| Auto Insurance
car being towed after accident

Even if you’re incredibly careful, car accidents can happen to anyone, and when accidents happen, someone’s insurance rate is probably going to rise. The cost of accidents and the potential for rate increases cause many people to start worrying as soon as the dust settles at the intersection. But what if we told you that your latest wreck wasn’t the end of the world? Affordable car insurance, with the coverage you can count on, is still possible to find. Whether you were in a fender bender or totaled your car, here’s how to get cheap car insurance after an accident.

How Much Will Car Insurance Go Up After an Accident?

You might be wondering if accidents affect rates that much. The answer is typically a resounding yes if you were found to be at fault in an accident. Typically, your rate will not go up if you were not at fault.

Even with an otherwise good driving record, if you cause an accident, the average American driver’s rate increase is 45% for wrecks with only property damage and 47% for accidents resulting in bodily injury, according to Forbes. Considering that could cost you hundreds of dollars each year depending on your current rates, it’s important to do whatever you can to keep your car insurance costs down following a crash.

7 Ways to Get Cheap Car Insurance After an Accident

Wondering what tangible actions you can take to keep your rates low after being involved in a car crash? Try these seven tactics.

1. Review your coverage.

One way to get cheap insurance after an accident is to evaluate the types of coverage you need. Comprehensive and collision coverage are a good idea if you wouldn’t have the budget to repair or replace a high-value vehicle. However, if your car is old, paid off, and has tons of miles, you might just want to meet the state’s minimum requirements. If the value of your car is low, a robust insurance policy might not make as financial sense for you. Perhaps you have some added coverages that you could consider cutting. No matter what your situation is, reviewing your coverage can be a great way to save money.

2. Consider raising your deductible.

If dropping comprehensive and collision isn’t a good idea for you, consider altering the deductible on your comprehensive and collision coverage. This could be a quick way to adjust your rate after an accident while still offering protection for your vehicle. If you don’t drive much or your recent wreck is a rare occurrence for you (perhaps this was your first one), you might benefit from a higher deductible. With a higher deductible, you’ll be on the hook for more money upfront if you get in another wreck. However, if you establish a pattern of safe driving post-crash, there’s a chance your higher deductible never comes into play, and it could actually help counteract some of the rate increase from your previous accident.

Note: Before you raise your deductible, make sure you’ll have enough money to cover it and that you never drive distracted. You don’t want to end up in another accident and be unable to pay to have your vehicle repaired. Being stranded without a car is no fun.

3. Look for discounts you’re eligible for.

After an accident, your rate may go up. Fortunately, certain discounts could help bring it back down.

Many insurance companies, like Direct Auto, offer discounts* to drivers for a number of reasons. For example, Direct rewards good driving behavior with car insurance savings as part of their DynamicDrive** program. You’ll instantly save up to 10% on your auto policy just by downloading the Routely app and following the instructions to set up your phone. And then you can save even more money on your premium by driving safely.

Plus, an accident doesn’t increase your car insurance forever. If you live in a state where Direct offers a safe driver discount, and have been violation- and accident-free for at least 12 to 36 months, you could save up to 10% on your policy.

The ways to save go on and on and vary from company to company, but you get the picture. If you’re near the end of your policy term and need to offset a potential rate increase, call your agent and see if there are any additional discounts, like a driver education discount or military discount, you’re entitled to when your new policy starts! Not sure what to ask about? Here are some other examples of ways you could save with Direct Auto.

4. Attend traffic school.

As noted above, a driver education discount is one way you could save money after an accident (as much as 10% with Direct Auto!). In some circumstances in specific states, completing an approved traffic school can prevent your rates from increasing after an accident or help lower them depending on your situation. If traffic school can prevent a ticket from going on your driving record, it might be worth your time. Fewer traffic violations on your driving record are good news when it comes to your insurance rate.

5. Change your payment schedule.

Are you currently paying month-to-month for auto insurance? If it’s still financially possible for you after dealing with the cost of a car crash, you could see how much money you could save by paying for your policy upfront at renewal time and eliminating the extra fees you pay under an installment plan.

6. Research accident forgiveness.

In some cases and with some insurers, you might be eligible for accident forgiveness. This feature could be added to your auto policy so that you’re forgiven if you cause an accident, even if you’re at fault, according to Investopedia. In other words, your car crash would not lead to a rate increase. Please note, you’d need to have accident forgiveness in place before your accident to help keep your rates low after a crash.

Ask your insurer if they have an accident forgiveness program, whether it’s something you pay extra for to add to your policy or something you can get as a loyal, safe-driving customer.

7. Comparison shop.

Lastly, check out what other auto insurance companies can do for you and comparison shop. After all, you might be considered a high-risk driver if you have had one or more auto accidents and not all insurers will provide coverage. Fortunately, some insurers, like Direct Auto, are more forgiving if you’ve been in an accident. At Direct, we’ll work with you to help you get a low rate and great services, regardless of your driving history.

Still worried about your car insurance rate? Just give it a little time. If you avoid accidents over the next few years, your insurance rate will potentially drop back down.

Curious about how much Direct Auto can help you out after an accident? Visit us at DirectAuto.com, call 1-877-GO-DIRECT, or visit one of our convenient locations. Our agents are ready to try to help save you money!


*Insurance produced by Direct Auto Insurance and underwritten by its affiliates in the National General Insurance Group, Winston-Salem, NC. We offer insurance only in states where we are licensed to do business. You can find this information on our website: directauto.com. Discounts may only apply to certain coverages, are subject to terms and conditions, and may not be available in all states or distribution channels. Price may vary depending on how you buy.  

**DynamicDrive program is optional. It can help you tailor your insurance rate based on the actual driving experience of your account participants while using the Routely App. DynamicDrive is not available in all states. Maximum discount varies by state and product is subject to terms, conditions, and availability. Smartphone, App and account activation required.