How much does car insurance go up after an accident?

The following five states top the list for the most expensive average full coverage rates following an accident claim:

  • Michigan: $5,821
  • Louisiana: $5,069
  • Florida: $4,442
  • New Jersey: $2,232
  • Missouri: $4,108

The states where drivers pay the least – Iowa, Vermont, Maine, Virginia, Idaho and Virginia – come in at below $1,800, with New Hampshire the cheapest at $1,572.

In the table below, you’ll see how much drivers in each state pay, on average, after an accident claim. Search for your state to see the average increase.

State Average Rate Rate after accident $Difference % Difference
Washington D.C.$1,909$2,783$87445.76%
North Carolina$1,442$2,409$96767.05%
North Dakota$1,357$1,942$58543.08%
New Hampshire$1,023$1,572$54853.56%
New Jersey$2,232$4,287$2,05592.07%
New Mexico$1,657$2,316$65939.78%
New York$1,822$2,513$69237.96%
Rhode Island$1,923$2,003$804.17%
South Carolina$1,804$2,591$78843.66%
South Dakota$1,585$2,193$60738.32%
West Virginia$1,474$2,243$76952.15%

How long does an accident affect your insurance?

Your surcharge will drop off after a determined length of time, which varies by state. The average length of time is three years, but it may be as long as five years. This time period doesn’t start when the accident happens, but when the insurance company first adds it to your policy. That means that it will start at your first renewal after the accident and continue until the three to five years are over. 

How to get cheap car insurance after an accident

The cheapest car insurance company before you have an accident may not be the cheapest after you file a claim.’s rate analysis shows that it pays to spend some time comparison shopping for your policy after a claim or moving violation. 

In some states, data show that some of the lowest rates after an at-fault accident claim were cheaper than other insurers’ rates for a driver with a clean record.

For example, a driver with a clean record would pay an average of $1,352 with Geico. But after an accident, State Farm has the cheapest rate at $2,087. Switching to State Farm after an accident saves $339, based on average rates in 2022. Take a look at full coverage rates for five top companies with an accident and without.

CompanyRate with accident claimClean record rate
State Farm$2,087$1,672

How much will my insurance go up after a minor accident?

The severity of the accident doesn’t have as much of an impact on the rate increase as you would think. As far as the insurance company is concerned, an accident is an accident. If you are at fault, you will be surcharged regardless of how minor or serious the accident was. However, a very minor accident or a very serious one may have different affects on rates in some cases.

In addition, minor accidents may qualify for accident forgiveness, which will allow you to avoid the surcharge altogether.

What car insurance coverage do you need to cover an at-fault accident?

If you’re at fault for an accident, your liability insurance pays for the damage and injuries you cause to others. Liability car insurance includes bodily injury liability (BI) and property damage liability (PD). Bodily injury liability will pay for injuries to others caused by your actions.

Property damage liability pays for damage you have done to someone else’s car or other property.

To pay for damage to your own car when you’re in an accident, you will need to add collision coverage to your policy.

Why more liability coverage is a smart insurance move

You must have at least the minimum liability insurance required by your state to drive legally. But you can opt to buy more liability coverage for better protection to ensure you have enough coverage in an accident.

Here’s an example. In California, the minimum requirements are:

  • $15,000 in personal injury liability for injuries to any one person
  • $30,000 in personal injury liability for all people injured
  • $15,000 for property damage

Here’s an example of what happens if you have only the legal minimum and cause an accident where four people are injured and have medical bills of $30,000 each. The other driver’s new car is totaled.

Your policy will have to divide up the $30,000 maximum bodily injury payout among the four injured parties, leaving you liable for $90,000 of medical expenses. The new car is valued at $28,000, so after your insurer pays $15,000, you will be responsible for the $13,000 balance. You are now on the hook to pay out-of-pocket the $103,000 in medical expenses and car damage. 

An increase in your coverage to 100/300/100 would have taken care of all the medical bills and the damaged car with you and your assets being protected.

How much does the average car accident cost?

According to the National Safety Council (NSC) the average cost of an accident with disabling injuries was $101,000 in 2020. For a fatal crash, the cost jumps to $1.75M. Even an accident with more minor injuries showed average costs between $12,800 and $23,900.

Kelley Blue Book reports that the average cost of a new car in 2022 is $47,148. If you’re on the hook for totaling a new car, minimum limits can be gone in a hurry.

Methodology commissioned Quadrant Information Services in 2022 to field rates in every state from multiple insurance companies for a driver of a 2021 Honda Accord, age 40, with good credit, full coverage and a $500 deductible; increases shown are an average from the base rate of a driver with a clean record.

Auto insurance FAQs

Do insurance rates go up after a no-fault accident?

In a no-fault state, your car insurance company will pay for your injuries regardless of who is at fault in the accident. Personal injury protection (PIP) coverage is designed for this purpose.

However, even in a no-fault state, where fault doesn’t decide which insurance company pays the injury claim, one driver will still be found at fault for the accident. If you are found at fault, you will likely see a rate increase.

How much does insurance go up after an accident for a teenager?

Since teenagers already pay very high rates, you can expect the rate increase after an accident to be higher than for an older driver with a longer driving record. The increase will depend on the teen’s previous record, their age, where they live and other factors.

Does a car accident affect your credit score?

No. The only way a car accident could affect your credit is if there is a legal judgment against you in court or other bills related to the accident that you fail to pay.