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Car insurance for drivers with previous claims

How to get affordable car insurance after an accident

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Your car insurance rates may go up after an accident — but it depends on your driving history and how the accident went down.

How much does car insurance go up after a claim?

The exact premium increase depends on the type of claim, who was at fault and how much your insurance company paid out. If you caused the accident, you might expect your premium to rise a good 20% to 40%. A car accident with a DUI or reckless driving charge could increase your premiums by nearly 90%.

But comprehensive claims might only increase your cost by 2%, and some small claims don’t cause any increase. Your premium may go up even higher if you lose a no-claims discount.

However, if the other driver was completely at fault, whether or not your premiums will go up — and by how much — will depend on a number of factors, including where you live, the accident and your driving history. In some states, insurers aren’t allowed to raise your rates due to an accident where you weren’t at fault.

Should I call my insurance company beforehand?

Calling your insurer to ask about a possible claim may count on your claims record the same as making the claim. For example, you might want to call your insurer to find out if you’re covered for windshield damage in a minor fender bender. Even if you decide to pay out of pocket and not report the accident, your insurer may consider this incident and raise your rates.

How long will a car insurance claim stay on record?

When you get a car insurance quote, most companies ask about your claims history over the last three to five years. Any claim made within this time period could affect your premium. The exact time period considered depends on your insurance company and your state of residence.

Will a claim affect my no-claims discount?

Yes, you will lose your no-claims discount. However, some insurers won’t take away your discount if you’re involved in a crash that’s not your fault or if you make a comprehensive claim. Keep in mind that your overall premium could still increase even if you manage to hold onto your discount.

How can I save money on car insurance after a claim?

These savings options could work hard to keep your premiums affordable, even after you make a claim. You might:

  • Re-evaluate your coverage. Check to see if you have more coverage than you need, and change it if you do. For example, if your deductible is more than the value of your car, collision coverage may not be worth the cost.
  • Pay for your policy up front. Paying for your policy all at once can net you a significant discount.
  • Take a driving course. Many insurance companies reward you for completing a recent safe driving course. This discount could help nearly any driver, but especially if you caused the accident.
  • Shop around. Shop around and compare your options to find the best deal each time your policy is up. Keep in mind that the cheapest policy isn’t always the best policy, so check the coverage details carefully to ensure they match your needs.

Our top pick: The General

Snag affordable coverage for high-risk drivers, a marketing claim backed by our rate analysis which showed premiums less than $80 a month.

  • Qualify even as a high-risk driver
  • Get instant access to proof of insurance
  • Take advantage of 10 discount opportunities
  • File a claim conveniently by app

Compare car insurance for drivers with multiple claims

Name Product Roadside assistance Accident forgiveness Payment schedule States served
The General
12 months, monthly
All states except HI MA MI and NJ
Snag affordable coverage for high-risk drivers, a marketing claim backed by our rate analysis which showed premiums less than $80 a month.
12 months, 6 months, Quarterly, monthly (fee applies)
High-risk drivers can steer into savings from discounts and payment options like reduced premiums with a down payment.
National Auto
National Auto
Depends on provider
All 50 states

Compare up to 4 providers

How can I check my car insurance claims history?

If you want to find out what claims are on your record, or what tickets might be affecting your rates, you can request a copy of your driving record.

In some cases, the easiest way to do this is to just ask your insurer for a copy. But if your insurer says no or you don’t currently have car insurance, you can also request a copy at the DMV in person and/or online, depending on your state.

Bottom line

Getting in an accident will likely increase your premiums, especially if you were at fault. But how much depends on your insurer. To get the best rates after an accident, compare car insurance providers to find one that works for you.

Common questions about car insurance after a claim

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