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After an at-fault car accident, you’re probably worried about how your insurance rates will be impacted. It’s not uncommon to see insurance premiums increase, but luckily there are a few ways to get lower car insurance after an accident.
Car accidents are not only emotionally and physically taxing, they can also put a dent in your wallet. In this article, we describe seven simple ways you can save yourself money by lowering car insurance expenses after an at-fault accident. We’ve also taken the time to review the top auto insurance companies if you are considering a new provider in the aftermath of a collision.
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1. Tell Your Car Insurance Provider About Your Accident
You may be tempted to not tell your car insurance company about an accident if it is minor, but telling your insurance representative is a wise decision. The owner of the vehicle you hit can sue you for the damage you caused, even weeks after its occurrence.
If a driver sues you and you haven’t reported the accident to your insurance company, the insurance provider can refuse to pay your legal bills and potential payments to the other driver. So, while an insurance company may raise your rates if you report an accident, it is much safer to report than not report it.
2. Ask Your Auto Insurer About Accident Forgiveness
Accidents are a part of life, and some auto insurance companies recognize that by offering accident forgiveness insurance. The conditions required by each insurance company for accident forgiveness are different, so it is best to give your provider a call and ask what your conditions are.
Some insurance companies forgive your first accident, and others forgive an accident after carrying insurance with them for three to five years. Learn more in our guide to accident forgiveness insurance.
Companies that offer accident forgiveness include:
3. Find A Car Insurance Provider With A Lower Premium
Providers vary in their average car insurance rates for drivers with at-fault accidents. In comparison to other leading providers, Geico and State Farm generally offer lower car insurance after an accident.
Our review team wrote an article on the top cheap auto insurance providers, and these were our top five picks:
Whenever you shop for car insurance, we recommend getting quotes from multiple providers so you can compare insurance coverage and choose the company that can offer the lowest rates. In addition to the insurance company you choose, factors such as your age, vehicle make and model, and driving history can affect your premium, so what’s best for your neighbor might not be best for you.
Use our tool below to start comparing cheap car insurance providers.
4. Improve Your Credit Score
Many drivers know that car insurance companies consider a driver’s accident history and whether they have a clean driving record when determining rates, but did you know that a driver’s credit score can also affect car insurance premiums?
According to Investopedia, many insurers look at a driver’s credit history to determine the insurance rates they will offer. Insurance companies believe that those with higher credit scores are less likely to file a claim. Therefore, it’s a good idea to try to improve your credit.
Once your credit score is raised, you may be able to get a more affordable policy from a different provider or the one that you already work with.
5. Look Into Insurance Discounts
Several auto insurance companies offer substantial discounts to their customers. The table below reveals common discounts that leading insurance companies offer.
As you can see, many of the discounts vary based on the specific individual applying for a discount, so it is best to call the insurance company to find out what your specific discounts would be.
In addition to the discounts listed below, some insurance companies offer a discount for an anti-theft device. Geico offers a potential savings of 25 percent if you have an anti-theft system for your vehicle. Your insurance company should be able to tell you whether it offers this discount and which devices may qualify for it.
Auto Insurance Discounts
|Multiple Car Discount||25%||27%||25%|
|Bundle Home and Auto Insurance Discount||Varies||Varies||25%|
|New Driver Discount||Varies||Varies||20%|
|Defensive Driving Course||20%||Varies||None|
6. Consider Dropping Your Comprehensive Coverage
Comprehensive car insurance covers non-collision damage that is out of your control, such as damage from a storm, fire, or theft. Since this type of insurance is optional, you might consider stopping this coverage to lower car insurance after an accident.
Of course, stopping comprehensive coverage could expose you to heavy costs if a natural disaster or vandalism impacted your vehicle. If you have a very old car with low value that you hope to replace soon, it might be worth dropping this coverage. If you have a relatively new car that you would like to drive for many more years, then dropping this coverage is not recommended.
7. Join A Usage-Based Car Insurance Program
Drivers who average less than 10,000 miles a year might consider joining a usage-based insurance program. When you sign up for one of these programs, a telemetric device will be installed in your car to calculate possible discounts based on how much, how well, and/or when you drive.
Popular usage-based programs include State Farm’s Drive Safe & SaveTM, Progressive’s Snapshot®, and Allstate’s Drivewise®. You could also consider purchasing Metromile insurance, which charges you exclusively by the mile.
Best Car Insurance Companies After An Accident
The aftermath of an accident is a great time to compare your current auto insurance provider’s offerings to those of other leading providers. Below, learn why we trust State Farm and Geico insurance policies to help lower car insurance after an accident.
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#1 State Farm Insurance: 4.6 Stars
We give State Farm a rating of 4.6 out of 5.0 stars for its coverage options, discounts, and affordability. These factors are important for someone worried about rising insurance costs after an at-fault accident.
Maintaining an accident-free driving record and making efforts to continually educate yourself on safe driving habits are rewarded by State Farm. Discounts are available for good students, safe drivers, customers who bundle multiple policies, and more. For drivers that are new to the road and worried about an at-fault collision, State Farm is a good option because it has programs to help teen drivers stay safe throughout their first years of driving.
To learn more, read our full State Farm insurance review.
#2 Geico Insurance: 4.6 Stars
Similar to State Farm, Geico auto insurance earned a 4.6-star rating in our review. If you’re shopping around for new auto insurance, Geico offers some of the lowest insurance rates in the industry after at-fault collisions.
Geico has a user-friendly mobile app that allows you to manage your account settings and quickly file a claim at the site of a collision. This insurer also has good discounts to help you lower your premium, like having certain safety features installed on your car.
To learn more about insurance coverage from this provider, read our full Geico review.
In an effort to provide accurate and unbiased information to consumers, our expert review team collects data from dozens of auto insurance providers to formulate rankings of the best insurers. Companies receive a score in each of the following categories, as well as an overall weighted score out of 5.0 stars.
- Industry Standing: Insurers with strong financial ratings and customer-first business practices receive the highest scores in this category.
- Availability: We consider availability by state as well as exclusions for specific groups of drivers.
- Coverage: This rating is based on types of insurance available, maximum coverage limits, and add-on policies.
- Cost and Discounts: Our research team reviews sample quotes for a variety of drivers in every state. Companies with lower prices and many car insurance discount opportunities receive the best scores.
- Customer Service: We comb through customer reviews and consumer feedback studies from experts like J.D. Power.
- Technology: Auto insurers with mobile apps, advanced online services and telematics are more likely to meet consumer needs.