Why You Should Shop Around for Car Insurance After Getting in a Collision

Updated October 12, 2022

Two Cars in an Accident Wreck

If you were just in a car accident, you’ve likely been working through a to-do list. You’ve called the police, reported the accident to your insurance company, gotten your vehicle fixed, and gone to the doctor if you were injured.

There’s one more item to add to your list – shop for car insurance.

Here’s the deal – if you’re in a car accident, your insurance company will likely increase your premium, whether you were at fault or not. If you caused an accident that led to expensive property damage or bodily injury claims, you might see an increase of 34 percent or more.

If you weren’t at fault, your rates might increase by 16 percent or more with your current insurer. That’s enough to make you want to stay at home and leave the car in the garage.

Now, this doesn’t mean shop around as soon as you have an accident, you want to give it a little time for two reasons. One, you want to see how your rates are impacted by the accident and two, you typically can’t change to a new carrier while you still have an open claim with your existing one.

If your insurance company does increase your rates, fortunately, you don’t have to stick around. You can shop for car insurance, compare quotes, find a better rate, and make the change. The best part is, it can take less than an hour to complete the entire process from start to finish.

You need to enter your ZIP code to compare quotes from the top insurance companies in the United States. This tool is free to use, and you’ll see quotes in an instant.

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When you receive your quotes, you might notice that they’re less than you’re paying now, even though you’ve been in an accident. Let’s dig in and see why you can spend less on your car insurance.

Unlock Cheaper Coverage Options

Did you know that all accidents aren’t created equal in the eyes of insurance companies? Other insurance companies might not view your fender bender as a chargeable accident. That means you won’t have to pay more because of the accident.

For instance, some companies only raise premiums if you’re at least 50 percent responsible for the accident. If you aren’t, your rates won’t go up.

Others won’t charge you if you were the victim of a hit-and-run accident or if you were lawfully parked when the accident occurred. Still, other companies don’t put much weight on minor collisions, while others increase premiums drastically for small offenses.

Because the rules change from insurance company to insurance company, it’s a good idea to shop around after an accident. Changing companies could lead to a savings of $700 or more annually after an accident.

Remember, shopping around for car insurance isn’t the same as committing to changing policies. Instead, it’s a way to compare rates to see if you can find cheaper insurance elsewhere. Then, if you can, you can move forward and buy the new policy. And it won’t cost you a dime, even if you decide to stick with your current company.

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Poor Driving Record? There Are Non-Standard Insurance Providers for That

Does your insurance company view you as a high-risk driver because of your last accident? That’s a sign that you need to look elsewhere for coverage.

Most insurance companies have three tiers of risk. “Preferred” is at the top of the tier, then there’s the “standard” tier, and finally, the “non-standard” or “high-risk” tier.

If your most recent car accident moved you into the “non-standard” category, you probably experienced sticker shock when you received your last bill. It’s also possible that your insurance provider told you that you need to find coverage elsewhere because of your new status as a high-risk driver.

Whether you are paying too much for insurance or your policy is about to lapse because the company won’t renew it, you can get a good deal on car insurance when you buy from non-standard providers. These providers have built their business plans around insuring high-risk drivers at reasonable rates. When you choose one of the providers, you can save money, even if you’ve been involved in a fair share of accidents.

You can pull quotes from multiple high-risk insurers at once. Then you can find affordable car insurance, even if you have several accidents under your belt. Once you get your new policy, you can work toward a safer driving record.

That will help you save even more money down the road. You don’t have to stay high-risk forever, but if you are a high-risk driver, save by comparing quotes.

See if a non-standard company is the right fit for you

Shop for Car Insurance to Unlock Other Discounts

Your driving history is one of many factors that insurance companies consider when quoting premiums. If you’ve been in an accident, you still might not be eligible for a safe driver discount.

However, you might be able to secure different discounts to offset the premium increase. Since companies decide which discounts to offer, you need to shop around to unlock the most savings. Then you can end up paying far less than you currently are, even if you have just been in an accident.

Some typical auto insurance discounts include savings for good students, automatic premium payments, defensive driving courses, vehicle-safety equipment, and homeownership. The discounts vary by provider, so the only way to find the best rate is to compare car insurance quotes. Then it will be easy for you to find a lower rate, even after an accident.

Find Out How Much You Can Save on Car Insurance

If you’ve recently been in an automobile accident, it’s the perfect time to shop for car insurance. Compare quotes from dozens of providers and find the cheap car insurance that meets your coverage needs. You can end up saving hundreds of dollars each year while still having stellar coverage. Get started so you can find cheap car insurance today.


How much will my rates go up after an accident?

The rate increase depends on different factors, including the extent of damage the accident caused. Many people experience a rate increase of 34 percent after a collision, with some reporting increases of up to 74 percent. However, it’s possible to avoid a considerable rate increase by switching car insurance companies.

Will my rates go up immediately after a collision?

No. Your car insurance rates won’t increase until you renew your policy. Then the insurance company can choose to charge a surcharge. This will increase your insurance premiums.

Will my rates go up if the accident was not my fault?

Some states do not allow insurance companies to increase rates for drivers who were not at fault. These states are the exception, though, so it’s likely that you will receive a rate increase of 10 percent or higher, even if you were not at fault. You’re most likely to see this increase if you live in a no-fault state.

Will my car insurance go up if my vehicle was the only one damaged?

If you make a claim to fix your vehicle, your rates will likely increase. However, if only your car is damaged and you don’t make a claim, you probably won’t have to pay higher insurance rates.

Can I switch car insurance before my current policy expires?

You are allowed to switch car insurance at any time. That includes before your current policy expires. Just don’t forget to cancel your insurance policy after you get a new one, so you don’t pay double the premiums.

How long will an accident affect my insurance rates?

You can pay higher premiums for three to five years following an accident. Then the accident won’t impact your premiums. Because of that, it’s also a good idea to shop for car insurance three to five years after the accident so you can get even better rates.

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