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Car Insurance: How Much It Goes Up After Accidents



Most people realize that if you have car insurance and drive your own vehicle, it will cost a certain amount, and it will probably stay right in that price range. The exception, which is to say, when it might go up considerably, is if you cause a car wreck.

You might wonder precisely how much your insurance is going to go up if you cause a crash. Let’s look into that a bit right now.

The Basics

If you’re trying to figure out how much your insurance rate rises after an accident you caused, a few different factors will come into play. Before we get into that, though, we’ll run down some critical car insurance facts.

The original car insurance quote and rate that you lock in will mostly depend on your driving record, plus how much the car is worth that you drive. It will not cost nearly as much to insure an old clunker as it will a brand-new Maserati.

Your driving record matters because it shows how careful of a driver you are. If you cause a car wreck, and it’s obvious that it was your fault, that rate will go up since the insurance company will worry that this could become a trend. Many combat these rising prices by using a cheap car insurance company that offers full coverage like Freeway Insurance

Higher Horsepower and Younger Drivers

Even if you don’t specifically cause an accident, younger drivers do tend to cause wrecks more often, so that will matter when you get a quote. If you’re eighteen, the chances are much higher that you’ll cause a crash than someone who’s forty.

Also, younger drivers sometimes like to show off. If you’re trying to insure a car that has much higher horsepower than average, an insurance company is going to take that into account as well.

Where You Drive

Where you usually drive also matters when an insurance company prepares your quote. If you live in a big city, insurers will probably feel that a crash is more likely. There are more vehicles around you that you can hit, and also buses, motorcycles, bikes, pedestrians, and so forth.

If you’re in a rural area, by comparison, an insurance company will likely feel you have less of a chance to cause an accident. Maybe it’s not necessarily fair when an insurance company thinks this way, but it’s just a reality that they do.


Gender also plays a part in insurance policy rates. It’s a proven fact that women have fewer accidents than men, so a woman will probably get a more favorable rate than a similarly-aged man would.

If you combine gender with age, that’s often when you get astronomical rates that you have to pay each month. An 18-year-old male is one of the highest risk groups, and the rate an insurance company will offer is going to reflect that. Once a male reaches about age 25 or so, that rate will go down quite a bit.

After a Crash

Now, let’s get into how your rate changes after a wreck. One thing to realize is that an accident will almost always make your rate go up at least a little, period. Even if you can actually prove that you did not cause the accident, an insurance company will still be leery about insuring you afterward.

After that, the next thing that matters is where in the country you are. For instance, if you live in California, your rate can jump as much as 73% after an accident. In Texas, you’re only looking at an average 8% hike.

What company insures your car also matters. Some of them will raise your rate quite a bit after an accident, while another company might not hit you anywhere near as hard. That’s why it’s a smart idea to research how much a company’s rate goes up after an accident before you sign on with them.

Is the Rate Change Permanent?

The next logical question to ask is whether a significant rate jump will stay with you for the rest of your life or whether it’s just temporary. The short answer is that the rate jump will not last forever, but it also probably won’t go away again for quite some time.

If you caused the accident, expect the rate to go up more than if you didn’t cause it. In some states, like California, you’re most likely looking at that higher rate for three years or so afterward, assuming you stay with the same insurance company. Elsewhere, you may have that higher rate for as long as a decade after that.

This is why you need to do everything within your power to avoid accidents. You can never control what some other driver does, but never drinking and driving, avoiding common traffic errors, etc., will all benefit you since they mean an accident is less likely. In Louisiana, an sr22 insurance Louisiana certificate is often mandatory for drivers with DUIs and who drove without insurance or got into an accident without insurance, who failed to pay for damages in an accident, as well as other violations.


Citations are another factor that can come into play regarding whether your rate will go up and by how much. In some states, like Florida, you won’t see a rate change unless the police issue you a citation because of the accident. This is a state-by-state thing since you’ll see your rate go up in other states, even if the cops gave you no citation after the wreck.

You can also try to find a company that will specifically tell you that the only way they will raise your rate is if you cause the wreck. If someone else causes it, your rate will remain the same. Since only some companies do this, like USAA, it helps to do some research to confirm this policy beforehand.

Finding a car insurance broker can help. They will assist you in looking over policies and finding ones where you’ll know for sure that the company will not raise your rate if you did not cause the accident.

Most people like to watch their spending, so finding the right policy can go a long way toward preventing a huge rate boost if you cause a wreck.

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