FAQ

How Long Accidents Affect Your Car Insurance – QuoteWizard

A car accident can be traumatic, and higher insurance rates later make things worse. Your rates will eventually go back down if you avoid future accidents, but this usually takes a few years. Here’s what you need to know about how long an accident affects your car insurance rates and what you can do to save money.

How long does an accident affect your auto insurance rate?

An accident typically affects your car insurance rates for three to five years, depending on the insurance company and state regulations, as well as the nature and severity of the accident.

Most insurance companies increase your premium after an accident you cause. The practice is known as surcharging, and how it’s done varies by company and state .

Some states, including arizona, new york and ohio, only allow insurance companies to charge surcharges for at-fault accidents. Other states give insurance companies discretion to collect a premium for an accident you did not cause.

The surcharge appears on your statement as an additional charge, often as a percentage of your premium, when you renew your policy after the attributable accident. You may see a higher surcharge for a major accident than a minor one.

If your insurance company previously gave you a no-claims or no-accident discount, removing this discount after an accident may compound your rate increase.

Insurance companies typically apply surcharges for three years, but you can ask your agent or the insurance company to make sure.

When you buy insurance after an attributable accident, the companies that provide quotes will learn about the accident from the databases they use to check your claims history and motor vehicle records.

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Insurance companies typically consider claims and violations from the last three years when calculating your rate for a quote or application. however, some companies go back five years or more .

how can you lower your insurance rates after an accident?

Surcharges typically stay on your insurance bill for three years, but there are steps you can take to lower your auto insurance rates after an accident. These may not fully offset the surcharge, but they can take some pressure off your wallet.

find prices

Charging practices vary by company. Some offer lower rates to drivers in accidents than others or charge certain types of accidents at lower rates. The best way to find out if you can get a better deal is to compare quotes from multiple companies.

quotes are free and do not require a purchase. You’ll get the most accurate quotes when you’re honest about your claim history and driving records.

adjust your coverage

You don’t want to drop essential coverage to lower your insurance rates after an accident, but you can save a little money by increasing your collision and/or comprehensive deductibles.

You can also ask your agent or company about potential discounts you may have overlooked in the past. Here are a few to check out:

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