How Much Will My Insurance Rate Go Up After An Accident?

The consequences of getting into even a minor accident are more than just a few bumps and bruises and a dent or two. The consequences of getting into an at-fault car accident can affect your insurance as well. One of the first things someone asks when they are filing a claim with their insurance company is ‘how much is my insurance going to go up because of this?”

Your insurance premium is based on one thing; how much of a risk you are. Your insurance company will take into account your driving history, the history of accidents, the circumstances of the accident and who was at fault.

In many states, there is something called comparative negligence. This law allows companies to assess a percentage of blame on both parties. While you won’t usually see this in a rear-end collision, it is very frequent in cases involving intersections and lane changes. You might have been only 60% at fault, but when calculating your premium, most insurance companies will assess the accident as simply ‘at-fault’.

If the accident was minor and you’ve had no major moving violations or accidents, it is very likely that your rate increase will be negligible. You might not see one at all. If you’ve had an accident or moving violation in the past 3 years, then you could see a rate increase of anywhere from 25 to 50%. This percentage will depend on the severity and the circumstances of the accident. If it was an accident with a bodily injury, the rate increase will be much higher than one without one.

If you have a significant history of accidents or moving violations, it is possible that your insurance company could choose to drop you from coverage. While it is easier for an insurance company to drop you in the first 60 days, they could also elect to issue a ‘nonrenewal’ at the end of your policy period. They usually only do this to the highest of risk drivers.

When determining rates, most insurance companies work on something called ‘experience modifiers.’ Drivers are grouped with other like drivers, so the insurance company can determine what risk they might pose in the future. How much you pay depends on the group you’re in.

While being at fault in an accident might make you a higher risk, sometimes that risk is very small and you won’t see any increase at all. If the severity of the accident was bad, if people were injured or if you’ve had more than a few accidents, you can expect to see a jump in your rate when you renew.