Chelsey Tucker graduated with a Bachelor of History degree from Metropolitan State University in 2019. She now writes about insurance with her specialty being life insurance and has been quoted on Help Smart Phone and MEL Magazine.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Mar 31, 2021

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The lowdown...

  • Insurance rates can increase dramatically after an accident.
  • There are several steps you can take immediately to lower your insurance premium.
  • You may also need to be patient while you improve your driving record and credit rating to see greater savings in your auto insurance rates.

If you have recently been involved in a car accident, you may be worried that your auto insurance rates will skyrocket. Perhaps you have already been informed by your auto insurance provider that your premium is increasing. An insurance rate increase can be unpleasant, and in some cases, it can even make your current policy unaffordable for you to continue to maintain.

With this in mind, you may be wondering what steps you can take to lower your auto insurance rates after an accident. The good news is that there are many steps that most drivers may take to qualify for a lower auto insurance rate after being involved in an accident.

Learn more about auto insurance rates below and make sure to compare auto insurance rates for free with our comparison tool above!

Understand Factors That Determine Auto Insurance Rates



Your driving history or record is one of the more significant factors that can affect your insurance rates, but it is not the only one. In addition, most people will not see an increase in rates because of a single accident. You may need to have multiple accidents or traffic citations on your record in recent years to see an increase in rates.

Other factors that can affect your rates involve the vehicle you drive, your age, how many miles you drive, if you no longer qualify for a discount that you previously qualified for, where you live and more.

If your rate adjusted at the beginning of a policy renewal, there is a chance that multiple factors may have contributed to the increase in your insurance premium.

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Shop for Lower Rates

Each insurance provider analyzes the criteria listed above in different ways. For example, one provider may overlook one accident, but two or more accidents may result in higher rates. Perhaps one provider does not allow you to qualify for a safe driver discount with an accident on your record, but another provider only requires you to take a defensive driving course to qualify for this discount.

If you are concerned about your current insurance rate, request three or four quotes from different providers. This is a relatively straightforward way to see if you can save money by switching providers.

Adjust Your Coverage

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Another idea is to adjust your auto insurance coverage. You should first understand the minimum coverage that is required by your state. Most states require drivers to purchase at least a minimum amount of liability coverage, which pays for expenses you cause to another party while operating your vehicle.

Because this coverage does not pay to replace or repair your own vehicle, you may also opt for collision or comprehensive coverage. Towing, rental car reimbursement and other optional coverages are available as well. Both the types of coverage and the limits can affect your rates.

Ensure that you are not paying for more coverage than you need, but avoid being under-insured as well. While coverage will affect your insurance rates, it also can affect your out-of-pocket expenses when you file an insurance claim.

If you are under-insured, you may be required to pay tens of thousands of dollars or more in out-of-pocket expenses for a serious accident. This can be financially devastating, and it is entirely avoidable by purchasing adequate coverage for your needs.

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Increase Your Deductible

Your deductible is the amount of money you pay each time you file a claim against the auto insurance policy. A typical deductible for an auto insurance policy is $500 per incident, but you can request a higher or lower amount. Adjusting the deductible on your auto insurance policy alters the premium amount.

A higher deductible will result in a lower premium, and a lower deductible will result in a higher premium. You can comfortably opt for a higher deductible amount if you have the financial means to pay the higher amount at a moment’s notice. For example, ensure that you have this larger amount of money on hand in a savings account or other reserve account to draw on as necessary.

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Look for Discounts

Some auto insurance providers offer a wide range of discounts, and others offer only a handful of money-saving options for their customers to benefit from. For example, you may be able to save money if you qualify for a low mileage discount. Those who work from home or who are stay-at-home parents may qualify for this type of discount.

Another discount that is common with many providers is a bundled policies discount. You may qualify for this type of discount by bundling your home, auto and life policies with the same provider. Research discounts available through a wide range of providers to learn about potential savings you may qualify for.

Purchase a Different Vehicle


Some vehicles are far more expensive to insure than others. Factors related to the age and the replacement cost of the vehicle are analyzed by insurance companies when you request a quote. In addition, the engine power of the vehicle, the safety features in the car, if it has a security alarm installed, its overall safety ratings, its theft ratings in your area and more all factor into your premium cost.

If you drive a vehicle that is more expensive to insure, you may enjoy immediate savings on your premium by purchasing a more affordable and less powerful vehicle with enhanced safety and security features. You can request a quote from providers for different makes and models you are interested in purchasing before you finalize your buying plans.

Follow Safe Driving Rules

These options can help you to enjoy immediate savings on your premium, but there are other steps that you can and should take to lower your car insurance rates going forward. For example, you can improve your driving record or history slowly over the next few years.

It may take several years for your accident to fall off of your record. During this time, avoid speeding, running red lights, driving erratically and other unsafe behaviors. Avoid getting a ticket or being in an accident, if possible. Within a few years, you may qualify for an improved premium on your auto insurance policy through your current or a new insurance provider.

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Improve Your Credit Rating


Another factor that can affect insurance rates that you may not be aware of is your credit rating. Auto insurance companies often will review credit ratings of applicants before issuing quotes. This is because there are known correlations between credit scores and risky driving behavior as well as auto insurance claims.

It is wise to learn what your current credit scores are, and you are entitled to a free copy of your credit report each year from each of the three primary credit reporting bureaus. If your scores are lower, you can take steps to improve your credit rating over the next few months. By doing so, you may qualify for a better rate when your auto insurance policy renews.

As you can see, there are many factors that affect insurance rates. While your recent accident may be at least partially to blame for your higher rate, it may not be the only factor.

After you understand how each factor described here plays a role in insurance rates, you can take the necessary steps to qualify for a lower auto insurance premium through your current provider or through a new provider.

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