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Your car insurance rates are affected by accidents and tickets. In many cases, your car insurance premium will increase.

Below you'll see how much common accident claims and tickets raise rates. For example,  Insurance.com rate data show that for one at-fault accident with property damage over $2,000, your rate will go up by an average of 53%. A ticket for speeding 16 to 29 miles over the limit hikes rates by 34%, on average.

Key takeaways

  • Accidents and tickets can increase car insurance rates, although the extent of the increase varies.
  • The severity of the accident or violation, fault determination, and insurance claim cost impact the rate increase.
  • Increases are typically seen at policy renewal, but reporting delays can occur.
  • Comparing quotes from different insurers and exploring options like accident forgiveness or defensive driving courses can help mitigate rate hikes.

How much will car insurance go up after an accident or ticket?

Among all the violations surveyed in Insurance.com rate data, a second DUI/DWI offense increases car insurance rates the most: by 186% or $3,565, on average. On the other hand, one comprehensive claim for under $2,000 results in a minimal rate increase of $100 or 5%, on average. 

Here's a look at how different violations and accidents impact your car insurance. 

Accident/ticketAverage rates after accident/ticketAverage percentage increase in car insuranceAverage dollar increase in car insurance
DUI/DWI second offense$ 5,481186%$ 3,565
2 At-fault property damage accidents over $2k$ 4,159117%$ 2,243
SR22 with 1 DUI$ 3,79998%$ 1,884
Hit and run - injury$ 3,75096%$ 1,835
DUI/DWI first offense$ 3,64890%$ 1,733
Operating a vehicle in a race (highway racing)$ 3,62789%$ 1,711
Hit and run - property damage$ 3,59488%$ 1,678
Reckless driving$ 3,48382%$ 1,568
At-fault bodily injury accident$ 3,06160%$ 1,146
2 speeding tickets 11 mph or over$ 3,02258%$ 1,106
1 At-fault property damage accident over $2K$ 2,93853%$ 1,023
Single vehicle accident (so the drivers car only)$ 2,92353%$ 1,008
1 At-fault property damage accident under $2K$ 2,91252%$ 996
Speeding 30+ over limit$ 2,65639%$ 740
Careless driving$ 2,62037%$ 705
Speeding ticket 11-29 MPH over limit$ 2,57434%$ 658
Passing stopped school bus$ 2,55033%$ 635
Distracted driving ticket$ 2,49230%$ 576
Driving without a license or permit$ 2,46128%$ 546
Following too closely$ 2,45028%$ 535
Improper turn$ 2,44328%$ 527
Improper/illegal pass$ 2,45828%$ 542
Failure to stop$ 2,43927%$ 524
Failure to yield$ 2,43627%$ 520
Talking on cellphone ticket$ 2,42427%$ 509
Texting ticket$ 2,43127%$ 516
Speeding ticket 1-10 MPH over limit$ 2,41426%$ 498
Lapse of coverage for over 30 days$ 2,37824%$ 463
Driving without insurance$ 2,31221%$ 396
Seatbelt infraction$ 2,27519%$ 359
Lapse of coverage for 7 to 30 days$ 2,17514%$ 260
Lapse of coverage for 7 days$ 2,14312%$ 227
2 comprehensive claims for over $2k$ 2,11010%$ 195
1 comprehensive claim for over $2k$ 2,0226%$ 107
SR22 Filing Only$ 2,0386%$ 122
1 comprehensive claim for under $2k$ 2,0165%$ 100

* Methodology: Average percent increases are derived from calculating increase from base rate of male driver, age 40 with clean record, good credit and full coverage with $500 collision and comprehensive deductible. Rates fielded by Quadrant Information Systems from major insurers in each state.

Will an accident or ticket always raise my insurance?

Whether you get dinged with an insurance hike after a claim or traffic violation depends on your car insurance company and your state's laws, as well as your driving record and how many driver license points you have already and your age, among other factors.

The chance of an increase in premium rises along with several factors:

  • Accident severity
  • Your degree of fault, unless you're in a "no-fault" state
  • The value of the insurance claim you or the other driver files
  • Type of violation, if you get a ticket at all
  • Whether the violation or accident appears on your MVR (Motor Vehicle Report)  or CLUE report (Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange is a claims history database created by Choicepoint that allows insurance companies to assess your claims information while underwriting or rating a policy).  

When will my car insurance go up after an accident or ticket?

These increases are typically seen at renewal time. However, if you didn't notify your insurance company and no one made a claim, it could take a while for the company to find out.

Rest assured that they will not be happy to uncover a ticket or accident you failed to report. If you're switching companies, they may not find out until they order your driving or claims history, at which time they may decide not to issue you a policy.

How can I still save on car insurance after an accident or ticket?

Accident forgiveness

Some insurance companies offer an accident forgiveness feature. If yours does -- and you qualify -- your rates may not increase if you're found to be at fault in a relatively minor accident.

However, note that some of the policies that include accident forgiveness charge a higher base rate.

Comparing car insurance quotes from multiple insurers

Your best bet is to compare auto insurance quotes so you know you're getting the best rate. No two companies will charge the same price for identical coverage, so if you don't shop around, you may overpay.

For instance, here are average percent rate increases from major insurers for common accidents, tickets and driver scenarios.

At-fault accident over $2,000
Company GroupAverage rates before AccidentAverage rates after AccidentAverage percentage increase in car insuranceAverage dollar increase in car insurance
American Family$ 1,738$ 2,11922%$ 382
Auto-Owners$ 1,651$ 2,28038%$ 630
Chubb Ltd$ 2,539$ 3,53239%$ 993
Automobile Club of MI (AAA)$ 2,435$ 3,48143%$ 1,046
Auto Club Enterprises (AAA)$ 2,313$ 3,49551%$ 1,182
Allstate$ 2,513$ 4,02960%$ 1,516
Speeding ticket 11-29 MPH over limit 
Company GroupAverage rates before AccidentAverage rates after AccidentAverage percentage increase in car insuranceAverage dollar increase in car insurance
Chubb Ltd$ 2,539$ 2,95016%$ 411
American Family$ 1,738$ 2,23729%$ 499
Auto-Owners$ 1,651$ 2,29939%$ 649
Auto Club Enterprises (AAA)$ 2,313$ 3,31643%$ 1,003
Automobile Club of MI (AAA)$ 2,435$ 3,69952%$ 1,264
Company GroupAverage rates before AccidentAverage rates after AccidentAverage percentage increase in car insuranceAverage dollar increase in car insurance
Allstate$ 2,513$ 5,044101%$ 2,530
Chubb Ltd$ 2,539$ 5,633122%$ 3,094
Auto Club Enterprises (AAA)$ 2,313$ 5,487137%$ 3,174
Automobile Club of MI (AAA)$ 2,435$ 6,604171%$ 4,170
American Family$ 1,738$ 2,52145%$ 784
Auto-Owners$ 1,651$ 3,28899%$ 1,638

Taking a defensive driving course

Some state car insurance laws allow you to remove license points or get an insurance discount for taking defensive driving courses, so that's another way to mitigate the hike in what you pay for coverage.

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