Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health insuran...

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Chris Harrigan has an economic degree from Limestone College and an MBA from Clemson University. He previously managed auto insurance claims for Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Currently, he is using his business and insurance expertise to provide insurance data analysis and visualizations to enhance the user experience.

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Reviewed by Chris Harrigan
Former Auto Insurance Claims Manager

UPDATED: Sep 7, 2020

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Key takeaways...

  • No-fault state car insurance companies qualify drivers as a higher risk if they have even one accident
  • Some consumers even report not seeing rate increases for 2 or 3 years after an accident
  • You can keep your premiums low by driving defensively

The answer to whether or not your car insurance company will raise rates after a car accident is usually yes regardless of who is at fault.

Even in a no-fault state car insurance companies  qualify drivers as higher risk simply because they were involved in a car accident and present a higher risk for making future claims

Most drivers do not see the effect of a car accident on premiums right away. Many car insurance companies offer Good Driver discounts and some providers even allow some kind of accident forgiveness for one accident every three years.

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Higher Risk Means Higher Premiums

It is possible you may see no change to your current policy simply from one accident.

However, it will qualify you as a higher risk to every other car insurance company who do not provide this one-time forgiveness so switching car insurance companies now become a limited choice until some time passes by.

If your auto insurance company does not provide a single accident forgiveness waiver it’s still quite unlikely to see any rise in your rates immediately.

Most auto insurance policies are reviewed every six months or annually and it’s at that time where your policy premiums will be adjusted to reflect the higher risk.

Some consumers even report not seeing rate increases for 2 or 3 years after an accident.

The logic behind the risk factor is about the chances of you filing a future claim compared to drivers with no accidents – and not necessarily the odds of you causing an accident.

According to experts, when averaging the insurance premiums, the average policy will increase 41 percent after a single claim.

Drivers who become involved in car accidents generally have a much higher rate of submitting future claims.

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How long will it take to get the best car insurance rates after an accident?

Car insurance companies vary on when they look past and forgive a consumers accident history in the calculation of premiums but typically it ranges from 2 to 5 years.

Obviously maintaining a driving record free of traffic violations during this period will also greatly help in obtaining better car insurance rates.

Even if multiple accidents were not your fault there are many statistics to show the higher number of accidents a driver is in (regardless of fault) the more likely they will file future claims.

It can also be a flag for insurance fraud.

How to Avoid Accidents

It’s hard to say. Obviously following the rules of the road is the most important factor but accidents are hard to avoid since they are accidents. By definition, accidents do not happen intentionally so they are hard to forecast.

What you can do is take safety measure to avoid other high-risk alerts to your car insurance company such as:

  • Always lock your doors
  • Never leave keys in the ignition
  • Ensure all windows are closed whenever you leave your car.

Your car accident history is only one factor but really it’s all about risk so you want to do everything you can from having to submit a car insurance claim.

Have a car accident and need to compare car insurance quotes? Start your auto insurance quote comparison search online – enter your zip code below to get started for FREE!


  1. https://www.allstate.com/tools-and-resources/car-insurance/no-fault-insurance-cover.aspx
  2. https://www.geico.com/auto-insurance/accident-forgiveness/
  3. https://www.thebalance.com/how-to-get-your-driving-record-527249