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How Much Does Car Insurance Go Up After an Accident?

Along with the physical and emotional toll of car accidents, there are also financial repercussions to consider. One of the most common concerns for car accident victims is how much their car insurance will go up after an accident.

If you’ve recently been in a car accident, always understand the factors determining the increase in premiums and how it can affect your finances in the long run. In this blog post, we will examine the details of car insurance rate increases after an accident and provide valuable information to help car accident victims make informed decisions. If you’ve been in an accident and need reliable guidance, contact a car accident attorney today for a free consultation.

The Factors that Affect Car Insurance Rate Increases

How Much Does Car Insurance Go Up After an AccidentCar insurance companies base their premiums on various factors, and an accident can significantly impact these calculations. Here are some key factors that determine how much your car insurance will increase after an accident:

Severity of the Accident

The accident’s severity plays a crucial role in determining the extent of the insurance rate increase. If the accident resulted in significant damage to your vehicle or injuries to yourself or others, your insurance company is more likely to increase your premiums.

At-Fault or Not

Whether or not you were at fault in the accident also plays a role in determining your insurance rate increase. If you are found to be at fault, your insurance rates will likely increase more than if you were not.

Previous Driving Record

Your driving record prior to the accident also affects the insurance rate increase. If you have a history of traffic violations or previous accidents, your insurance company may view you as a higher-risk driver, increasing the rate.

Insurance Company Policies

Different insurance companies have different policies when it comes to accidents and rate increases. Some insurers may have forgiveness programs or accident forgiveness policies, which means your rates may not increase after your first accident. Review your insurance policy and understand the specific policies of your insurance company.

State Regulations

Insurance rate increases after an accident can also depend on the regulations in your state. Some states have restrictions on how much insurance companies can increase rates after an accident. Understanding the regulations in your state can provide insight into what to expect.

How Much Can Car Insurance Premiums Increase After an Accident?

The increase in car insurance premiums after an accident can vary significantly depending on several factors. On average, car insurance premiums can increase by 30 to 40 percent after an accident. However, the exact percentage and amount can vary based on the factors mentioned earlier. Let’s take a closer look at how different factors can impact the rate increase:

  • Severity of the Accident: If the accident resulted in minimal damage or no injuries, the rate increase may be lower compared to accidents with significant damage or injuries.
  • At-fault or Not: If you were at fault in the accident, the insurance rate increase is likely to be higher. Being at fault demonstrates a higher level of risk, resulting in a more substantial increase in premiums.
  • Previous Driving Record: If you have a clean driving record prior to the accident, your insurance company may not increase your premiums as significantly compared to someone with a history of traffic violations or accidents. Insurance companies consider a clean driving record to indicate responsible driving behavior.
  • Insurance Company Policies: Each insurance company has its own policies and guidelines for rate increases after accidents. Some insurance companies offer accident forgiveness programs, which protect you from rate increases after your first accident. Understanding your insurance company’s policies is essential in determining how much your premiums will increase.
  • State Regulations: Some states have laws that restrict insurance companies from increasing rates above a certain percentage. Researching the regulations in your state can help you understand the potential rate increase.


How Long Does the Increased Car Insurance Rate Last?

The duration of the increased car insurance rate after an accident depends on various factors. In general, accidents can affect car insurance rates for a period of three to five years. However, the length of time can vary depending on the insurance company’s policies, the severity of the accident, and the driver’s claims history. Insurance rates tend to decrease as time passes, and the driver proves to be a responsible and safe driver.

Ways to Lower Your Car Insurance Rates After an Accident

Car accident victims can take specific steps to lower their car insurance rates after an accident. Since every state requires some auto insurance coverage, giving up your coverage isn’t a legal or ideal option. One effective strategy is to complete a defensive driving course. These courses provide valuable knowledge and skills that can make a driver more cautious and reduce the risk of future accidents. Another way to lower insurance rates is to shop around for better rates. Different insurance companies have different policies and pricing structures; compare quotes from multiple providers before making a decision.

Seeking a Car Insurance Claim After an Accident

Seeking a Car Insurance Claim After an AccidentFiling a car insurance claim after an accident is essential to ensure you receive the necessary compensation for damages and injuries. To make the claim process smoother, gather all relevant documentation, such as the police report, medical records, and photographs of your injuries or damaged vehicles. You should also notify the insurance company promptly and follow their instructions when filing the claim. Working with an experienced car accident attorney can provide guidance and support throughout the claims process.

The Role of Fault in Determining Car Insurance Rate Increases

Determining fault in an accident is crucial in determining an insurance rate increase. Insurance adjusters play a significant role in assigning fault and assessing the level of responsibility of each party involved. If a driver is deemed at fault for an accident, their insurance rate is likely to increase as a result. You must gather evidence and present a solid case to ensure a fair determination of fault.

The Impact of Accident Forgiveness on Car Insurance Rates

Accident forgiveness programs offered by insurance companies can significantly impact car insurance rates after an accident. These programs are designed to prevent your rates from increasing after your first at-fault accident.

Under an accident forgiveness program, your insurance company will waive the rate increase that will typically result from an at-fault accident. It can result in significant savings on your car insurance premiums. However, accident forgiveness is unavailable to all drivers and may vary depending on the insurance company and policy.

To qualify for accident forgiveness, you usually need to meet specific criteria. It may include having a clean driving record with no prior accidents or moving violations. Some insurance companies may require you to have been with them for several years before accident forgiveness kicks in.

Be sure to carefully review the terms and conditions of the accident forgiveness program before signing up for it. Some programs may have limitations or exclusions that you should be aware of. Additionally, not all insurance companies offer accident forgiveness, so shop around and compare different insurance policies to find the best option for you.

How Insurance Companies Determine Fault in Car Accidents

How Insurance Companies Determine Fault in Car AccidentsDetermining fault in a car accident is crucial for insurance companies when determining the rate increase. Insurance companies use various methods to establish fault, including police reports, witness statements, and evidence from the accident scene.

  • Police Reports: Police reports play a significant role in determining fault. The report will outline the officer’s observations and conclusions regarding the cause of the accident. Insurance companies give considerable weight to these reports when assessing fault.
  • Witness Statements: Witness statements can also provide valuable insight into the events leading up to the accident. Insurance companies may contact witnesses to gather their accounts of the accident. Their statements can help corroborate or challenge the driver’s version of events.
  • Physical Evidence: In some cases, insurance companies may rely on physical evidence from the accident scene. This can include skid marks, vehicle damage, and other evidence that can help reconstruct the sequence of events. This evidence is beneficial when there are no reliable witnesses or conflicting accounts.

Understanding the Claims Process After a Car Accident

The claims process after a car accident can be complex and time-consuming. It involves several steps, and each step can impact your car insurance rates and potential rate increases.

The first step in the claims process is to report the accident to your insurance company. Provide them with accurate and detailed information about the accident, including the date, time, location, and description of what happened. Be prepared to provide supporting documentation, such as photos or witness statements.

Once your claim is filed, an insurance adjuster will be assigned to investigate the accident and evaluate the damages. The adjuster may contact you to gather additional information and visit the accident scene to assess the damage to your vehicle. They may also request medical records if you have sustained any injuries.

After evaluating all the information, the insurance adjuster will determine the amount of your claim. This includes the cost of repairs to your vehicle, any medical expenses, and any other damages you may have suffered, such as lost income. The insurance company will then provide a settlement offer based on their assessment.

You will want to carefully review the settlement offer before accepting it. Consult a lawyer specializing in car accidents to ensure you are fairly compensated for your losses. They can help negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf and potentially increase your chances of getting a higher settlement.

The Importance of Hiring a Car Accident Attorney

Dealing with the aftermath of a car accident can be overwhelming, especially when navigating insurance processes and negotiating with insurance companies. This is where hiring a car accident attorney can make a significant difference. Here are some reasons why you should consider hiring an attorney after a car accident:

Legal Experience

Car accident attorneys specialize in personal injury law and have extensive knowledge and skills in handling car accident cases. They understand the intricacies of insurance law and can handle the complex legal processes on your behalf.

Maximizing Compensation

A car accident attorney will fight for your rights and work to maximize the compensation you deserve. They will assess the full extent of your damages, including medical bills, property damage, lost income, and pain and suffering, and negotiate with insurance companies to ensure you receive fair compensation.

Dealing with Insurance Companies

Insurance companies are known for minimizing payouts and protecting their bottom line. An experienced car accident attorney knows how to deal with insurance companies and their tactics. They will protect your interests and ensure that you are not taken advantage of during the claims process.

Gathering Evidence

To build a strong case, evidence is crucial. Car accident attorneys have the resources and knowledge to gather all the necessary evidence, including police reports, medical records, witness statements, and expert opinions. They will use this evidence to build a compelling case on your behalf.

Peace of Mind

Knowing that you have a dedicated and skilled legal professional representing your interests can provide peace of mind during a challenging time. While your attorney handles the legal aspects of your case, you can focus on your recovery and rebuilding your life.

Were You Recently Involved in a Car Accident? Contact an Experienced Car Accident Attorney Today

Experiencing a car accident is a daunting experience, but understanding how car insurance rates are affected can help you make informed decisions. By considering the factors determining a possible rate increase and hiring a car accident attorney to guide you through the legal process, you can protect your interests and receive the compensation you deserve.

Even if you are unsure whether you need to hire a car accident lawyer, it is worth it to consult one. Case evaluations are free with no obligation, so you have nothing to lose by scheduling a meeting. An attorney will be honest whether you need legal representation, as injury lawyers in Denver do not accept cases they do not believe they can win.

Lauren Varner, Personal Injury Attorney

Lauren is a Personal Injury Attorney. She is Colorado native who became involved with the field of personal injury long before she became an attorney. Lauren’s professional philosophy centers around good old fashioned hard work, producing quality work product, and treating others professionally, with dignity and respect at all times.

Awards and as featured on

National Trial Lawyers Top 40 Under 40 Included in TOP 40 Under 40 by The National TRIAL Lawyers in Centennial CO Varner Faddis Top Lawyers Denver Badge – 5280 Magazine American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys 10 Best Attorney Top 40 Under 40 5280 Denver Top Lawyers