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Your car insurance rates are affected by accidents and tickets. In many but not all 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 damage over $2,000, your rate will go up by an average of 31%. A ticket for speeding 16 to 29 miles over the limit hikes rates 22%, on average.

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

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

Accident/TicketAverage percent increase to car insurance
DUI/DWI third offense255%
DUI/DWI second offense163%
2 At-fault property damage accident over $2k110%
SR22 with 1 DUI89%
Hit-and-run - injury87%
Hit-and-run property damage83%
DUI/DWI first offense79%
Reckless driving73%
Operating a vehicle in a race (highway racing)71%
2 speeding tickets 11 mph or over43%
At-fault bodily injury accident32%
1 At-fault property damage accident over $2K31%
Speeding 30+ over limit30%
Careless driving26%
1 At-fault property damage accident under $2K26%
Texting ticket24%
Distracted driving ticket22%
Speeding ticket 16-29 MPH over limit22%
Improper/illegal pass20%
Speeding ticket 11-15 MPH over limit20%
Following too closely20%
Improper turn20%
Failure to yield20%
Speeding ticket 1-5 MPH over limit20%
Speeding ticket 6-10 MPH over limit20%
Failure to stop19%
Talking on cellphone ticket16%
Lapse of coverage for 60 days13%
Driving without a license or permit9%
Lapse of coverage for 30 days9%
Lapse of coverage for 7 days9%
Lapse of coverage for 15 days9%
2 comprehensive claims for over $2k8%
Driving without insurance8%
Seatbelt infraction3%
1 comprehensive claim for over $2k3%
1 comprehensive claim for under $2k3%

* 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 deductible. Rates fielded by Quadrant Information Systems from major insurers in 10 ZIP codes 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 or CLUE report

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 awhile 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.

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.

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

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
CompanyAverage percent increase in car insurance rates
State Farm19%
Speeding 16 to 29 miles over the limit
CompanyAverage percent increase in car insurance rates
State Farm12%
CompanyAverage percent increase in car insurance rates
State farm38%

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.

MVR = Motor Vehicle Report. Not every traffic ticket actually appears on your MVR. In fact, in some states only 75 percent of all moving violations are ever recorded on an MVR.

CLUE = Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange. C.L.U.E. is a claims history database created by ChoicePoint that allows insurance companies to access your claims information when they underwrite or rate a policy. The report includes claim information such as date of loss, type of loss and amounts paid, and vehicle description. 

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