Norton Seal Man on cellphone calling about insurance after an accident

Understanding Insurance

How Much Does Insurance Go Up After an Accident?

You do what you can to stay safe behind the wheel, from preventing distractions while driving to following the rules of the road. After having an accident, you may have noticed an increase in your insurance premium. There are many reasons why this happened. How high does insurance go after an accident? The truth is, there’s no quick-and-easy rule for how much your rate goes up after an accident, we’re here to walk you through how your premium can be impacted after filing a claim.

How Much Does an At-fault Accident Affect My Rate?

No two insurance companies are the same. So, changes in your car insurance rate after an accident will vary from company to company. How much will insurance rates go up after an accident? On average, auto insurance companies do raise rates on at-fault drivers by around 31%, according to Although most companies will raise your rate after an at-fault accident, that exact amount can vary according to the cost of the claim and the type of the violation.

Why Do Insurance Rates Go Up After an Accident?

When you get in an accident — whether you’re at-fault or not — you’re likely to see your premium increase. How much do rates go up after an accident? The answer to that depends the way your insurance company operates. This rate hike is called a surcharge which is basically a penalty tacked onto your premium for getting into an accident. Here are a few factors that can impact your rates after an accident:

  • Your company’s internal processes
  • The number of accident claims you’ve filed in the past 5 years
  • The severity of the violations on your record in the past 5 years
  • The total cost of claims against you

How Long Will My Insurance Rates Stay Up After an Accident?

Car insurance rates can remain elevated after an accident for three to five years. But there are options to help you manage a rate increase after having an accident. You may be able to avoid a rate hike with the purchase of optional accident forgiveness coverage. And that small step can help save you big money, because your rates will stay where they are.

You’ve got other tools to use to help keep your rates down. If your driving record is great, and you haven’t filed a claim for a collision or been sited for a moving violation, you could qualify for earned accident forgiveness protection. With it, we’ll forgive your first accident and prevent your premium from rising. Get in touch with your agent to learn more.

Will My Rate Go Up After a No-fault for an Accident?

Now that you’ve got an understanding about how at-fault accidents can raise your rates, you're probably asking yourself “Will my insurance go up for a no-fault accident?” After you file a claim with your insurance company, you may see your premium increase. Whether your rate actually goes up after a not-at-fault accident varies by insurance company. With each new claim, your odds of watching your rates go up is a possibility.

When purchasing insurance, remember to shop around and talk to an agent about how your premium will be impacted if you file a claim for an accident that wasn’t your fault. Remember to ask them, “How long do insurance rates stay up after an accident?” as well. By getting details before you sign, you’ll be more likely to find coverage that fits your needs.

How to Save on Auto Insurance

At American Family Insurance, you’ve got options to help reduce the cost of your premium. Take a look at some of our great offerings and discounts:

Leverage accident forgiveness with a good driving record

We offer accident forgiveness as a way to reward good drivers. As long as you have had no at-fault accidents and no violations in the last 12 months, and no more than one at-fault accident in the last three years, we’ll forgive your first accident and not raise your premium based on that accident. At the time of your accident you will be 100% “forgiven” for one accident per policy and there will be no impact to your premium.  

The great part about accident forgiveness is that you’re also able to purchase this coverage too. That can help to keep your rates down, if your recent driving record is less than perfect.

Learn more about accident forgiveness with American Family.

Pick up Diminishing Deductible coverage

Another way to help keep costs down after an accident is to purchase Diminishing Deductible coverage. It’s available for all types of vehicles, motorcycles, other motor vehicles and watercraft. With this coverage, we’ll credit (lower) your deductible to help you better prepare for the out-of-pocket expenses if you have a claim.

Learn more about Diminishing Deductible coverage for auto with American Family.

Bundle your insurance products

By getting on the bundling bandwagon, you’ll get key coverage at a discount. Bundling is one of our most popular options for helping to reduce premiums.

Explore all our ways to save

We’ve got a lot of options to help you lower your premium. From enrolling in smart driving courses to adjusting your coverage level, there’s a lot you can do to save. View our auto discounts here.

Claim Filing FAQs

After having an accident, you’ve probably got a lot on your mind. And you may have a few questions about what that accident is going to do to the cost of your auto insurance. We’ve got some answers for you:

  1. Be sure to double-check that your policy doesn’t require you to report every accident you’re involved in. You can give a quick call to your agent to find out these details.

    If not, you may be better off financially by not filing a claim. For example, if the vehicle repair costs are less than your deductible or even just a little more than your deductible, you might save more money in the long run by not filing a claim. That’s because filing any kind of a claim can sometimes impact your auto premium.

  2. Does an accident claim stay on your record forever? Nope! Most insurers look back three to five years when setting your rate. In the meantime, try to avoid any accidents!

  3. Insurance companies set your rate based on a number of factors. Some of these are in your control, like speeding tickets and filing claims. Then there are those that are not in your control. Your car insurance rate may increase when your policy renews because your insurance company has to keep up with increasing costs.

    There are many factors apart from filing a claim or getting a speeding ticket that can cause your rate to increase. Your company will probably raise your rate to help balance out the increasing cost of certain risks.

Find the Right Car Insurance

There are a lot of moving pieces when it comes to car insurance, but we want to help you stay confident in your coverage. To understand how your policy works, reach out to your American Family Insurance agent — they’ll be able to answer all your questions. And best of all, you’ll get simple to understand details on how your policy works.

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Related Topics: Insurance Needs , Discounts