How much will my car insurance increase after an accident?

I was involved in an at-fault car accident last month. How much will my car insurance rates increase?

Honestly, it's hard to tell specifically how much your rates will rise. It also depends on how much was paid out by your car insurance company for the claim. If the claim was relatively small, like under $1,000, some car insurance companies will not consider the accident "chargeable". It is still an at-fault accident, but the claim may not have reached their threshold to trigger a rate increase.

Some companies base the amount of rate increase on the percentage you were at fault. One major midwest car insurance company charges more if negligence is 25% and it is a "chargeable" accident, meaning it was over their $1,000 claim amount. It surcharges slightly less for less that 25% negligence and also claims that have greater than 25% negligence but the claim does not meet the "chargeable" threshold.

Other factors can impact how much your accident will cost you over the next 3 years. The same company above that bases the surcharge on negligence, also factors in the number of years you have been insured by the company. Policy holders with the company for less that 3 years are surcharged 15%, years 4-6 get 10%, 7-9 years is 5%, and customers with over 10 years of history with the company get a break and do not get charged for the accident.

Each car insurance company has their own set of rules when it comes to determining how much your rates will rise after an at-fault accident. You can't do anything at this point to prevent a rate increase, but if you've received your renewal and your rates jumped substantially, you can always get free comparison quotes from other companies to find a lower rate. Simply enter your zip code below and get multiple free quotes on car insurance in your state!

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