Jessica Fox Last Updated On: June 27, 2023

Getting Insurance After An Accident

We all make mistakes but when you make mistakes while driving your vehicle and you’re deemed at-fault, they can make getting car insurance tricky. Tricky, but not impossible. 

We’re going to tell you everything you need to know about getting auto insurance after an accident, starting with the most important question: Can I get insurance after an accident?

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Can I Get Insurance After An Accident?

Yes, you can get car insurance after an accident but you can also expect it to cost roughly 38% more than your pre-accident insurance. 38% is only the average increase in cost too—some states may charge more and the greater the damage you do in the accident, the more you can expect to pay. 


Because being at-fault in an accident makes you a risky driver, and when you are a higher risk driver, you’re more likely (as far as the insurance company is concerned) to get in more accidents, file more claims and need more money from them. So, they’re going to charge you more to cover you. 

How Long Does an Accident Stay On Your Record?

Car accidents usually stay on your record for about three years, but that can go as high as 10 years for serious accidents or incidents like reckless driving, hit and runs and DUIs. 

Tips For Lowering Your Insurance After An Accident

Your accident may be a thing of the past but it can still impact your life now. There are, however, ways to offset the cost of the premium increase by taking advantage of certain discounts. 

These discounts include:

  • Good credit discounts. Since your credit can play a part in setting your insurance rate (the better your credit, the more reliable of a person and driver you are perceived to be), it is worth your while to keep your credit in good standing to reduce your premiums.
  • Bundled discounts. Multi-car insurance discounts and home/life insurance bundled discounts are excellent ways to decrease your premiums.
  • Good student discounts. Whether you’re a student or have one in your house, you can save up to 10% when you (or your kid) maintains a B+ average.
  • Low mileage discount. If you don’t drive a lot, you can save hundreds of dollars a year with low mileage discounts.
  • Safety feature discounts. Safety and anti-theft features in your car keep you—and it—safer, effectively lowering your premiums.
  • Professional discounts. Healthcare workers, teachers and military personnel are often given discounts on car insurance, so ask your provider if there’s a discount for you.

Discounts aren’t the only way to reduce your car insurance after an accident. You may also want to pay a higher deductible, which is the amount you pay out-of-pocket before your insurance kicks in. This will lower your premiums, sometimes significantly.

You can also change your coverage to get rid of optional coverages, though you’ll need to maintain the minimum required levels by your state. 

Finally, shop around. You may want to think about switching car insurance after an accident if your current provider’s premiums are prohibitive. Just be sure to settle the claim with your existing provider first and to avoid lapses between coverage, since coverage gaps can also increase your rates. Some providers charge fees if you cancel mid-policies, so that’s something to look into as well. 

And remember, when you get quotes from other companies, do not take the first decent quote you receive. Get at least three quotes from a trusted agent. 

One more thing, and we know it probably goes without saying: To lower your premiums after an accident, maintain a good driving record. Follow the speed limits and drive responsibly and within a few years, your rates will go back to normal.

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What About Accident Forgiveness?

Accident forgiveness is great—If you had it before yoru accident. Accident forgiveness is a program offered by some providers that waives the first at-fault surcharge waived. These programs will only “forgive” one claim per set time (usually three to five years), but if you have it in place pre-accident, you can save yourself a lot of money in the long-run.

This said, not all providers offer this program and those that do charge a little more for it. So, if you need it, it’s worth it. And if you never end up needing it, it could be a waste of money.

An easy way to determine if it is right for you is to consider your driving history and your driving frequency. Even if you have a spotless driving record, if you are on the road a lot, you’re more likely to be in an accident so benefiting from accident forgiveness is a surer bet.

Conversely, if you don’t drive a lot and have a good driving record, then you probably won’t benefit from accident forgiveness. 

When in doubt about anything to do with your auto insurance, talk to your agent. Request a fast and free quote and we’ll get you in touch with one, pronto.

The Bottom line: Getting Car Insurance After an Accident Isn’t Impossible

Getting insurance after an accident is more expensive, but it’s not impossible. The key is reducing your rates through applicable discounts, and–of course–improving your driving habits so you don’t rack up more red flags on your record. 

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That depends on the severity of the accident. Three to five years is standard for more minor infractions whereas your insurance rates could stay elevated for as long as 10 years after serious offences like reckless driving or a DUI.

Usually, yes. However, if the accident is small and you can pay out-of-pocket, then you may want to get an estimate before you file—which will almost inevitably increase your premiums. If you can pay for a minor fender bender yourself, you probably want to.


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