One of the biggest factors impacting your insurance rate is your driving history, which includes the number of accidents you’ve been in over the last three-to-five years.
An at-fault accident can cause your insurance rates to go up, sometimes significantly, but there are still ways to save money on your car insurance even if you have an accident on your record.
Average rate increase after an accident by insurance company
Rates vary widely from company to company and that doesn’t change just because you’ve been in a car accident. Below is a chart of 25 major insurance companies and their average rates before and after an at-fault accident.
Average cost before an accident
Average cost after at-fault accident
21st Century Insurance
Cheapest car insurance companies after an accident
At $4,182 and $4,162 respectively, AIG and Mercury Insurance have the highest rates for drivers with an at-fault accident on their driving record.
On the other hand, there are several companies with some of the lowest rates for drivers with an at-fault accident, including:
State Farm: $1,445
The lowest available rate for a driver with an at-fault accident is $982 through Root, but they only provide pay-as-you-go coverage, which may not be the best choice for every driver.
How does a not-at-fault accident impact your insurance?
For most people, a not-at-fault accident will make little or no change to your insurance premiums. Some companies may increase your premium by a small percentage, but many companies won’t hold you accountable for an accident that is not your fault.
Also, some states have laws that prevent insurance companies from raising your rates for an accident that is not your fault, including California  and Oklahoma  .
How to get cheap car insurance after an accident
There are several things you can do to get more affordable car insurance after an at-fault accident, including:
Compare quotes: Your rate will stay the same until your policy renews. You should be given your new rate a few weeks before your renewal date, at which point comparing quotes from various companies is the best way to guarantee you are paying the lowest possible rate.
Take a defensive driving course: Many insurance companies offer a discount for drivers who take a defensive driving course. You can also potentially remove points from your record if you take an approved defensive driving course, which is an excellent way to minimize the impact an at-fault accident can have on your insurance rates.
Make use of accident forgiveness: Insurance companies sometimes offer accident forgiveness to their customers (either for a fee or as a free benefit for customer loyalty) that allows you one at-fault accident without impacting your insurance rates. There are often limits and caveats associated with accident forgiveness coverage, so make sure you know exactly how it may or may not apply in your situation.
Consider adjusting your deductibles: If you have comprehensive and collision coverage, you can raise your deductibles to lower your premium. This means you will pay more out-of-pocket in the event of a claim, however, so think carefully before raising your deductibles.
Alternative car insurance options for high-risk drivers
Some drivers with multiple violations on their driving record may find that an at-fault accident is enough to have their car insurance company cancel or non-renew their policy.
Drivers in this situation will need to sign up for their state’s residual market, which is where drivers who have been rejected by the voluntary market can find coverage through the state’s risk sharing plan. This is often referred to as high-risk auto insurance, which is usually more expensive than a standard insurance policy.
Policygenius has analyzed car insurance rates provided by Quadrant Information Services for every ZIP code in all 50 states, plus Washington, D.C.
For full coverage policies, the following coverage limits were used:
Bodily injury liability: 50/100
Property damage liability: $50,000
Uninsured/underinsured motorist: 50/100
Comprehensive: $500 deductible
Collision: $500 deductible
In some cases, additional coverages were added where required by the state or insurer.
Rates for overall average rate, rates by ZIP code, and cheapest companies determined using averages for single drivers age 30, 35, and 45. Our sample vehicle was a 2017 Toyota Camry LE driven 10,000 miles per year.
Rates for driving violations and “poor” credit were determined using average rates for a single male 30-year-old driver with a credit score under 578.
Some carriers may be represented by affiliates or subsidiaries. Rates provided are a sample of insurance costs. Your actual quotes may differ.