • High Urban Population Density. ...
  • Higher-Than-Average Vehicle Theft Rate. ...
  • High Speed Limits. ...
  • Frequent Natural Disasters. ...
  • Location and Zip Code. ...
  • Insurance Company. ...
  • Age.
Jan 27, 2023

Will my insurance go up if I get hit by an uninsured driver Texas? ›

Your insurance can go up if you get hit by an uninsured driver. Most insurance companies will however choose not to increase your rates after a not-at-fault accident even if state law doesn't explicitly forbid it.

What auto insurance companies don t want you to know? ›

10 Secrets Auto Insurance Companies Don't Want You to Know
  • Your car's extras could affect rates. ...
  • Where you live could cost you. ...
  • Teen drivers may raise your rate. ...
  • Loans are a factor. ...
  • Accidents could follow you. ...
  • Loyalty doesn't always equal savings. ...
  • Monitoring may not save you money. ...
  • They don't advertise discounts.
Aug 29, 2022

How long does an accident affect your insurance in Texas? ›

In the state of Texas, car accidents stay on your record for 5 years. High risk drivers with multiple traffic violations, motor vehicle accidents, or any hit and runs, will experienced insurance premium. rate increases. Speeding tickets can also raise your rates.

How do you get an accident off your insurance record in Texas? ›

The big one that people worry about in Texas is all accidents and violations records that can't be “cleaned” or scrubbed, which means that you can't remove an accident from your driving record. The one time you may be able to argue the record is when there are clear inaccuracies.

Can I ask my insurance company for a lower rate? ›

Auto insurance prices are non-negotiable, so you can't ask your car insurance company to lower your rates. However, there are several ways to find more affordable premiums. Compare quotes from multiple insurers. Although states regulate the cost of car insurance, different companies offer varying rates.

What are 4 things that can affect your insurance rates and costs? ›

Some factors that may affect your auto insurance premiums are your car, your driving habits, demographic factors and the coverages, limits and deductibles you choose. These factors may include things such as your age, anti-theft features in your car and your driving record.

What is the simplest way to lower your auto insurance premium? ›

Deductibles are what you pay before your insurance policy kicks in. By requesting higher deductibles, you can lower your costs substantially. For example, increasing your deductible from $200 to $500 could reduce your collision and comprehensive coverage cost by 15 to 30 percent.

Does credit score affect car insurance? ›

A higher credit score decreases your car insurance rate, often significantly, with almost every insurance company and in most states. Getting a quote, however, does not affect your credit.

Which gender pays more for car insurance? ›

Men tend to pay more for car insurance overall, though the difference is slight — about 1%. The difference is most pronounced for teens and young adults.

Does being retired affect car insurance? ›

Is car insurance cheaper if you are retired? Your car insurance could be cheaper once you've retired, as leaving work can have a big impact on the amount and type of driving you do. If you once commuted to work by car but now only use it to run errands, tell your insurance provider as this could lower your premium.

What are four ways to lower your insurance rates? ›

Here are some ways to save on car insurance1
  • Increase your deductible.
  • Check for discounts you qualify for.
  • Compare auto insurance quotes.
  • Maintain a good driving record.
  • Participate in a safe driving program.
  • Take a defensive driving course.
  • Explore payment options.
  • Improve your credit score.

Does Progressive lower rates after 6 months? ›

Yes, Progressive does raise rates after 6 months in some cases. If you're a new Progressive customer, you'll see your auto insurance premium go up after your first 6-month policy period if you file a claim or traffic violations get added to your driving record during that time.

Why does my car insurance go up every 6 months? ›

While it can seem arbitrary, there are actual reasons you can see your price go up and down. Car insurance rates can change based on factors like claims, driving history, adding new drivers to your policy, and even your credit score.

Does Progressive do 6 month policies? ›

If you own your vehicle, you can buy a six-month policy, cancel when you're done driving, and avoid paying for months you don't drive. You can also consider pay-per-mile auto insurance if you only drive occasionally.

What does 6 month total premium mean? ›

Purchasing a six-month total policy means you will be covered by your chosen limits at your agreed-upon rate for six months. After that period ends, your rate will be recalculated by the insurer, and your rates will change accordingly.

Does insurance get cheaper every 6 months? ›

While you're not guaranteed lower rates if you shop for car insurance every six months, there's a good chance you'll find them, especially if your situation has changed since you purchased your current plan.

How can I lower my car insurance? ›

Here are some ways to save on car insurance1
  1. Increase your deductible.
  2. Check for discounts you qualify for.
  3. Compare auto insurance quotes.
  4. Maintain a good driving record.
  5. Participate in a safe driving program.
  6. Take a defensive driving course.
  7. Explore payment options.
  8. Improve your credit score.

How often should car insurance go down? ›

For young drivers, car insurance rates go down every year that you renew your policy and haven't made a claim. Age 25 is when you'll see the biggest drop in car insurance rates. Car insurance tends to cost more for male drivers, but both male and female drivers will see their rates go down when they turn 25.

What time of year is car insurance most expensive? ›

Drivers who insure their cars in December may pay more than 15% more than those who insure in February, the cheapest time of year, research by MoneySuperMarket found.

Can I have 2 policies with Progressive? ›

Can you have two car insurance policies on two different cars? If you have more than one car, it's possible to insure both under two separate policies.

How much does Progressive usually settlement claim? ›

They usually offer between $1,000 and $3,000 to settle your personal injury case. (One adjuster, not from Progressive, referred to this process as a “cash out”.)

What will collision insurance cover? ›

Collision coverage helps pay to repair or replace your vehicle if it's damaged or destroyed in an accident with another car, regardless of who is at fault. That's different from liability coverage, which helps pay for damage to another person's car from an accident you cause.

What does 100% of the premium mean? ›

One trend that's been making the rounds recently in employee benefits and tech circles is the idea of 100% healthcare coverage. That is, the employer pays 100% of their employees' health plan premiums. No extra payroll deduction or other ongoing costs to worry about.

Does insurance come out of every paycheck? ›

If you receive healthcare coverage through your job, your employer will typically pay some or all of the monthly premium. Often, your company will require that you pay some portion of the monthly premium, which will be deducted from your paycheck. They will then cover the rest of the premium.

Is 200 a month good for insurance? ›

Yes, $200 per month is a lot for car insurance. Only four states have average rates for full coverage higher than $200 per month, and no state has average rates that high for minimum coverage.

What age does insurance become cheap? ›

On average, drivers will see their premiums begin to fall around age 25. This reflects the lower risk posed by drivers in their mid-20s as they gain driving experience and maturity, compared to a 17-year-old who has just passed their test.

Why does Geico do 6 month policies? ›

Six-month policies are more common than annual insurance policies, as they allow insurance companies to easily recalculate rates, factoring in routine price revisions and changes to your driving profile.


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